Money Saving Tips — May 24, 2016 at 5:22 pm

Six Tips to Help You Save Money at the Grocery Store

Woman shopping in a supermarket

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spends more than $330 per month on groceries — the fourth biggest budget priority behind housing, transportation and insurance. That’s just the average, so it’s likely that many families spend even more. The good news, however, is that by tweaking your grocery shopping routine, you can cut your spending by 50 percent — or more.

1. Change where you shop.

You can save more than 30 percent on groceries simply by switching things up a bit. Check out non-traditional markets like warehouse clubs, dollar stores, Aldi and Walmart for big savings on groceries and other items you may be purchasing at the grocery store at higher prices.

2. Save money with store brands.

Buying store brands instead of name brands can save you an average of 25 percent. There are some items at stores like Trader Joe’s that are actually brand-name products repackaged for half the price — no coupon needed. When it comes to the general debate of store brands vs. name brands, depending on the store, the store brands can be just as good — or even better — than the more expensive name brands.

3. Compare prices.

Figure out which store has the best prices on the items you’re looking for — stopping at two or more stores can end up saving you a lot of money, especially if you can stock up on the items you buy regularly by getting them at a cheaper price. To help offset any additional gasoline costs, you can try shopping at “store #2” on your way home from work or other activities so you’re not driving extra miles.

4. Use a cash-back credit card.

Several credit card companies offer higher rates for purchases such as groceries. For instance, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card offers 6 percent back on groceries, up to a maximum of $6,000 annually. Check out the rewards your current card has to offer. With online bill pay offered by most banks these days, it’s easy to pay off your credit card expenses as soon as you make them to help reduce unexpected costs when your bill comes in.

5. Find coupons before you head to the store.

You don’t have to get crazy with coupon clipping to save big bucks. Once you have your list, find available coupons to save on those items. Many stores offer online coupons you can simply pull up on your smart phone.

6. Make a list and use cash.

First, make a list and stick to it. Then, bring only the amount of cash needed to cover your list. This can help reduce or eliminate costly “impulse buys.”