Nine Clever Strategies to Save More on Groceries

Posted On: June 7, 2023
Young man grocery shopping - Extraco Banks
Cracking the Code: Nine Smart Ways to Save More at the Grocery Store

Have you ever experienced one of those “uh-oh” moments at the grocery store? You're not alone! You have your shopping list and your budget, or at least an idea of what you’ll spend, laid out. Maybe you even mapped out a few ideas to save more. But then, you get to the store only to discover many of the essentials you need cost more than you expected or that sale you expected to find has ended.

You now have two choices: adjust your budget or shrink your shopping list.

We understand people are looking to save money and lower their food bills. That's why we're sharing tips to help you kickstart your savings. 

1. Plan simple menus

Short and easy-to-follow menu plans can work wonders for your food budget. We suggest planning basic menus using foods you already like.

Easy meals can be a DIY chef salad or your take on a taco night. Or, if you like sandwiches, try a BBQ sandwich and homemade slaw. Get creative with any leftovers, or freeze them for another time.

2. Shop your pantry first

Before heading to the store for your next shopping trip, check out your pantry to see what items you already have. Then, plan your meals around these ingredients. You can still buy what you need at the store, but shopping your pantry first reduces buying things you already have.

3. Always shop with a list

Always list what you need, take the list with you, and follow it. Getting side-tracked at the store is easy, especially when shopping with others.

Another challenge is when the store runs deals, like those four-packs of snack puddings for a couple of bucks each, and your sweet tooth craves the butterscotch flavor. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry and resolve to stick to your list to reduce impulsive spending.

4. Clip coupons

Ever watched those videos of the super shoppers? You know the ones we’re talking about...the shoppers who load up a cartful of groceries, use a mountain full of coupons, and pay just five dollars for the whole lot? It’s mesmerizing to watch. But how much time did they have to spend with scissors and flyers?

Couponing can definitely help you save on your grocery bills, but you don’t have to spend hours clipping them to bank your bucks. More than 95% of Americans used an online coupon at least once over the past year. And coupon apps for shopping in-person and online are becoming even more popular. 

Whether you use old-fashioned paper coupons or include a mobile app for online shopping, you’ll reap savings benefits. 

5. Shop off-brand items

Sometimes brand items are the best choice, quality, flavor, and deal--but not always. With certain items, you can save more when you buy store brands. Shopping off-brand is a great way to get the things you need for less. If you’re concerned about quality or flavor, swap one brand item for its off-brand equivalent and see if it meets your expectations.

6. Use rebate apps

Rebate apps offer cashback that’s akin to a delayed coupon. And there are tons of rebate apps available like:

  • Ibotta
  • Fetch Rewards 
  • Swagbucks
  • Upside

Each app works differently, but the gist is that you earn cash back from shopping, dining, or even gas station fill-ups.

7. Use a loyalty program

Many stores offer a customer loyalty program, so check with the customer service office at your local store for details. Loyalty programs can help you save in many ways, from earning points toward discounts on a future visit or cashback to your wallet.

8. Watch for clearance items and markdowns

Sales still rule for saving more cash! Watch store ads, flyers, and aisles for clearances and markdowns. Some stores have dedicated aisles or sections for these items. And if you have a coupon or digital rebate, you might save even more.

9. Comparison shop

We firmly believe in the power of comparison shopping. If the stores are relatively close, it might make sense to shop at multiple retailers if you can find a better deal on some things. However, if you must go out of your way to reach a store, weigh the perceived savings versus the cost of gas to get there.


Saving more money while shopping can be made simple using these different ways to increase your savings. With these strategies, you’ll quickly become a savvy shopper. Best of all, you can use the money you save toward essential things like building your emergency fund. 


Save more with Savvy Savings!

With the new Savvy Savings program, every debit purchase you make automatically rounds up to the nearest dollar and puts the difference in your savings account.

Extraco. Extra Dough.