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21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries in 2024

Jun 19, 2024

As a financial expert and mom who understands the challenges of feeding a family on a budget, I know firsthand how important it is to save money on groceries.

With food prices continuing to rise in 2024, it’s more crucial than ever to find creative ways to stretch your grocery budget without sacrificing quality or nutrition.

Groceries flowing out of bag - 21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries
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Fortunately, there are plenty of clever hacks and strategies you can employ to dramatically cut your grocery bill this year.

Check out Mastering the Mom Grocery Game: 10 Fabulously Frugal Guide to Saving Big on Your Grocery Budget!

From smart meal planning to maximizing discounts and deals, these genius tips will help you save big at the supermarket in 2024.

Plan Your Meals in Advance

One of the most effective ways to save money on groceries is to plan your meals in advance.

By taking the time to create a weekly meal plan, you can:

  • Avoid impulse purchases and stick to your grocery list.
  • Take advantage of sales and discounts by planning meals around what’s on sale.
  • Reduce food waste by using up ingredients before they spoil.

Tips for Effective Meal Planning

  • Set aside time each week to plan your meals and create a grocery list.
  • Use a meal-planning app or template to streamline the process.
  • Plan for leftovers and incorporate them into future meals.
  • Be flexible and willing to adjust your plan based on what’s on sale or in season.

Shop with a List and Stick to It

Once you have your meal plan in place, make a detailed grocery list and stick to it when you’re at the store.

Hand holding cell phone with grocery list - 21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries

This will help you:

  • Avoid impulse purchases and stay focused on what you need.
  • Save time by navigating the store more efficiently.
  • Ensure you have all the ingredients you need for your planned meals.

Tips for Making an Effective Grocery List

  • Organize your list by store layout to save time.
  • Check your pantry and fridge before shopping to avoid buying duplicates.
  • Use a grocery list app to easily add and remove items on the go.

Buy in Bulk When It Makes Sense

Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money on groceries, but it’s important to be strategic about it.

Look for non-perishable items or products you use frequently that have a long shelf life, such as:

  • Rice, pasta, and grains
  • Canned goods and sauces
  • Paper products and cleaning supplies

Tips for Buying in Bulk

  • Compare unit prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Make sure you have adequate storage space for bulk purchases.
  • Split bulk purchases with friends or family to save money and avoid waste.

items you can buy in bulk 

  • Baking supplies like flour, sugar, oil
  • Grains, pasta, beans, cereals
  • Canned goods like tomatoes, vegetables, tuna
  • Frozen meat, vegetables, fruit
  • Paper goods, cleaning supplies, toiletries

Shop at Discount Grocery Stores To Save Money On Groceries

Discount grocery stores like Aldi, Lidl, and Grocery Outlet can offer significant savings on groceries compared to traditional supermarkets.

These stores typically have a smaller selection but offer high-quality products at lower prices.

Groceries inside a brown bag - 21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries

Tips for Shopping at Discount Stores

  • Be open to trying store-brand products, which are often just as good as name brands.
  • Bring your own bags and be prepared to bag your own groceries to save time and money.
  • Check the weekly ads for special deals and plan your shopping accordingly.

Benefits of shopping at discount stores

  • Lower everyday prices on staples and produce.
  • Special discount bins and sales.
  • Store brand products that are much cheaper than name brands.

Use Coupons and Cashback Apps

Coupons and cashback apps can be powerful tools for saving money on groceries.

Look for coupons in weekly ads, magazines, and online, and use cashback apps like Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Checkout 51 to earn money back on your purchases.

Tips for Using Coupons and Cashback Apps

Woman holding a cell phone - 21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries

  • Match coupons to items already on your list and meal plan, don’t buy something only because you have a coupon.
  • Combine coupons with sale prices for maximum savings.
  • Download the store’s app and digital coupons and link them to your loyalty card.
  • Read the fine print and make sure you understand the terms of each offer.
  • Scan your receipts promptly to ensure you get credit for your purchases.
  • Submit receipts to rebate apps consistently to build up rewards.

Buy Produce in Season

Buying produce in season is not only more affordable, but it also means you’re getting the freshest, most flavorful fruits and vegetables.

Fresh Fruits on shelf - 21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries

In-season produce is typically cheaper because it’s more abundant and doesn’t have to be shipped from far away.

Buying produce in season provides advantages like:

  • Lower prices because it is more abundant.
  • Better flavor and quality as it is fresher and grown locally.
  • More nutrients as it is harvested ripe.

Tips for Buying In-Season Produce

  • Learn which fruits and vegetables are in season in your area and plan your meals accordingly.
  • Visit your local farmer’s market for the freshest, most affordable in-season produce.
  • Consider preserving in-season produce by freezing, canning, or dehydrating for later use.

Reduce Meat Consumption

Meat is often one of the most expensive items on your grocery list, so reducing your meat consumption can lead to significant savings.

Try incorporating more plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, and tofu into your meals, or opt for less expensive cuts of meat like chicken thighs or pork shoulder.

