Grocery Savings Hacks

Stop literally eating away your budget. Cut back on grocery spending with these practical hacks.

1. Know when to buy in bulk.

Sometimes bulk purchasing will save you money—and sometimes it’s a waste. No one needs five pounds of rotten kale in the bottom drawer of the fridge or expired cocoberrypuff cereal in the pantry. Ask yourself these four questions to decide if you should buy items in bulk or not:

  • Can I eat it before it goes bad?
  • Is the price per ounce cheaper?
  • Do I have room to store this?
  • Will I actually use it?

2. Try generic brands.

Did you know generic-brand and name-brand items are often really similar when it comes to actual ingredients, and even quality?

Okay, you can be a brand snob about some things if it’s in the budget. But remember, the best thing about that name brand could just be the extra money that was spent on marketing and product design. (And that doesn’t sound like something you should pay extra for, does it?)

3. Evaluate your grocery store.

Loyalty is a quality you need in employees, friends and pets—but don’t let your loyalty (or sheer habits) be the reason you keep shopping at an expensive grocery store. It’s time to find a place that gives you more for less.

  • Look online at store promotions.
  • Ask friends where they go and why. (And really listen to those who say they saved hundreds when they switched.)
  • Then get out there and test it in real life!

4. Eat less meat.

Carnivore friends, we know this is hard, but meat can be expensive. We have a saying around here at Ramsey to go for rice and beans, and that’s because beans are a cheap protein!

Trading out meat with a few other cheaper proteins can be a great way to save money. We’re talking lentils, eggs (so cheap!), chickpeas, green peas (yes, really), quinoa, tempeh or nuts.

5. Shop online.

When you order your groceries online, you can track the total cost as you go. Then if you’re over budget, you can delete items from your virtual cart before you ever check out.

No need for a calculator as you walk the aisle. No shock when the clerk tells you your total. You’ll know exactly what you’ll pay. Plus, you can avoid the impulse purchases of triple stuffed chocolate cookies and jalapeño guac-flavored kettle chips.

6. Meal plan.

Hey, if a budget is a plan for your money, a meal plan is one for your food. All of it. That means breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks throughout the day.

When you plan what you’ll eat ahead of time, make a grocery list from that plan, and stick to that grocery list as you shop—you’ll waste less money (and food). Plus, you won’t be tempted by the drive-thru on the way home because you’ll know there’s something in the fridge, ready to make and eat.

Those are our top six hacks for getting your grocery spending in a way more reasonable place—even in times of inflation.

Okay, You Need One More Guide

That’s the Rachel Cruze Meal Planner & Grocery Savings Guide. Seriously. Because meal planning is the very best grocery savings hack around.