25 Ways to Save Money on Groceries in 2024

This post may contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.

Grocery prices have gotten out of control with inflation and we all need some ideas to get groceries on a budget. Here are my favorite ways to save money on groceries in 2024.

Wandering a grocery store is one of my favorite things to do and as a forever frugal person, I’m always trying out new grocery savings tips.

Below you’ll find things I do every week to keep our grocery budget for four as low as possible. Yes, you can still save money and eat really good and healthy foods. Yes, you can still save money on groceries even when inflation is ridiculous.

Let’s dive into these budget-friendly grocery saving hacks!

a paper bag of groceries tipped over with fruit and vegetables poured out. text says easy ways to save money on groceries (25 simple tips that work even when food prices are crazy)

1. Hit up Aldi

Let’s kick the list off with the most tried and true tip on this list: go to Aldi (or Lidl). Shopping at a more affordable store is the easiest way to cut down on grocery costs without too much mental work.

Sure, an item here or there may be cheaper somewhere else, but on the whole you’re going to save tons of money switching to Aldi for groceries.

Check out my favorite family-friendly snacks at Aldi

TIP: Always double check your produce at Aldi. A lot of it is sold in pre-packaged bags so you have to look closely to make sure you don’t get some produce about to go bad.

aldi white cheddar puff bags
Look at how much cheaper these Aldi cheese puffs are than Pirate’s Booty!

2. Try more vegetarian meals

Eating more plant-based foods is another classic way to save money on groceries. Being a poor college students is one of the main reasons I ended up an inadvertent vegetarian.

You don’t have to go fully vegetarian to take advantage of this savings hack. Even adding a plant-based dinner each week will add up some savings.

Not sure where to start? Beans and rice is basically the perfect food and it’s so cheap.

3. Become a secret shopper

For many many years, I was a mystery shopper and it was decidedly the funnest way I saved money. My absolute favorite secret shopping jobs were grocery store ones because I love roaming a grocery store and it saved me tons of money on food.

Here’s my primer for getting started as a mystery shopper, and a guide for secret shopping with kids (yes, it is possible!)

4. Take advantage of BOGOs

Stock up on items you use regularly when they go on buy-one-get-one sales. For example, when our favorite fake meat goes on BOGO, we stock up since we know we’ll use it and it’s expensive otherwise.

5. Shop sales — but always double check them!

Sales are obviously a great way to save money. However, be mindful of whether a sale actually is a good deal. Often, sales on name brand items are still more expensive than their store brand alternative.

Ravioli packages on the shelf with sales tags

6. Embrace store brands

Which brings us to our next grocery savings tip: store-brands are awesome. For most things, store brand quality is close enough to name brand and they save you a good amount of money.

7. Get cash back when grocery shopping online

If you do your grocery shopping online, starting your shopping through an online cash-back site like Rakuten is SUCH an easy way to save a little money.

Literally all you do is go to that site first, and then click on whatever site you plan to shop at like Walmart or Target. Rakuten will then give you a percentage back on your total purchase.

Don’t have a Rakuten account yet ? You can use my referral link for an extra 10% cash-back (and it helps support this site so I really really appreciate it!).

8. Use Walmart’s online grocery pick-up

Ordering groceries online can actually save you money because you’re less likely to impulse buy and stick to your list. And, Walmart’s online grocery pick-up is really unmatched.

I know other stores have pick-up options too but Walmart doesn’t charge extra per item like some places do, and you don’t have to pay Instacart fees.

Target also has well run store pick-up program but their groceries just aren’t as cheap as Walmart.

9. Check price per oz.

You can’t just go by total cost of an item when comparing prices. Each price tag on the shelf should also list a price per oz. or price per unit. It’s usually in small font so you have to look for it.

Price per oz. is going to tell you which item is actually the best deal.

10. Look at your fridge before you go

Keeping track of food already in your home is probably one of the biggest ways to save money. The savings are two-fold. First, it helps you reduce the amount of food you throw away because you lost track of it and it went bad.

Second, it helps you avoid buying duplicates of an item you already own. This is especially important to for things that take a long time to use up, like spices.

11. Set up a “need to eat” section in your fridge and pantry

Having a dedicated space where you put food that you need to use up helps you keep track of it before it goes bad. In our house, we call this “closure eating” and we try to do it before each grocery store trip.

12. Plan meals before shopping

Deciding on what meals you’ll eat for the week helps you make a more cohesive grocery list. It also helps you plan to use up items before they go bad. If one meal calls for half a cabbage, plan another meal that will use the rest up.

toddler plate of spaghetti, apples and cottage cheese in small portions
Toddler dinner plate

13. Write a grocery list

Going in the store with a grocery list will help keep you on budget and get you through the store more efficiently. It helps reduce impulse buys and getting items that don’t fit together in your weekly meal plan.

