Here's How to Cut Your Grocery Bills Without Going Hungry – The Motley Fool

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by Maurie Backman | Published on March 22, 2022
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Save more on groceries without going hungry.
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These days, the general cost of living is up thanks to rampant inflation. You may find that you're spending more money on just about everything, groceries included.
The average American spends $412 a month on groceries, according to recent data. All told, that amounts to 8.1% of the typical consumer's monthly spending.
But while that might seem like a reasonable chunk of your income to spend on food, you may also be struggling in the wake of higher grocery costs. If that's the case, here are a few steps you can take to lower your supermarket spending.
It's generally not a good idea to buy items in bulk you don't use often. Items that are perishable, like meats, dairy, and produce, should be purchased in moderate quantities so you don't end up having to throw them out. But if you have household staples you use regularly, then purchasing them in bulk could result in big savings. That means you may want to purchase a bulk load of your kids' favorite breakfast cereal, or buy rice and grains in bulk if the price point is much cheaper.
Mapping out menus ahead of time could help you reduce your supermarket spending — and better capitalize on sales when they arise. It's a good idea to plan out your meals in two-week increments. That way, you might manage to scoop up a sale item you don't need right away, but you might need eight or nine days down the line.
If you live in an area where there are many local farms, it could pay to give them a visit. You may find you're able to snag produce at a lower price than what your nearby supermarket charges. Also, by buying those items straight from the source, you can take them home when they're fresher. And that could make it less likely that you'll end up with food waste due to your produce items rotting.
Charging your groceries on a credit card generally won't make them cheaper. After all, it's not like supermarkets offer milk for $3.99 a gallon when you pay in cash and $3.89 when you swipe a credit card instead. But the right credit cards could result in added cash back on your grocery purchases. In that regard, you'll get to enjoy indirect savings.
Groceries are an essential expense you can really only skimp on to a certain degree. Sure, you can swap out pricier fish and meats for less expensive proteins, but at the end of the day, you still need to put food on the table. These tips could make it possible to keep your household well-fed, while spending less money in the process. At a time when living costs are up across the board, that's an important thing.
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Maurie Backman is a personal finance writer who covers everything from savings to retirement to healthcare. Her articles have appeared broadly on major outlets such as CNBC, MSN, and Yahoo.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
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