For many families saving money of food is the most challenging. For example, many working families don’t have time to have a nightly home cooked meal. As a result, they eat out too much (which is very expensive) or buy pre-made junk food, which is not only unhealthy but also spendy.

That is why you should take a look at these ten tips for saving money on your groceries, and at least try a few to see if they can help you with your grocery budget.

  1. Plan Ahead-You need to plan your week’s menu before you go shopping because you will be less likely to buy unneeded or expensive food.
  2. List-Make a list of the foods you are going to need and then when you go shopping stick to that list.
  3. Inventory-Do a quick inventory of the food you have at home to make sure you don’t buy unnecessary food.
  4. Eat Before Shopping-Eat before you shop in order to best reduce the temptation of buying unneeded groceries.
  5. Check For The Best Price-Look for the best prices online, local newspaper and check out any sales flyers in front of the store for coupons or missed sales. Also, take advantage of any store loyalty cards.
  6. Unit Price-Compare the unit prices of different groceries when shopping for the best deal.
  7. Bulk Purchases-Assuming you have enough storage space, it may be cheaper to buy in bulk. This is especially true for food items staples that have a long shelf life. However, if you don’t have the discipline to not “pig out” on certain foods (I.E., pre-made foods like chocolate, cereal, etc.) buying in bulk could cost you more in the long run as you may eat or drink more. Personally, I have this problem as whenever I open up a large bag of potato chips, it will likely be gone within a day.
  8. Pre-Made Meals-Pre-made, convenience foods, like T.V. dinners, and other foods, cost more. So, learn to cook and then actually cook your food from scratch.
  9. Store Brands-To save money try store brands or generic instead of the “name brands.”
  10. Store Cards-Sign up for a store card for added savings.
  11. Try Vegan Protein Sources-Consider vegan protein substitutes, which is cheaper than most meats. For example, soybeans are a more affordable protein source.
  12. Prep and Cook You Foods-When you have time, cook different recipes for the upcoming week, and freeze each meal in separate containers. Cooking your meals, all at once, will save you money because if you have available food, at home, you will be less likely to eat out.
  13. Use All Of Your Leftovers-Dress up your leftover food by using them in new and inventive ways as leftovers that are made more appealing will be less likely to be wasted. Examples of this would be to use leftover chicken in a casserole or even in a salad. Your imagination is your only limitation. 
  14.  Buy Seasonal Food-You will save money if you buy vegetables and fruits that are in season. And as a bonus, the in-season food tastes better. 
  15. Restaurants-Eating out, especially if it is not fast-food, is very expensive. So, if you must eat out, take advantage of any deals that your favorite spot may have. For example, eat during happy hour.  Also, have water to drink instead of soda.
  16. Look At Sell-By or Use By Dates- Food that is past its expiration date is not necessarily bad. Therefore, as food past or near the expiration date is cheaper, buying expired groceries can save you a ton of money.
  17. Shop Alone-By shopping alone you will be less likely to buy food that is not on your shopping list. This includes, if possible, leaving your kids at home while you are shopping.
  18. Multiple Stores-Assuming the stores are close, you can save money by buying deals that a certain store may have that another stores does not have. For example, store A could have great deal on hamburger while store B has cheaper cereal.
  19. Budget Your Food-Have a set budget for your food and then stick to that budget when shopping. Tip-So, you don’t go over your budget, pay your grocery bills with cash where you only bring with you the money that you have allocated in your good budget.
  20. Clearance Items– You can find great deals in the clearance section of the grocery.
  21. Day Old Bread-Try Purchasing day old bread, which is often perfectly fine. Also, you can even buy stale bread to used for homemade croutons or other recipes.
  22. Check For Mistakes-Before you go home, check and see if you were either overcharged or charge double for certain groceries.
  23. Only Buy What’s Needed-Even if it is cheaper per unit; don’t be tempted to buy three items of food, if you are only need one item.