5 Ways to Save on Groceries in 2023

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KEY POINTS

  • Grocery prices increased dramatically in 2022 and it isn't clear when price hikes will slow.
  • Try to reduce the number of trips you make to the store and find coupons for things you buy regularly.
  • Find apps that will save you money, whether that's in the form of cash back or discounts.

You can beat inflation at the store with these money-saving tips.

Rampant inflation has put pressure on many Americans' bank balances and made it harder to cover essential living costs. According to the latest Consumer Price Index, food prices in October were more than 10% higher than a year ago. The good news is that there are a number of relatively easy ways you can reduce your costs next year.

Here are five ways to save on groceries in 2023.

1. Minimize your shopping trips

Grocery stores are in the business of getting you to part with your cash. Whether it's carefully positioned candy or two-for-one deals, it's all too easy to go into the store for one thing and come out with six or seven. One way to reduce impulse buys is to make a list before you go to the store and stick to it.

Another is to go to the store less frequently. If you currently shop once a week, maybe you can make it every other week instead. If you're already doing that, try to stretch it to once a month. Stock up on staples like pasta, rice, beans, canned goods, and frozen vegetables. That way you'll always be able to make a meal from what's in the cupboard, even if you aren't into meal planning. Buy in-season produce and store it carefully to make it last longer.

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2. Become a coupon ninja

Coupons can be an excellent source of bargains. You'll find them online, in newspapers, in grocery stores, and on various apps. Sites like The Krazy Coupon Lady keep track of all the latest offers so you can find the best deals on products you need. You can often find half-price deals on essential and relatively expensive products like laundry detergent or diapers.

As with all types of discounts, coupons only save you money if you get deals on products you were going to buy anyway. If a coupon tempts you to buy something that's not on your shopping list and may just sit at the back of your cupboard for several months, it will cost you more than you save.

3. Buy in bulk and batch cook

You'll often get great savings by buying in bulk, especially if you join a wholesale club like Costco. The only caveat is that you need to use the food you buy before it goes bad. This is where batch cooking comes in. You can cook up big batches of food and freeze it for nights when you don't want to cook. Not only can you save money, but it's also more efficient time-wise and means you're less likely to turn to ready meals or takeout.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to saving money on your groceries. If you hate cooking, the idea of batch cooking might fill you with horror. If it goes wrong, you could be stuck eating three bad meals instead of just one. Start by becoming less reliant on pre-made food, which will already reduce your food bill. Once you're confident in making a couple of low-cost meals from scratch like macaroni and cheese, pasta bolognese, or a chili con carne, move on to making double or triple quantities.

4. Use technology to save money

It feels like there's an app for everything these days. But it's worth experimenting to find ones that make your life easier. A lot of them are free and can help reduce your grocery costs. Here are three types of apps to investigate:

  • Cash back apps: The best cash back apps work in different stores and make it easy for you to claim rewards. Try a few and find the ones that suit your best.
  • Food waste apps: You don't need to go dumpster diving to get food that is close to its sell-by date. Some food waste apps let you buy discounted food from restaurants and stores before it goes to waste.
  • Price comparisons: It can be hard work to keep track of prices on the items you buy regularly. Try out comparison apps that can help you find the best deals without searching every grocery store.

5. Maximize your credit card rewards

If grocery shopping accounts for a large amount of your monthly budget, consider a grocery credit card that pays high rewards on groceries. If you can qualify for a card that pays 3% to 6% back on your food shopping, you might be able to offset some of the impact of inflation. Credit cards aren't for everybody, and it's good to think about which card will best suit your spending and lifestyle.

Bottom line

Spiraling costs of groceries have caused some Americans to dip into their savings and others to take on debt just to keep food on the table this year. Whether prices continue to rise in 2023 or not, it's worth looking for ways to cut your food costs. Even small savings can add up and mean more money in your pocket.

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