12 Moms Share Their Best Tips for Saving Big Bucks at the Grocery Store

mom calculating grocery budget

No matter where you live, how many kids you have, or how much you budget for food every week, a trip to the grocery store can be surprisingly stressful.

It's just way too easy to stray from your list or get carried away picking up whatever is "on sale" or looks unbelievably appetizing or what the kids are throwing in the cart! Before you know it, your total at check-out is NOT what you expected. A scenario we all know too well. But it doesn't have to be that way!

We talked to 12 moms about how they cut costs while grocery shopping, and turns out, their savings-savvy tips help them save big bucks.

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1. "When I create a grocery list, I just write 'fruit' -- no specifics. If I have my mind set on grapes, and they end up being $8 a pound., I still want my grapes! Instead, I buy the fruit in season -- it’s at peak freshness and priced to sell." -Anna J.

2. "Meal plan. Make a list. And stick to it. When we divert from the list, we either spend at least $20 more, or we end up forgetting a bunch of ingredients and have to run out again later in the week!" -Caitlin D.

3. "I check the flyer and buy what's on sale. If a cereal my family likes is on sale, I buy four boxes. When the kids want ice cream, I tell them to pick from whichever brand is on sale that week. I try to stock up when they have [canned goods] or pasta sales -- things that will keep if not used right away." -Liz A.

4. "Don't take your kids with you! My bill grows and grows and grows each time they come because they invariably talk me into things I wouldn't otherwise buy." -Julie E.

5. "I use CASH when grocery shopping, which helps me stay within budget, and it helps me eat healthier. For example, if you go to the checkout lane, and only have $100 and spend $110.00, you will have to put food back. You are more likely to put back ice cream than you are bananas. It almost forces you to make healthy decisions." -Lauren G.

6. "I use 'shop at home' through my grocery store instead of going into the store because online I'm only buying what we need instead of buying things we don't." -LoriAnn

7. "I frequently shop what my husband refers to as the 'used meat section.' It's just the bin with all the super-clearanced meat. If I find a great price, I buy in bulk and freeze. Or if I can find a large pork or beef roast on sale, I'll cook the whole thing and use for a few days worth of meals. Example: A large beef roast can be a pot roast one day, pot roast sandwiches the next day, and whatever leftover roasts we have is shredded and mixed in tomato sauce for spaghetti." -T.K. 

8. "I try to not shop at eye level, since that's where stores put their most expensive stuff! I look higher or lower." -Judy D.

9. "Check the weekly coupon ads, and buy store brand as much as possible!" -Rachel I.

10. "I skip buying snack packs of foods and milk boxes for lunches, and instead buy reusable, leak proof cups for my kids' milk at lunch, and buy full-size bags of snacks/crackers, and pack them in reusable containers for snack time at school. Much cheaper!" -Heidi M.

11. "The Wednesday newspaper has the weekly circular for the two grocery stores where I shop. I look at both ads and circle everything on sale that I need or typically purchase. I buy several of whatever is on sale and store the extras in a back closet. I typically save 30 percent on my groceries every week using this approach." -Sandy A.

12. "We’ve switched to a more vegetarian diet, because meat costs way more money than most vegetarian, plant-based proteins. We started with eating no meat on Mondays. And then we add a couple more meatless days as time rolled forward. Our food options expanded, which was a nice surprise. And now we have several new tastes. Plus, not only did we reap the money savings but we eat more healthy now too. A win-win." -Terra W.

There are always going to be weeks when grocery shopping feels like a daunting, potentially pricey task. But by employing smart tips like these, it can be much easier to get the most bang for your buck out of your shopping cart! 

How do you save on groceries?


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