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How to Save Money on Groceries

How to Save Money on Groceries

Updated: July 21, 2023

The average price of food in the United States increased 5.7% in the 12 months ended June 2023, after posting an annual increase of 6.7% in May, according to the latest inflation data published July 12, 2023, by the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics

Food prices are expected to grow more slowly in 2023 than in 2022 but will still increase at above historical average rates. In 2023, all food prices are predicted to increase 7.1%.

Food prices are predicted
to increase 7.1% in 2023.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service

With food prices increasing rapidly, and take home wages not increasing at a similar pace, we all need to find ways to save money on groceries. The tips below could save you hundreds, and possibly thousands, on your grocery shopping this year.

  1. Shop at Salvage Grocery Stores, where savings on food can be 50% and sometimes even more. Check out this chart that compares prices at various salvage grocery stores to prices at WalMart. Visit the US Map Page to find a Salvage Grocery Store near you and start saving!
  2. Consider buying some of your food items at dollar stores which sell some of the same products that are sold at salvage grocery stores such as close dated, outdated, overstock and discontinued shelf stable foods. A study by Tufts University (published January 2023) found that dollar stores are the fastest growing food retailers by household expenditure share.
  3. If you don't have a Salvage Grocery Store near you, shop at the grocery stores that have the lowest prices. See the list of Cheapest Grocery Stores.
  4. Consider using a salvage grocery delivery service such as Misfits Market. The Misfits Marketplace offers fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese and other dairy products, cereals, coffee, baking supplies, beverages, pet food, canned goods, cookies and other snacks — all at prices that are up to 40% less than you'd pay at your local grocery store.

    Break the cycle
    of food waste!
    Use Code BSF10X3 for $10 OFF your first 3 orders of $35 or more

  5. Check out Martie to save up to 80% off on pantry staples, snacks, beverages, breakfast foods, baked goods, pet foods, household items, bath & body products, sweets and more. Martie sells overstock from major manufacturers such as Annie's, Kind, Hint, Kellog's,Mrs. Meyer's and Quaker along with products from specialty manufacturers of organic, upcycled and gluten free products.
    save money on groceries with Martie

  6. If your household uses a lot of bread and hot dog or hamburger buns, consider shopping for those items at a Bakery Thrift Store. Many of these stores also sell bagels, pies, cookies, snack cakes and other baked goods — all at highly reduced prices. See if there's a Bakery Thrift Store near you.
  7. Be sure to look at the weekly specials offered by your favorite grocery stores before you go shopping. Most stores publish their specials on their web sites and most have apps that you can download to your phone.
    Save Money on Groceries Weekly Circulars
  8. Buy private label, generic products instead of brand names. Many private label store brand foods have a similar taste and also have packaging that imitates brand name items. Read Brand Name vs. Generic Food: Is There Really a Difference?
  9. Buy in bulk. Many foods, such as flour, sugar, rice and other grains, can be purchased in sacks that weigh up to 50 pounds. You can also find many spices that can purchased in bulk quantities. These products can last for more than a year if packaged and stored properly. Buying in bulk also means less packaging, which is a bonus for the environment. See the list of Amish Bulk Food Stores and How to Repackage Bulk Food for Storage.
  10. Use the Flashfood app to purchase meats, produce and other items that are nearing their best-by dates at the grocery store. See if there's a participating FlashFood grocery store near you.
  11. Use money saving apps, such as Fetch and Ibotta, which list money saving offers and give money back in the form of cash or gift cards.
    Fetch Rewards
    Fetch Rewards
    Fetch Rewards
  12. If you and/or your family eats a lot of fruits and vegetables you might be able to save money by joining a Community Supported Agriculture program, also known as a CSA. Read Here’s How a Community Supported Agriculture Program Can Save Grocery Money to learn more about how these programs work.
  13. Pay for groceries using a credit card that gives you cash back on purchases. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express will give 3% Cash Back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, and 1% cash back for grocery purchases over $6,000. There's no annual fee for this card, and you'll also get 3% cash back on gas purchases up to $6,000 at US stations. You can also earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months of card membership. Introductory 0% APR for 15 months on all purchases.
    best credit card to save money on groceries
    The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will give 6% Cash Back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, and 1% cash back for grocery purchases over $6,000. You'll also get a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 within your first 6 months of membership. Introductory 0% APR for 12 months on all purchases. There's no fee for the first year, but it'll cost you $95 per year after that.

Save Money on Groceries by Saving Food

Shopping at cheap grocery stores, using coupons and finding the lowest prices are great ways to save money on groceries, but they aren't the only ways. The average 4-person family in the US throws away as much as $2,275 worth of food per year. That's a lot of money that can be saved when you follow some of the tips below.

The best part? You won't just be saving money. You'll also be helping the planet.

USDA food-waste poster
The USDA has been advising consumers about food waste since the early 20th Century.
Visit USDA Food Loss and Waste for more information on food waste.
  1. When grocery shopping, don't buy more than you can use or preserve properly before use.
  2. Use your freezer to store items that can't be used before their best-by dates. Read Fighting Food Waste with Your Freezer for facts and tips on freezing.
  3. Store food properly in your cupboard, pantry, refrigerator or freezer, and use appropriate storage containers, bags or wraps. Specialty food storage products, such as Formaticum Cheese Paper and Vejibags can help keep cheeses and produce last longer. Formaticum Cheese Paper is a two-ply material designed to maintain optimal humidity, while not allowing water to accumulate — thus preventing the growth of surface molds on cheese. Vejibag Vegetable Crisper Bags will keep lettuce and other vegetables crisp and fresh longer without plastic.
    Food Storage Containers Vejibag
    Organic Cotton
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  4. Use a vacuum sealer to store perishable foods in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Vacuum sealing can extend the life of foods from several days (in the refrifgerator) to several years (in your pantry or freezer).
    Keep food fresh up to 5x longer
    Save up to $2,700 a year on food
    Lock in freshness
    Waste less food
    Featured Deals on FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers
    STOP FOOD WASTEwith a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer

  5. Read Save Money (and the Planet) by Reducing Food Waste for more tips on how you can save money on groceries simply by reducing the amount of food that you waste.
    How to Save Money on Groceries