Updated: Sep 5
Updated post: 9/5/23; Original post: 7/30/23
1. Create a budget
Knowing how much you can spend will help you keep your spending in check. Explore our Budgeting articles.
2. Make a list
Stick to it and avoid impulse purchases.
3. Buy in bulk
For non-perishable items, buying in bulk often means a lower price per unit.
4. Use coupons
Coupons can offer significant savings.
5. Buy store-brand products
They often taste just as good as brand-name items but cost less.
6. Plan meals for the week
This can help you avoid wasting food and money. Read Meal Planning Like a Man.
7. Shop sales
Buy items when they are on sale and plan meals around those ingredients.
8. Compare unit prices
Sometimes, a larger or smaller package may be a better deal.
9. Shop online
Online prices can sometimes be lower, plus you can easily compare prices.
10. Use cash back or rewards credit cards
Use these judiciously and pay off the balance each month. Read How NOT to Use Credit Cards: Couples Edition.
11. Limit processed foods
They often cost more and provide less nutrition.
12. Grow your own
Start a vegetable garden or herb garden.
13. Buy seasonal produce
Fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper when they're in season.
14. Shop at discount grocery stores
They offer the same products but often at lower prices.
15. Cook at home more often
Eating out or buying prepared meals can add up quickly. Read How to Make 2 Smoked Beef Brisket Suppers that Sizzle.
16. Use a loyalty program
Many grocery stores offer reward programs for frequent shoppers.
17. Limit trips to the store
The more often you go, the more likely you are to make unplanned purchases.
18. Avoid shopping when you're hungry
You're more likely to make impulse purchases.
19. Freeze leftovers
Don't let good food go to waste.
20. Invest in a deep freezer
This allows you to take advantage of sales on freezable items.
21. Preserve fresh produce
Can, freeze, or dry fruits and vegetables to extend their shelf life.
22. Shop the perimeter of the store
The outer aisles tend to have healthier, less expensive food.
23. Try vegetarian meals
Meat is usually one of the most expensive items in the grocery store.
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24. Look at the lower and upper shelves
More expensive items are usually at eye level.
25. Buy whole foods
They are often cheaper and healthier than pre-cut, pre-packaged versions.
26. Don't buy bottled water
Filter tap water instead.
27. Repurpose leftovers
Turn last night's dinner into today's lunch. Read 3 Fast and Easy Recipes for Leftovers.
28. Buy cheaper cuts of meat
Use a slow cooker to make them tender.
29. Shop at farmers markets
You can often find fresher, cheaper produce.
30. Bake your own bread
It's cheaper and more nutritious.
31. Buy dry beans instead of canned
They're cheaper and don't have added sodium.
32. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program
Pay up front for a season's worth of local, fresh produce.
33. Don't buy pre-packaged meals
They're more expensive and less healthy.
34. Buy spices in bulk
They're cheaper and fresher.
35. Try generic medications
They're just as effective and significantly cheaper.
36. Cook in large batches and freeze portions
This saves both time and money.
37. Reduce waste
Compost food scraps and recycle packaging.
38. Price match
Some stores will match lower prices at competing stores.
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39. Use a shopping list app
It can help you organize your shopping and avoid impulse buys.
40. Avoid "convenience" foods
They're more expensive and less healthy.
41. Don't buy single-serving packages
Buy a larger package and divide it up at home.
42. Grate your own cheese
Pre-shredded cheese is more expensive.
43. Make your own snacks
Homemade snacks are usually cheaper and healthier.
44. Roast your own coffee beans
It's cheaper and fresher.
45. Buy eggs
They're a cheap source of protein.
46. Use a slow cooker
It can make cheaper cuts of meat tender and tasty.
47. Brew your own beer or make your own wine
If you enjoy these regularly, making your own can be a significant cost saving.
48. Stop buying disposable items
Invest in reusable items like shopping bags and water bottles.
49. Make homemade soup
It's a great way to use up leftover ingredients.
50. Learn to can and pickle foods
This can save money and add variety to your meals.
51. Try bartering with neighbors
Trade your excess garden produce for something they have.
52. Join a bulk buying club
Wholesale stores offer lower prices for bulk items.
53. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables
They're often cheaper and just as nutritious as fresh.
54. Make your own salad dressings and sauces
They're cheaper and healthier.
55. Learn to use every part of the food
For example, leftover chicken bones can be used to make stock. Read Plan 3 Different Meals from One Pork Shoulder.
56. Create an emergency pantry
Stock up on non-perishables when they're on sale to avoid paying full price when you run out.
57. Don't forget about dried fruits and vegetables
They're often cheaper and have a longer shelf life than fresh.
It's not about implementing all these ideas at once, but rather about finding a few that fit into your lifestyle and can lead to significant savings over time.
Couples who learn more, save more, and spend more on what is important to them.
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