4 Ways to Instantly Save Money on Groceries

Make shopping for the essentials more affordable

Grocery store wall filled with produce

Photo by gemma on Unsplash

When it comes to the rising cost of groceries, it’s a hard and unavoidable pill to swallow seeing as the money-saving technique of “I don’t need food to survive” is not an option.

It sucks (especially because the profits from those inflated prices are rarely put back into the people making the food/products, figuring out ways to source their ingredients more sustainably, more ethically, grow or package them more responsibly, but I digress 🙃).

You have to buy groceries, so here’s four ways to do so more affordably.

Join your grocery retailer’s loyalty program

If you’re buying groceries from somewhere that has a free loyalty program, but you’re not a member of it, you are absolutely spending more money than you have to.

Stop it.

Signing up for your grocery retailer’s loyalty program automatically adds certain discounts to your purchase upon checkout (provided you input your loyalty program member information) and you can log into your loyalty account online or within the store’s app to add available digital coupons to your member account.

Yes, it’s annoying to “clip” digital coupons rather than have them already loaded to your account by simply being a member, but taking ten to fifteen minutes before a shopping trip to add digital coupons to your account can bring a pleasant surprise of savings.

Sign up for a rebate app

wish I had signed up for a rebate app for my groceries sooner, specifically the app Ibotta. Since signing up in March of this year, I’ve made over $600 in cash back using it.

Ibotta is free and allows you to activate cash-back deals and then submit photos of your receipts in order to redeem the offer and receive the rebate.

My referral code is oimdplq.

I’ve often read that the Ibotta referral codes provide a $10 bonus, but when I signed up using a friend’s referral code, it gave me $20 — $5 in the form of a bonus from redeeming my first offer and an additional $15 bonus after redeeming my first nine offers.

A few other free apps that I haven’t found to be as lucrative as Ibotta, but are similar and will give you cash back are Fetch (referral code 31RUDD for a $2.00 bonus) and Checkout51.

All of the apps are especially great money savers when used in combination with the discounts and coupons provided by your grocery retailer’s loyalty program.

Look at the UNIT price of each product you buy

A common thing to do when comparing different brands of the same item at the grocery store is to look at the blaring overall price listed on the tags below them and see which one is the lowest. While this method might save you money in the moment, it could be costing you money in the long-run.

Rather than comparing the overall prices of products, analyze their unit prices, i.e. their cost per a common unit of measurement.

This can often be found in a teeny-tiny square on the upper left hand corner of a product’s shelf price tags, but when it isn’t listed, the unit price can be calculated by dividing the overall price of the item by its applicable unit of weight or volume (ounce, pound, square foot, etc…).

The value of comparing unit prices is best exemplified in the wonderful world of buying toilet paper — I still remember my lovely and brilliant mother pointing out the unit prices on each of the different 2-ply (because we all know 1-ply is unbearable) bathroom essentials’ price tags to me as a child.

Sure, eighteen “super mega” rolls of toilet paper for $14 sounds cheaper and more enticing than eighteen “regular” rolls for $17, but when they’re compared by their unit costs, things change.

Turns out the “super mega” rolls are only 474 square feet total so are $.03 per square foot while the “regular” ones come through with 850 square feet and a cost of $.02 per square foot. It’s clear that the extra $3 spent up front could very well be buying almost double the toilet paper and maybe even spare you from having to buy it again on your next grocery trip.

Make a grocery list

I know it’s been said before, but it does help to have specifics in mind when you go into a market that has everything. Creating and using a grocery list decreases the possibility of indulging in tempting and unnecessary spend.

It also makes it easier to remember the items you needed and are now able to get for a steal using the grocery store loyalty program and rebate app(s) you’ve joined. 😉

Recent Articles