Save Money on Grocery Shopping – Frugal Grocery Shopping (Part 2)

Eating well doesn’t have to be expansive! You can save money on grocery shopping without lowering you lifestyle. You only have to adopt different shopping habits, and you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars off your grocery bills.

This is Part 2 of How to Save Money on Grocery Shopping. If you haven’t read the Frugal Grocery Shopping Tips – Part 1 yet, read it first and come back here, or read our sister site’s full Grocery Coupons Guide instead.

Buy Generic Products and save money on grocery shoppingNational Brands or Store’s Brand?
Many drugstores and supermarkets sell their own brand side by side with the national brand (e.g. Listerine, Advil, Head & Shoulders etc).

It is the same product only packaged differently. If you are not convinced, have a look at the list of ingredients.

Usually the Store’s brand sells for 20% less then the national brand, so why pay more just for a name or a slightly better looking package?

At least give it a try. If you’re convinced that the named brand is better, you can always go back to it.

Don’t forget to consult your price list. Often you may find that the store’s brand is sold for more that what the national brand is sold at a different store!


Search the Upper/Lower ShelvesSearch the Upper/Lower Shelves
The eye-level products are the ones the store wants you to buy, because it is best for them. The best deals for you will probably be found on the highest/lowest shelves.

Remember: If it’s looking right at you, it’s more expensive


Buy Bulk and save money on grocery shoppingBuy Bulk
Almost every product is available in a few sizes, starting with travel-size, through family-size and up to super-value size.

The basic idea is of course, the more you buy – the less you pay per unit/weight. The difference may rage from 30% to 100%, making bulk buying an excellent way to save money on grocery shopping.

Generally speaking – the more you buy bulk the more money you save in the long run. 30% off your annual grocery budget is a huge sum of money.

As a general rule always prefer the biggest packaging available. But before you do, consider the following:

  • Do you really need this amount? Will you ever use it all or will it end being thrown away?
  • Doe’s the specific product has an expiration date? You don’t want to end up throwing away stuff.
  • Do you have a place to store in all?
  • Don’t buy a year’s supply, just enough to last until the next sale (two to three weeks).


Cutting your grocery bill - Always Check the Unit PriceAlways Check the Unit Price
Buying bulk should, and used to be a lot cheaper. Unfortunately it is no longer always the case. Nowdays you can find products which actually cost more per unit when packaged bulk.

The solution? Assume nothing, and don’t go bulk automatically. Always check the unit price (per-unit, per-once or per-pound). If it’s not cheaper to buy bulk – prefer the smaller packaging.

Remember to take into account coupons and store deals, as well as special discounts for loyalty cards. Combined, they can make two small packages cost much less then a big one.


Stock Up on Sale Items and save on groceryStock Up on Sale Items
Whether you’re buying bulk or not, if an item you normally use goes on sale, take advantage and stock up on it. 

Just make sure you use the four rules mentioned earlier to make sure you don’t buy too much of it.

This is en excellent way to save money on grocery shopping, big time.


Saving money on groceries - Buy-2-Get-1-free dealsThree for Two, Eight for Six, 50%-Off-Second-Item etc.
Regretfully, in many cases stores use this method to entice shoppers to buy an extra item they would not otherwise buy. Often the ‘offer’ is already priced into the deal.

Now is a good time to check your price list and see if it’s really a good offer.
If it is – consider the three rules mentioned earlier before purchasing.

  • Do you really need this amount? Will you ever use it all or will it end being thrown away?
  • Doe’s the specific product has an expiration date? You don’t want to end up throwing away stuff.
  • Do you have a place to store in all?


Check the Reduced Section for grocery money save in storeCheck the Reduced Section
Most stores cut their perishables price dramatically as the “sell by” date is nearing. This is especially true for fresh meat, poultry and fish. Usually these items will be on display at the reduction section.

The fact that the store can’t sell it tomorrow doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is not good. It only means the store is not allowed to sell it, but it is still absolutely safe for eating.

