Buying groceries is an unavoidable part of life, and it can be easy to overspend when the cost of living increases. In fact, according to a recent forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture1, food prices are expected to continue to increase between 3% to 4% by the end of 2022.
Naturally, this has many people worried about how these changes may impact their monthly budget, which means that finding ways to cut costs is more important than ever. Luckily, we have some tips to offer that you can use to maximize your grocery store savings.
8 ways to save more at the grocery store
1. Make a list and stick to it
One of the biggest causes of overspending at the grocery store is heading out without a plan and an empty stomach. Shopping based on wants and cravings is a surefire way to end up with a basket full of overpriced junk food.
Instead, write a shopping list and stick to it. To go one step further, create a meal plan for the week, list all the ingredients you need to buy (check your pantry first), and then buy based only on that plan.
2. Stick with generic labels
You don't need to always buy well-known brands. Generic, own-brand labels are often of similar quality and taste but are cheaper.
If you haven't already, consider switching out some of your usual brands for the cheaper versions. Ask your family if they can taste the difference (they might not even notice).
3. Get a wholesale club membership
If you can, get a membership at Costco or Sam's Club to take advantage of the wholesale prices. While you do have to pay for a membership, you can save money on the cost of groceries and gas, which in the long run can be cheaper2 than other stores.
Wholesale stores also let you buy items in bulk, which may cost more initially, but typically results in a lower price per unit.
4. Check if your credit card offers rewards
Many credit cards offer cash-back rewards. But did you know some offer grocery-specific rewards? Take a few moments to check any credit cards you already have to see if they offer something similar to help you save on grocery shopping.
5. Use coupons
Coupons are a trick as old as time when it comes to saving money. While you can still clip coupons from newspapers and magazines, many people use online versions, such as Honey's browser extension, which automatically searches for discount codes on websites.
There are also apps to save money on groceries, such as Ibotta, Coupons.com, and Shopkick, which offer a mix of cash-back rewards and discounts.
6. Avoid convenience foods
Buying pre-cut fruit or vegetables or pre-shredded cheese typically costs more and can add a significant amount to your spending.
To avoid overspending, go for whole items such as block cheese and fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit. It will take a bit more prep time in the kitchen, but it's a simple way to reduce your grocery spending.
If convenience foods are your go-to because you lack time, some people get around this by meal prepping on Sundays. They will bulk-prepare several meals to eat throughout the week that can be precooked, frozen and reheated in just a few minutes.
7. Plan simpler meals
Meal planning is a great way to avoid overspending because you know exactly what meals you're going to eat that week. But another way to avoid overspending is to stick with simpler meals. Try to find meals that share ingredients and require no more than five to six so you don't have to buy a lot of different items to make just one meal.
8. Try a prepaid card to avoid overspending
While heading out with a clear, strict budget is a good start, there's still the temptation to overspend once you get in the store.
A great way to avoid this is to use a separate prepaid card, like the Netspend® Prepaid Card, with a set amount of money available on it. You can fund your weekly or monthly budget for groceries on it and only use that card for grocery shopping. That way, you know you have a fixed budget, and you can avoid overspending.
Ready to start saving on groceries?
Saving money on your grocery bill might seem impossible with worrying price increases. But don't panic. Instead, use some of the above tips, integrate them into your weekly shopping habits, and enjoy the savings.
 Summary findings: Food price outlook 2022. USDA Economic Research Service. (2022). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/summary-findings/
 Bryant, S. (2022, April 10). Costco vs. Sam's club: What's the difference? Investopedia. Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/061715/business-model-analysis-costco-vs-sams-club.asp