14. Find ways to use up odds and ends

Stretching what food you already buy will help you stretch your grocery budget (with the bonus of cutting down food waste!). Find a few “kitchen sink” meals where you can throw together whatever you have left over in your fridge.

Need some ideas? My favorite meal for using up odds and ends is fried rice. Pretty much anything can go into fried rice. My fried rice trick is to cover the rice in a little mayo before frying it. Nachos is another good option too if you have chips on hand.

sheet pan of nachos with toppings on them
Nachos using up fridge leftovers

15. Skip non-food items like cleaners or toilet paper

Most grocery stores sell non-food items like cleaning supplies, dishes, personal care items and diapers. However, they’ll often cost a lot more than you can get these items for at Walmart or Costco. Plan for non-food items outside the grocery store.

16. Buy in bulk (with caution)

Sometimes buying in bulk can be a great money saver. However, it only works if you’ll actually use up all the items before they go bad. Buy your staples in bulk but proceed with caution on other bulk purchases.

stack of boxes of costco toddler fruit pouches with a sales sign above them
Costco pouches we stock up on during sales

17. Cut back on packaged foods

Packaged foods like packaged snacks are usually more expensive than whole food items like produce. A good rule of thumb is to shop the outer ring of the grocery store whenever possible, where you’ll find the produce, proteins, and dairy products.

The inner aisles of the store are usually the more processed and packaged foods.

18. Cut back on prepared foods

Similarly, cut back on how much prepared foods you buy. Prepared foods are going to be more expensive than buying ingredients, and usually are less healthy with more preservatives.

A good example of this is Uncurstables (I’m definitely guilty of this one sometimes). Uncrustables are surprisingly expensive for what they are. And peanut butter & jelly sandwiches are so cheap when you make them yourselves!

hummus on the shelf at a grocery store
You can make your own hummus for a fraction of the cost of prepared hummus

19. Develop a sense of prices of your staples

Developing an innate sense of how much items cost at the stores you shop helps you better gauge where to buy items and what deals to jump on.

For example, I stock up on fresh mozzarella at Costco but get goat cheese at Aldi, based on a sense I’ve developed paying attention to our commonly bought items at different stores.

20. Coupons & price-matching are still cool

I briefly got into hyper-couponing in the early 2010’s, and honestly, the thrill of a good coupon still holds up. Coupons are even easier now that because many you can “clip” on your phone.

Many stores will also honor each others coupons or price-match sales. This saves you from having to make a trip to a different store to take advantage of their better price on an item.

21. Love a dried legume

Okay, okay, I know this is pretty similar to earlier advice to add more plant-based meals. But, beans and lentils are perfect and deserve their own place on the list.

And to really maximize their savings potential, switching to dried beans and lentils is the way to go. They taste better and they can be cooked up quickly in an instant pot.

We personally splurge a little for Rancho Gordo beans, they’re soooo much better than other dried beans and still come out to about the cost of canned beans.

22. Take advantage of your freezer

The freezer is an important tool in reducing your grocery costs. First, many items like berries and proteins are going to be cheaper frozen than fresh.

Second, freeze your food that’s about to go back if you can’t eat it fast enough. This works especially well for fruit that you can blend up as a frozen treat or smoothie.

My kids also love frozen grapes we make from grapes that have gotten a little questionable.

23. Shop without kids (sometimes)

Listen, I think it’s important for kids to learn to grocery shop and budget at the grocery store. Even with my toddlers, I discuss sales and checking receipts while we are shopping.

However, taking your kids absolutely can creep up your grocery bill as they ask for things they see. Sometimes, skip shopping with your kids and I bet you’ll save some money.

24. Take advantage of about-to-expire or lightly-damaged deals

My favorite grocery stores are the ones that discount foods that are about to expire or are lightly damaged. You can save SO much money on these items.

A huge bag of lightly bruised tomatoes for a $1? Make pasta sauce or soup. A prepared food that expires tomorrow? A fun surprise to add to your dinner.

About-to-expire deals feel like a special treat on top of being a money saver, such a win-win!

25. Always check your receipt!

And finally, every time you finish at the check-out, double check that everything rang up correctly. I regularly find items with sales signs don’t actually ring up as on sale (usually, someone has forgotten to take down last week’s sales promotions).

Some stores will even give you the item for free if it rings up incorrectly. And I’ve never found a store that won’t at least honor the sales price and correct the error.

Read more:

Looking for more savings ideas? Check out all the my money savings articles for more.

groceries in canvas sacks on a wooden kitchen table with text above it that says 25 hacks to save your grocery budget: easy money saving tips you must try

About the Author

Elizabeth Jon is a Ph.D. researcher whose work focuses on pregnancy and education. At Shoestring Baby, she uses her skills to research baby name trends, in-depth baby gear reviews & money savings ideas for parents.

Similar Posts