If you’re looking to save money to support your family, don’t miss our list of the cheapest groceries and what you can save the most.
Grocery spending is one of the largest items in any family’s budget, with most households spending an average of $4,875 on groceries.
So how do you save money on groceries without sacrificing what your family needs? And where do you buy cheap groceries?
Here’s our list of the cheapest groceries and how you can save when you shop.
Where to buy cheap groceries
Which grocery stores have the cheapest prices? In the US, visiting these stores is a great way to find cheap groceries. Options vary by location, so connect each of these cheap grocery stores to Google Maps to see what’s near you.
AldiCostco (if you shop enough to warrant membership) WalmartLidlGroceryFarewayMarket BasketWincoTrader Joe’sFood4Less
If there is a local discount store near you, be sure to stop by and see what they have!
Cheapest grocery list for grocery shopping on a budget
Get big savings on generic and private label
Did you know that switching your dinner-only grocery shopping to private label can save you up to $500 or more a year, according to Dave Ramsey?
Many generic and private label products are made in the same factory and under the same brands, they just have a different label and lower price. Not only can you save money on these cheaper foods, your family probably won’t notice a taste difference either!
Consumer Reports offers research that measures generic brands for quality and taste, and you can save 20-30% off the price.
Do you want to gradually start buying generic store brands before replacing all your family favorites?
Start with foods that are mixed with other items like baking supplies, rice, pasta, or canned vegetables that are added to dishes that aren’t eaten on their own.
This is often done by professional chefs looking to save on costs in the kitchen. Later, try switching to private label on other items to save even more. Generic brands you can buy include:
Rice, pasta, canned foods, muesli, dried fruit and nuts, muesli bars, meat, yoghurt, milk and cheese
Make your own baked goods
While buying pre-made baked goods from the grocery store can be a delicious treat, the truth is that making them yourself can be not only cheaper, but also a healthier option.
We’ve been making a lot more bread, rolls, treats and more at home over the past few months of social distancing, and these new homemade versions are our new favorites. When shopping for home baking, some of our must-have supplies are as follows.
FlourSugar and Brown SugarEggsVanillaBaking Powder Baking PowderYeastSaltHoney
In addition to making items from scratch, pre-made mixes for items like cakes, breads, and pizza crusts can often be affordable for home meals.
Keep an eye out for special offers and promotions to get the best price, and stock up on your family favorites to make meal prep easier on a budget.
Freeze your grocery bills with frozen foods
While most people believe that fresh is best when it comes to produce, the truth is that frozen foods can offer a lower price tag with far less food waste.
Usually picked and frozen at the optimum time, frozen fruit and vegetables can offer excellent quality at an affordable price.
Do you have fresh produce that your family can’t eat before it spoils?
Consider preparing ahead and freezing or canning to maximize its lifespan so you can enjoy it later.
We often freeze bananas, strawberries and more for later use in recipes and smoothies.
Freezing meat can also help maximize your dining expenses.
Consider dividing it up into portions before freezing and buying it on sale to get the best price.
If you have the freezer space for even more savings, consider buying meat in larger quantities, e.g. B. a quarter or half a cow or a pig.
Split your purchase with friends or family members to save even more.
Clip coupons for the most savings
Yes, couponing is still a great way to save money on groceries, and it’s easier than ever!
There are more ways to save with coupons than ever before and no scissors needed.
If you have a smartphone, you can use grocery savings apps like Coupons.com, Ibotta, Savingstar, Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards to save on groceries and get cash for items purchased.
Pro tip: You can even get free shopping coupons in the mail.
Meatless Mondays are not only a trend to eat healthier, they are also easy on your budget! By working one or two days a week when meat isn’t on your menu, you can reduce grocery costs and introduce new eating habits to your family.
Cheap grocery items for meatless Mondays include tofu, eggs, squash, and beans.
Buy in bulk
When shopping for groceries, you can buy in bulk to save on items that your family uses in bulk. Cereals, snacks, drinks, and even meats can all have a lower cost per serving when purchased in bulk.
If you’re making bulk purchases, analyze the numbers and make sure the savings are worth the cost and that your purchase won’t expire before your family has a chance to put it to good use.
When I buy meat in bulk, I often repackage and freeze it in single-meal portion sizes.
Buy for breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can also be one of the cheapest.
Cheap breakfast items include oatmeal, bread, cream of wheat, cereal, and eggs.
Add canned or frozen foods for extra flavor and nutrients.
Check out these 20 dirt cheap meals under $5.
Refresh your fridge
Do you often throw away expired food?
If so, your family may be over-buying and that waste can really add up!
Clean out your fridge and organize your groceries neatly so you have a better idea of what products you have on hand.
Place items that are nearing their expiration date at the front of the refrigerator and, if necessary, use a marker to mark the expiration date more clearly so they are easier to see.
Consider investing in clear, resealable containers for easier storage and identification of leftovers. Affordable chilled foods are:
EggsMilk, cheese, yogurt, and dairyLettuce or lettuceApplesCeleryCarrotCucumberCeleryPeppersCondiments (ketchup, mayo, etc.)
Build a stock of canned goods
Recent product shortages have made more of us aware of the importance of keeping a supply of canned goods on hand.
Canned soups, fruits and vegetables are important staples for most families and with a long shelf life they can be good for several years after purchase.
Watch out for special offers and try different private label brands to save money on canned goods and stock up when there’s a bargain price.
Here are some of our top tips for cheap canning.
Canned Legumes and BeansTuna, Chicken, and SalmonBroth and Broth (Vegetable, Chicken, etc.)Canned Fruits and VegetablesSoups and SaucesCanned Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, and Tomato SauceSalsa
Spice things up
Does your family’s diet need more flavor? Adding spices can be a frugal way to add variety to your family’s menu.
Must-haves for most families include salt and pepper, taco seasoning, sauce mixes, Italian seasoning, and bouillon for soups and sauces.
Consider growing your own fresh herbs in a garden or planter to add to various recipes, or dried versions can be purchased inexpensively.
When it comes to spices, a small amount goes a long way, so invest now to add flavor to your favorite recipes for weeks and months to come.
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Side dishes can be an affordable and appetizing way to expand your menu without increasing your expenses.
Adding variety to your budget with delicious side dishes can cut down on meat and entree costs, as well as serving dishes your family loves.
Some of the cheap grocery items you can buy include:
PastaRiceBeansQuinoaOatsCooking OilsPotatoesTortillasBread & Breadcrumbs
Even with rising grocery costs, shopping for the groceries your family needs doesn’t have to be expensive.
No matter what your family likes to eat, there are many ways to save on the foods you love.
It’s easier than you think to save money on your grocery budget, and shopping smart is an important step to get started.
This list of the cheapest groceries is a great way to start saving.
Consider pairing it with meal prep for even more savings.
Get more tips on saving.
Kim Ritter is an economical living expert, blogger, and mother of two from small town Iowa. What started as an attempt to help her family save a few dollars a month has now grown into a full-time obsession with helping other parents with money. Visit her online at twokidsandacoupon.com and follow her on Twitter at @2kidsandacoupon for more ways your family can have fun on a budget.