Groceries Are Too Expensive; These Tips Could Help Cut Down Your Bill

By: Alex Trent | Published: Feb 23, 2024

With the recent rise in grocery prices in the United States, nearly everyone is actively searching for a few ways to save money on their bill. Are you currently struggling to figure out a few methods to get your food spending under control?

Invaluable tips often are hiding under your nose, and it takes someone else with a keen eye to point out what you are missing.

Get Over Brand Loyalty

One of the most critical tips to consider is to try out the generic versions of products you love that will be more inexpensive. Consumer Analyst Julie Ramhold spoke to GoBankingRates about how important this tip is. 

A shelf containing Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce

Source: Adakiko/Wikimedia

“This is by far one of the easiest ways to cut back on your grocery spending,” Ramhold said. “In fact, in some cases, you can cut your expenses by 50% or even more depending on what’s on your list.”


Try Vegan or Vegetarian Meals

The price of meat has been skyrocketing in recent years. Back in October, CNBC reported that beef prices were approaching record heights, costing nearly $8 per pound.

A plate of vegetables on a table.

Source: Anna Pelzer/Unsplash

The Wall Street Journal found that ground beef in particular has seen its price rise by more than 20% since 2020. Try investing in meals without meat and see what kind of delicious recipes you can put together.

Should I Order or Drive?

With the advent of grocery home delivery in the United States and the price of gas, people often wonder what the most economical solution to grocery spending is. The answer is that it depends on the service and what you are buying. 

A sign designating where to pick up a drive-by order.

Source: Michelle Henderson/Unsplash

A report by CNET found that grocery delivery services cost about the same as driving to get them yourself when considering time and gas spent.

Look Outside the Box

Many people know but don’t often research the other grocery store options that might be in their area. While a lot of people find a grocery store they like and stick with it, trying other stores lets you compare prices and selections.

A selection of international products at a store in Indianapolis.

Source: Missvain/Wikimedia

You may also find stores that carry international products, which could save you money compared to the typical ones you will find domestically.

Come to the Store with a Plan

Reaching the checkout aisle with more items than you intended to buy is a common pitfall that can cost you more money.

A list of items that someone has written down for a grocery trip.

Source: Torbjorn Helgesen/Unsplash

Try to write down the items you need and think of your plan of action of how to get them. If you can remain focused on your goals while in the store, you will be less likely to stray from your path and pick up some items you don’t need.


Plan Your Groceries around Promotions

Ramhold urged shoppers to use every advantage possible when trying to save money at the grocery store.

Sale signs in a grocery store.

Source: Franki Chamaki/Unsplash

“This is another way to easily cut back on your grocery bills, as you’re taking advantage of extra low prices to shop each week,” Ramhold said. “The savings will vary, but just by shopping the sales and planning around those, you’re setting yourself up for spending less overall, not to mention expanding your repertoire of recipes and potentially finding new favorites as well.” (via GoBankingRates)


Don’t Fall into the Bulk Buying Trap

Now, this isn’t to say bulk buying doesn’t make sense sometimes. If you are shopping at a store offering bulk products, consider carefully the actual value you are getting out of it. Often people will bulk buy things they later end up wasting. 

Items available to be purchased at a Bulk Barn.

Source: Dennis Sylvester Hurd/Wikimedia

Also, ensure that you have room in your pantry or fridge for these bulk items so you aren’t forced to throw them out.


Spread Your Purchases Out

Another insightful tip Ramhold offered is not to be afraid to spread your spending across multiple stores. However, she also cautioned against excessive driving to reach multiple stores.

A string of carts lined up outside a Walmart store.

Source: Walmart Corporate Media/Wikimedia

“If you can spread out your purchases to two stores instead of just one, you may be able to optimize your purchases to find the very best deals. Be careful when deciding which stores to add to your routine and how many you try to shop at overall; the more driving around you do the less likely the savings on groceries are going to translate,” she said. (via GoBankingRates)


Be Aware of Rewards Programs

Grocery stores are increasingly competing for your business in this landscape of heightened food bills. Check to see which kinds of reward programs the stores you frequent offer to ensure you are taking full advantage of them.

A table filled with coupons that were cut by scissors.

Source: Carol Pyles/Wikimedia

For example, many places like Walmart or Kroger offer discounts on gas prices based on what you are buying at the store. They may also offer rewards like cash back on purchases that you can put towards future orders.


Learn to Cook

While this tip may seem unrelated to your grocery bill, the skills of a cook can help you save time and money.

A person plating a meal after cooking it in a pan.

Source: Kevin McCutcheon/Unsplash

If you can cut your own vegetables, you don’t need to spend the extra money on the pre-packaged ones. If you can more efficiently make use of staple items like butter, spices, and sugar, they will last a lot longer.


Track Your Spending

As you apply these tips to your grocery trips, don’t forget to keep a record of how much you are spending on groceries. Having a number in your head will give you a goal to beat and will help you figure out when you might be too deep on a particular shipping trip.

A woman recording her spending habits in a notebook.

Source: Sarah Elizabeth/Unsplash

Tracking your spending is critical to showing your improvement over time, encouraging you so you don’t go on a grocery spending binge relapse.