Some affordable and nutritious plant-based protein alternatives:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Whole grains like quinoa
  • Eggs
  • Canned fish like tuna and salmon
  • Nut butters

Tips for Reducing Meat Consumption

  • Plan for meatless meals at least once or twice a week.
  • Use meat as a flavoring agent rather than the main focus of the meal.
  • Stretch meat further by using it in soups, stews, and casseroles.
  • Bulk up dishes with beans, grains, and vegetables.

Don’t Shop Hungry

Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to impulse purchases and overspending.

Before heading to the grocery store, make sure you’ve eaten a satisfying meal or snack to avoid temptation.

Tips for Avoiding Hunger While Shopping

  • Keep healthy snacks like nuts or granola bars in your car or purse for emergencies.
  • Sip on water or tea while shopping to stay hydrated and curb hunger.
  • If you must shop hungry, stick to your list and avoid the snack aisles.

Use a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker can be a game-changer when it comes to saving money on groceries.

Slow cookers allow you to:

  • Make large batches of food that can be eaten throughout the week.
  • Use less expensive cuts of meat that become tender and flavorful with slow cooking.
  • Save time and energy by letting the slow cooker do the work for you.
mom and daughter cooking together - 21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries

Tips for Using a Slow Cooker

  • Look for slow cooker recipes that use affordable, whole-food ingredients – Pinterest has some great meal ideas.
  • Prep ingredients the night before for easy morning assembly.
  • Freeze leftovers in individual portions for quick, affordable meals later on.

affordable slow cooker meal ideas

  • Soups and stews made with beans, grains, vegetables
  • Shredded chicken for tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches
  • Pulled pork from inexpensive pork shoulder roasts
  • Curries using chicken thighs and pantry staples
  • Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon for breakfasts

Shop Alone

Shopping with kids or a partner can lead to impulse purchases and overspending.

If possible, try to do your grocery shopping alone so you can stay focused on your list and avoid distractions.

woman shopping for bread - 21 Genius Hacks to Save Money on Groceries

To stay focused on your list while shopping alone:

  • Organize your list by store layout.
  • If you see a deal, ask yourself if you really need the item or have room for it before buying.
  • Use a calculator to track your spending as you shop.
  • Give yourself a time limit for getting in and out of the store.
  • Listen to music or a podcast to avoid getting drawn into the store atmosphere.

Tips for Solo Shopping

  • Choose a time when the store is less crowded, like early morning or late evening.
  • Use self-checkout to avoid temptation at the register.
  • Reward yourself with a small treat or a few minutes of quiet time after a successful solo shopping trip.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some effective ways to plan meals and create a grocery list to save money?

Some effective ways to plan meals and create a grocery list to save money include:
Plan your meals a week in advance based on what’s on sale and what ingredients you already have. This avoids overbuying.
Make a detailed grocery list organized by store layout and stick to it to avoid impulse purchases.
Involve your family in meal planning to get buy-in and make sure you’re cooking meals everyone will eat to reduce waste.
Plan for some leftovers that can be repurposed for lunches or other dinners to stretch your ingredients.
Use a meal planning app to easily select recipes, generate a grocery list, and track what ingredients you have on hand.

What are the Benefits of Grocery Shopping Alone?

You can avoid distractions and stay focused on your list.
There is no pressure from others to make impulse purchases.
You can take your time to compare prices and find the best deals.

How Can you save more money on grocery shopping?

Choose store-brand products instead of name brands for pantry staples, canned goods, paper products, and medications. They are often 20-30% cheaper.
Buy whole fruits and vegetables and prep them yourself instead of paying extra for pre-cut produce.
Purchase block cheese and shred it yourself instead of paying more for pre-shredded cheese.
Make your own snacks like trail mix or granola instead of buying pre-packaged snacks.
Swap cheaper cuts of meat like chicken thighs for chicken breasts in dishes like soups and casseroles where you won’t notice a difference.

Final thoughts on how to save money on groceries

Making some simple swaps while grocery shopping can add up to big savings without sacrificing much quality or convenience:

  • Choose store-brand products instead of name brands for pantry staples, canned goods, paper products, and medications. They are often 20-30% cheaper.
  • Buy whole fruits and vegetables and prep them yourself instead of paying extra for pre-cut produce.
  • Purchase block cheese and shred it yourself instead of paying more for pre-shredded cheese.
  • Make your own snacks like trail mix or granola instead of buying pre-packaged snacks.
  • Swap cheaper cuts of meat like chicken thighs for chicken breasts in dishes like soups and casseroles where you won’t notice a difference.

By implementing these smart hacks, you can save significant money on your grocery bill in 2024 and beyond.

Remember, small changes can add up to big savings over time, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your family.

Happy saving!

The Budget Academy
Fab Kellum author of the Girl, Get Out of Debt! blog

Hey you! Welcome to The Budget Academy. I am Fab, a mom, and an entrepreneur at heart. Like many, I have overcome financial struggles, and now I get to share with you how I became debt-free and what I learned on my own personal journey.  I have a Finance and Real Estate background and am passionate about helping others succeed and achieve financial freedom.  So, please don’t be shy, let’s connect and start this journey together! Learn more about me here.