Take advantage of it. Buy if fresh for today, or even better – stock up your deep freezer.


Money saving grocery tips - Buy Frozen VeggiesBuy Frozen Veggies
Today’s freezing techniques has improved dramatically, resulting in frozen veggies which are almost as good as fresh ones.

Fresh vegetables can’t store for long, and you always end up throwing some. Frozen veggies on the other hand can be stored for a very long time, so that nothing goes wasted and you save money on grocery shopping.


Use Coupons to save money on grocery shoppingUse Coupons
Yes, it’s a pain in the neck, but coupons do save money on grocery shopping. However, only use coupons for those items that you need on your grocery list. 

Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you have to use it if you don’t need the product.

Read my Smart Coupon Strategy article to find out how to use coupons more efficiently. Also, I highly recommend to read our sister site Grocery Coupons Guide as well.


Don't fall for that $49.99 trick - grocery money save shoppingThe Old $49.99 Trick
Ever seen something selling for $50.01? Probably not.
Strange as it may seem, for many people 49.99 is $40, not $50. Actually, tax included it’s more like $54!

Even though everyone knows this trick, most people are still fooled by it when they come to evaluate a product’s cost vs. value.

Try adding 10% to the marked price, and only then consider if it’s worth buying.


At the Check-Out Lane

You’re about to finish your shopping and you’re at the check-out lane. Here are a few more tips you may use to save money on grocery shopping:

Curb Your Impulses - money saving grocery tipsCurb Your Impulses
The waiting area near the registers is the marketer’s heaven. While you’re waiting in line you have a lots of time to do impulse shopping.

Do you really need 10 packs of Guava-Leachy gum? How many packs of AA batteries are already laying somewhere in you kitchen drawers?

Apply self control. Curb your impulses. Keep your hands (and dollars) in your pocket and save money on grocery shopping.


Save money at the grocery storeUse them All
Now is the time to use your heavy artillery – the coupons you clipped last month, the ones from the store’s magazine, the ones you found in some of the product you bought last time, those you got with the receipt of your previous purchase, your loyalty card…

Use all of them and save money on grocery shopping.


Check the Receipt for Pricing Errors for more grocery savingsCheck the Receipt for Pricing Errors
Pricing errors are more common than you think. Check your receipt thoroughly for the following mistakes:

  • Pricing errors between the marked shelf price and what the scanner rung up.
  • Did all the tree-for-two / get-50%-off-second-item etc. go thru?
  • Did the two-for-$10 go thru? Did the one item went for only $5?
  • Did you get all the discounts for your loyalty card?
  • Did all the coupons go thru?

If you find any mistake – go to the customer service counter and ask to correct it.

Almost any store will honor the advertised price, and at the very least you will get the difference. You may be entitled to more, on where you live and the store you shop at.

Some state’s laws mandates that if a consumer is overcharged, he gets a discount on that item worth 10 times the discrepancy, up to $5 total.
Some chain stores will even give you the incorrectly priced item for free.


Frugal grocery shopping - always scan the receipt for coupons -Scan the Receipt for Coupons
Often your receipt will contain coupons for item’s you’ve just purchased. If you’re using a loyalty card, it may also contain a general $5/$10 off coupon on your next buy. Make sure you save those coupons for your next scheduled purchase.


Grocery saving tips - always ask for a rain checkAlways Get a Rain Check
If the store runs out of an advertized sale item on your list, stop by the customer service counter and ask for a rain check.

Rain checks are vouchers which allow you to take advantage of the sale price at a later date (usually within 30 days) for those sale items the store has run out of.

Not all stores issue rain checks, but it’s worth checking.


Back at Home

Analyze how good did you do curbing you impulse shopping - money saving grocery tipsDebrief your Spending
Once back home do some home work – write down a list of all the items that you bought which where not on your shopping list, and calculate how much those item added to your grocery bill.

This way you’ll be able to see how good you are at curbing your impulses, improve it and save money on grocery shopping.

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