Savings at the supermarket don't have to come from clipping coupons. Although that can be a great way to save money. So let's assume you've made your shopping list with all the items that you need this week. Is it within the budget you set, but still want ways to save more money? Check out these simple tips that can help you spend less at the checkout counter. With a few adjustments, I was able to save over $12.00 in one shopping trip!
1. Say No to Brand Loyalty
Try buying a different brand that is cheaper or on-sale for the week. Open our refrigerator on any given week and you may find a different brand of orange juice. You may even see a pitcher of juice made from frozen concentrate. I shop for orange juice with calcium added. There are 3 brands I purchase at ShopRite, our local grocery store, when they are $1.99 and under:
- Florida's Natural
- Minute Maid Premium Kids+ Calcium 100% Orange Juice, 59 oz.
If those are not on-sale, I buy the ShopRite frozen concentrate. $1.99, 48 oz. I add a bit more water when mixing the juice to make 52 oz. in total. Making it comparable in size to Tropicana, Florida's Natural, and Aldi's brands.
Since it is $2.09, I occasionally will pick up the Nature's Nectar Premium Orange Juice Not From Concentrate with Calcium and Vitamin D if I am not going to ShopRite. Knowing that spending the extra $0.10 adds up over time, I don't buy it that often.
x 4 weeks
x 52 weeks
4 is my savings by not buying orange juice at Aldi
Check out another post on how I started to save money on orange juice.
2. Shop Multiple Stores
This may be a bit controversial but if you live in an area that has several options for groceries, you may find some items on your shopping list that are cheaper at a different store. Keep in mind the time and distance it takes to go between stores may not make it worth the extra trip.
Example: ShopRite's Wholesome Pantry Organic Milk is $4.99 a gallon. I save $0.79 a week instead of buying 2 half gallons at Aldi for $2.89 each.
3. Compare Unit Prices
Find the unit price of an item to determine if you are saving money. Sizes of products sold vary. Try searching for Cheerios at your local grocery store. You will find sizes ranging from 8.9 oz. to 40.7 oz. and many in-between. Sales may be limited to certain sizes each week. So check the unit price to see if you are getting a great deal. You may find yourself purchasing a few smaller sizes at a cheaper price than buying in bulk. Cereal is an example of an item that this applies to.
4. Fresh to Canned or Frozen
If you are shopping for produce off-season buying frozen may be a better deal. Although I absolutely love fresh fruit and vegetables, and suggest buying those first, however that may not be an option in the area you live. Besides a cheaper price, another benefit to buying canned or frozen is the shelf life which can help reduce food waste. I am guilty of throwing out too much food because it spoils before I use it. Pineapple is an example of a fruit that I prefer to buy frozen. Just the other day, I purchased a pineapple that I wanted to cut later in the week. By the time I cut it and put it in the refrigerator, the pineapple was turning.
My example: I spend $1.79 on 16 oz. of frozen pineapple at Trader Joe's that I can eat at any time. Whereas, I spent on $1.69 on a whole pineapple that I had to throw more than half of it away.
There are several cash-back apps out there but to keep it simple, I use Ibotta. Most of the time, I redeem gift cards for Whole Foods Market from Ibotta when I reach $20.00. I use that money to buy groceries. I also shop at CVS to earn ExtraCare® Bucks that I often spend on food items. I have a family that loves nuts. So when I have ExtraCare® Bucks and there is a sale, I stock up on mostly pistachios. (I have a healthy stock pile of toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, and shampoo so I am able to spend the ECB on food).
Bonus Tip: Buy Gift Cards, Even For Yourself!
Look for gift card promotions at your local grocery store for some of your favorite stores you shop at. Our local ShopRite offers $10.00 off next week's purchases when buying $50.00 of a fixed set of gift cards. I check my weekly flyer, especially around the holidays or a child's birthday looking for gift cards from stores that we like. I either use the gift card as the gift or use it to purchase what we would normally buy at a later date.
Compare I Saved Money in a Week.
I cut $12.77 from one grocery list by:
- NOT BUYING ORGANIC*:
Frozen Pineapple: Before I started buying this from Costco, Trader Joe's was where I shopped for pineapple. Well, for this week I went back to Trader Joe's and I stocked up on 4, 1 pound packages of frozen pineapple. It is not organic, like Costco, but I saved $0.83.
Frozen Blueberries: It was not organic but I saved $0.81 by shopping at Aldi and not Costco. Update: The price is now $3.49 at Aldi for 24 oz..
Pasta Sauce: I usually buy Simply Nature Organic Pasta Sauce for $1.85 at Aldi but this week I picked up Ragu Simply at ShopRite. It was on-sale for $0.99 each and picked up 2. I saved $1.72.
- BUYING SMALLER PACKAGING:
Goldfish: not wanting to spend $9.99 at Costco for the large box, I opted to buy them at ShopRite. They were on sale (3 for $3.00) and was the same price per ounce. I did not want to buy the large box at Costco this week.
- SWITCHING BRANDS:
Flour: I chose to purchase the ShopRite brand this week instead of the 25 lb. bag at Costco. At $1.69 per 5 lb. bag, I saved $7.92 when I picked up 3.
- SWITCHING STORES:
Organic Strawberries: The 2 lb. package was $6.49 at Costco. Aldi's 16 oz container was $3.99. I saved $1.49.
*There are some items that I don't buy organic all the time.