7 Tips to Save on Groceries as Food Costs Rise

by Natasha Gabrielle | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on June 4, 2021

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A smiling father bringing home groceries to his family.

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By taking the right steps, you can get the groceries you need without an expensive bill.

Food costs have been rising over the last few months, resulting in higher grocery prices. If you've been unhappy with your recent grocery receipt totals, there may be some changes you can make to save on the cost of food and other household essentials. Check out these tips to save on groceries next time you go shopping.

1. Use a store loyalty card

If you're not using your local grocery store's loyalty program, you're missing out. Most stores require you to have a store loyalty card to get the sale prices, and this is a simple way to save some money on every shopping trip. If you don't yet have a card, sign up for one. Joining a loyalty program is easy and usually only takes a couple of minutes.

2. Make a list

When you walk into the grocery store without a list, it's easy to lose track of what you need. You may end up filling your cart with nonessential items. Having a list can help ensure that you buy everything you need, and it can also minimize overspending.

3. Use the sale flyer as a guide

As you go about making your weekly shopping list, take some time to look at the sale flyer. Most stores put their flyers online and also send them out in the mail. Choosing your meals and snacks for the week based on what's on sale can offer significant savings.

4. Don't forget about digital coupons

Many grocery stores offer digital coupons through their store apps. All you have to do is push a button to clip a coupon that you want. The coupons will then be tied to your store loyalty card. This is a convenient way to save some extra money and is a lot faster than clipping actual coupons. Before heading to the store, clip any coupons that you might use so they're ready to go.

5. Try curbside pickup

If you find that you continue to overspend when grocery shopping, curbside pickup is another option to consider. You'll order all your groceries online, and someone else will do the shopping for you. Then all you need to do is pick up your order curbside. This is an excellent way to stay on budget. Since you won't be shopping in store, you'll be less likely to add items you don't need to your order. Plus, as a bonus, this can help you save time.

6. Buy store-brand items

Another way to save on grocery costs is by purchasing store-brand items. Many store-brand products have the same ingredients as the well-known brands that you regularly see advertised. Since most products are available in generic form, this is an easy way to save on almost every item you buy. Even if you mix and match some store-brand items and some branded items, you can lower your grocery bill.

7. Take advantage of cash back grocery apps

You can also take advantage of cash back apps when you shop. Many of these apps are geared toward grocery spending. While you won't be able to collect your cash back right away, you'll earn it on qualifying purchases. Over time, this can add up. Most apps have a minimum cash out of $20 or $25, but you can withdraw your cash back when you do reach that amount. Then you can add those funds to your savings account for a future purchase.

Food costs can add up quickly, especially when food production and supply costs are higher than usual. These tips can help you trim your grocery bill while still getting the food and household supplies you need. If you're looking for other tips on how to save and spend your money, check out our personal finance resources.

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