8 Tips to Save on Groceries When Inflation is Crazy!

Food prices are at peak levels and people still gotta eat. So what can you do to save money on groceries during these unprecedented times of crazy high inflation?

Let’s take a look at a few simple tips.

tips on how to stock your fridge on a budget

How much should I budget for groceries a month?

Knowing how much you can afford and want to spend on groceries each month is an important first step.

However, the answer to this question can vary so much depending on a variety of factors:

  • Number of people in your family
  • Cost of Living for your area
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Availability of stores.

If you are looking for some general guidance, here’s a great grocery budget estimator based on type of spender and number of people in your family.

For my family of 5, I budget about $150 a week for food. This does not pet food or household items like paper goods, detergents, etc.

I also stock-up and purchase in bulk on items I know that we use alot. One of my favorite ways to save is by buying family packs of chicken at $1.99 (thank you, Lidl!)

So since I usually take a monthly trip to Costco, that also affects how I budget my money for food as I’ll need to set aside money for that monthly trip and split the rest of my grocery money among the other weeks.

Close-up Of Young Woman Searching For Food In The Fridge

How to maximize savings on Groceries

SHOP YOUR PANTRY

Nothing is cheaper than using what you already have on hand. So before you think about planning meals for the month, take stock of what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer.

Use these ingredients to put meals together to help bring down your grocery bill.

MEAL PLAN

Meal planning really is the MVP when it comes to helping reduce your grocery bill. There is some strategy involved when it comes to picking cheap, healthy groceries, but once you get an idea of what foods work for your family and the meals you can make with them, it tends to go pretty quickly.

CASH BACK & REWARD APPS

If you are shopping for groceries anyway, why not maximize your savings by utilizing a reward or cash back app?

Some of my favorite apps to save on groceries are:

  • Ibotta is one of the most popular cashback websites out there. The app and extension feature some of the most visited retailers. With Ibotta, you use an extension on your browser or an app on your mobile device to browse and shop.
  • Fetch Rewards is another popular option for those who are looking to stack their savings while grocery shopping. With Fetch, you do your shopping, and you earn rewards while shopping. It works similarly to Ibotta, where you scan your receipt after your purchase, and it applies rewards to your account.
Wroclaw, Poland - NOV 11, 2019: LIDL supermarket in Poland. Lidl is a German global discount supermarket chain. From 2018 in Poland shops are closed most Sundays.

PICKING THE RIGHT STORES TO SHOP

Depending on where you live, there are some really great discount grocery stores.

Not sure which grocery stores are better for saving money? Check out this post about the cheapest grocery stores to shop.

Canned tomatoes are canned tomatoes so why pay $1.19 at Giant when I can pay $0.55 at Lidl.

Do your homework and shop around. Better yet, start a price book to start tracking which stores have the best prices.

SHOP SALES & USE COUPONS

One of my favorite free apps to use when I’m shopping for sales is Flipp. This app shows you the sales circulars for the stores in your area.

If you aren’t much of an app person, you can also visit your favorite stores websites and they often will have their sales circulars posted online there as well.

For coupons, check out Coupons.com. They have both digital and printable coupons.

KNOW YOUR STOCK UP PRICE , SUBSTITUTIONS, & DISCOUNT TIMING

One of my all time favorite ways to save BIG on meat is by asking my local grocer when they mark meat down and then coming right when the store opens.

Even Target will include a certain dollar amount off coupon on the front of packages of meat that are close to it’s “Best if Used By” date.

I stock up when I see these deals and then bring them home and throw them in the freezer to be used for future meals. Usually these packages have just a day or 2 before that date. And so stores will steeply discount to get these items moved out of the store.

Another great way to save more is by knowing your substitutions.

For example, if you are planning on making chili for dinner. If ground beef is $5.99/lb, you can often find ground turkey or ground chicken at a cheaper price point.

DIY

Yes, DIY food can be more time intensive, but it can certainly save you enough money that it’s worth it.

Next time you are at the grocery store, take a look at pre-packaged food and look at how much you are getting in those little done for you packages compared to what you would get if you did it yourself.

Example: a 30 individual packs of Goldfish crackers are in total 29oz of cracker for $9.98 at Walmart. Versus a large 30oz carton is only $6.98.

Don’t pay for the packaging! A few minutes of doing some extra prep can easily save you $10-$20 each trip to the store.

MEATLESS MONDAYS

It’s time to dig deep and start getting creative with your meals. Instead of including meat at every meal, consider some yummy vegetarian options. We love having Meatless Mondays!

Did you know that you can sub lentils for ground beef? My grandmother, bless her, passed this little trick on to me when I hit my early adulting years and it has saved my wallet a bundle!

There are many great recipes that are still full of protein without the expensive price tag.

Photo of author

Kristen

Kristen is the founder and content creator at Mom Managing Chaos where she teaches busy moms how to simplify and organize their life and finances. She writes about frugal living, budgeting, productivity and organization.