Are you tired of spending a large chunk of your hard-earned money on groceries every week? If yes, then I’ve got 12 tried and true ways to help you save money on your groceries. By making a few simple changes to your grocery shopping habits, you can significantly reduce your grocery bill.

If you are struggling to manage household bills, as a homemaker, you can take some steps to make it easier. Cutting your grocery expenses is an effective way to save money and become a frugal homemaker.

By following my tips on smart grocery shopping, you can save your family money today.

Cottage kitchen with stocked pantry items

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12 Ways To Save Money On Groceries

1. Make A Budget 

Many people often underestimate this step. Creating a budget is crucial if you want to save money on groceries and avoid overspending on unnecessary items. Don’t worry! Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated!

You can start by calculating your household income and expenses. It’s a good idea to review your spending from the last six months to determine what was essential and what was a luxury. You will likely be surprised by how much money is wasted on small purchases.

To set a realistic food budget, calculate the average of your last six months of food bills. If you think it can be reduced, set your budget lower and track your spending to see how you are doing.

2. Make a Meal Plan

It’s a good idea to plan your meals for the week ahead of time. First, create a budget that you’re comfortable with. Then, think about what meals your family likes. You can use our free meal planner and grocery list to help you get started.

When planning your meals, it’s important to consider what’s in season. For example, if zucchini is expensive, you might want to choose a different vegetable for your recipes. It’s also a good idea to think about your schedule. If your kids have sports practice some nights, plan a crockpot meal for those days.

When you have extra time, make meals like lasagna or meatballs to freeze and eat later. This is cheaper and healthier than ordering takeout.

Finally, don’t forget to look through your favourite recipes or cookbooks for inspiration!

Makyla Creates free printable grocery list and meal planner printables to help save money on groceries

3. Eat Less Variety

It seems kind of obvious, but preparing different meals requires more ingredients, which can be expensive. To save money, I plan my weekly meals and buy ingredients in bulk, which is often cheaper.

I also cook extra food to have leftovers that can be reheated for dinner the next day. This way, I don’t have to cook every night. If you don’t mind eating the same meal twice, this is a great way to save time and money.

One of my favourite meals is chicken, rice, and salad bowls, which I prepare in advance and have for dinner a few nights during the week. I also love making large crustless quiches filled with garden produce throughout the Summertime.

4. Buy What’s in Season or Grow Your Own

Shopping seasonally can be one of the best ways to save money on groceries. When you buy fresh fruits and vegetables, buying only what’s in season is best.

You can plan your meals around the seasonal produce, which is often more plentiful, fresher, and more valuable for money.

To know what’s in season, check the price per kilogram and keep a mental note of prices. This way, you will know when it’s best to buy things. Although you may need to adapt your meals to this way of shopping, it will ultimately save you plenty of money.

For example, you can make affordable and easy dishes like grilled chicken and salad or vegetables by switching the ingredients according to the season.

Learning to grow easy, plentiful crops can also help you save money – try zucchini, spring onions, lettuce, radishes, spinach and silverbeet.

Fresh zucchini from Makylas vege garden

5. Buy Frozen Produce

Please don’t forget to buy frozen fruits and vegetables. I cannot stress enough the importance of having them in your kitchen.

While buying fresh produce is great, frozen produce is packaged much quicker than fresh produce in supermarkets. You can find most fruits and vegetables in the frozen section even when they are out of season.

For example, frozen berries are an excellent choice for a berry smoothie when they are not in season.

  • Corn
  • Capsicum
  • Beans/Peas
  • Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries)
  • Spinach
  • Mango
  • Carrots
  • Onions

Spinach can be quite expensive to buy fresh. So I like to buy it frozen to add to smoothies, quiches, frittatas, stir-fries, scrambled eggs or pies. 

6. Shop Locally

Shopping for fresh produce at your local farmers market or vegetable stalls is a great way to support your community. You can find high-quality produce at these markets, often at lower prices than what you would find at big supermarket chains.

Local farmers also grow unique varieties of food that you may not find at supermarkets, making for an exciting and diverse shopping experience.

7. Don’t Buy Brand Labels

Do you prefer buying popular or cheaper house brands while grocery shopping? I like to buy both depending on the product.

Here’s a tip that can help you save money on your grocery bills. You can start replacing expensive branded products with similar but more affordable options offering better value. Just compare the prices and weights of both products to choose the better value option.

For instance, if you love a particular brand of coffee, you can still buy that but choose a budget-friendly peanut butter instead. These small changes can help you save a lot of money in the long run.

8. Make Homemade Convenience Items

This will be a learning curve, but when you make homemade convenience items, you save money, gain control over the ingredients, and enjoy a fun activity. Store-bought items are often more expensive and contain harmful additives that are not good for your health and the environment.

Homemade bread and crackers are cheaper, more nutritious, and can be made with your favourite ingredients. You can also make homemade yogurt and avoid added sugars and artificial additives. Making your dish soap is cheaper and eco-friendly. You can use gentler natural ingredients on your skin and the environment.

Here are my favourite made-from-scratch foods:

Making convenience items can reduce waste, improve your health, and positively impact the environment.

9. Shop For Groceries By Checking The Price Per Weight 

When shopping for groceries, check the price per weight of the items you’re considering. While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option simply, that item may be smaller than its competitors, making it less value for money. In New Zealand, grocery store shelves display price per weight, which makes shopping smarter and quicker.

Check if pre-packaged items are cheaper than individual items in the fresh produce section. Sometimes, you’ll find that pre-packaged bags are much less expensive than buying items individually and vice versa.

10. Eat Before Going Grocery Shopping Or Shop Online

Going grocery shopping on an empty stomach can lead to overspending and poor food choices. To avoid this, eat a meal before heading to the store.

Alternatively, you could consider shopping online, which can help you stick to your budget more easily by reducing the temptation to add extra items to your cart.

11. Use Up What You Have

One great tip for reducing food waste is to plan your meals ahead of time. This way, you can use any ingredients close to their expiration date.

Another tip is to freeze any excess food that you won’t be able to use up right away. This can help extend the life of the food and prevent it from going bad.

Try to repurpose leftovers into new meals. For example, leftover vegetables can be turned into a stir-fry, frittata or soup, and leftover meat can be used to make a sandwich or added to a salad.

If you can, compost any food scraps that you can’t use. This way, you can reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

Leftover vegetable scraps can be stored in a ziplock bag in your freezer and made into vegetable or bone broth later.

12. Keep Pantry Staples Stocked

You can make many simple meals if you have a well-stocked pantry with essential items such as flour, baking staples, spices, and oils.

For instance, you can quickly make corn fritters using frozen corn, flour, and baking powder. Pair them with a side salad, and you will have an easy meal ready for your family. You can also make a simple granola for breakfast or a snack with oats, honey, nuts, coconut oil and some seeds.

To Sum Up

I hope these 12 tips to save money on groceries have helped you start saving money. You can significantly reduce your grocery expenses with a little planning, minor changes, and smarter shopping.

In the comments below, what tip has helped you save money this week?

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