18 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half Without Clipping Coupons

There are plenty of ways to cut down on your weekly grocery bill without clipping coupons. These 18 tips will help you keep your grocery bills down, buy healthier foods, learn to cook new meals, and organize your kitchen.

Plan Your Meals for the Week

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Meal planning is a great way to cut down on grocery costs. Before shopping for new groceries, check what you already have in your fridge and cupboards, and then plan your meals around that. You could also use a meal planning app to help organize your week. CNN Underscored argues that meal planning apps provide “a cost-effective and efficient way to customize an appealing weekly menu and help you stay on top of your meal prep.”

Reduce Meat Consumption

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Meats are often the most expensive items on your grocery bill, so introducing meat-free meals a few times a week will save you money. Cheaper protein alternatives like beans, lentils, chickpeas, and eggs are nutritious alternatives that can be used in endless recipes.

Use Technology to Compare Prices

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Flipp, Grocery Kart, and Instacart are excellent price comparison apps that will help you choose the cheapest grocery options. Shopping online can also be a money-saving tool, allowing you to take advantage of online-only deals.

Use Cash-Back Apps

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Cash-back apps offer customers rebates on purchases and provide coupons for discounts, making them an excellent tool for cutting down costs. The Ways to Wealth recommends Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Fluz, among other apps, as ways to maximize grocery savings.

Buy Generic Brands

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Store and generic brands are significantly cheaper than name brands, offering the same quality and a similar taste. CNET argues that store-brand groceries have a quality and flavor “potentially equal to their name-counterpart” and are a safe bet, especially commodity items like rice.

Avoid Shopping When Hungry

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Shopping on an empty stomach often leads to more impulse and unnecessary purchases, driving up grocery bills. Have a snack before going to the grocery store to keep hunger at bay, and always take a list with you to avoid buying items you don’t need.

Shop Seasonally

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OSF Healthcare notes that “produce is more affordable when in season because it is easier and cheaper to grow” and is “more sustainable and nutritious than out of season produce.” Buying fruits and vegetables in season will lower your grocery bill and improve your health.

Cook in Bulk and Use Leftovers

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Cooking meals in bulk and freezing portions for later in the week saves preparation time and money on extra groceries. It also allows you to use leftovers in new dishes and reduces the temptation to eat out or order in.

Grow Your Own Herbs and Vegetables

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Starting off small, with easy-to-grow herbs and vegetables in small windowsill pots, is a great way to start growing your own cooking ingredients. Seeds for herbs and vegetables are often cheap, and you can save seeds from produce you have already bought.

Understand “Best By” Dates

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Safe Food argues that “while you should never eat food past its ‘use by’ date, the ‘best before’ date gives you a little bit of wiggle room.” Avoid throwing away foods past their “best before” date to decrease unnecessary waste.

Opt for Frozen or Canned Goods

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Frozen and canned goods can be cheaper than fresh foods, especially for out-of-season produce, and retain their nutritional value. They will help reduce food waste, as unopened cans last for years and food can be frozen for a long time.

Make Snacks from Scratch

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Preparing snacks in your kitchen at home will save you money, as pre-packaged snacks are often expensive. Making your own snacks also gives you control over the ingredients, allowing you to add healthier options.

Implement a No-Spend Week

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Challenge yourself to use only what’s in your cupboards and fridge for a week. This will encourage creativity in your cooking, help clear out older items in the back of your cupboard, and allow you to evaluate your spending habits.

Buy in Bulk

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Purchasing non-perishable items in bulk is a great way to save on grocery costs, but you should stick to items you regularly use to avoid waste. Check the price per unit to ensure you get the best deal possible. How Stuff Works recommends storing bulk goods in a space away from water and heat sources if your kitchen is full.

Take Advantage of Sales and Markdowns

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Strategically shopping for items on sale or marked down, especially non-perishable goods, will give you weekly opportunities to stock up on staples for a lower cost. Be flexible with your meal plans to incorporate sale items into your meals.

Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

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Keeping your pantry, cupboards, and fridge organized will let you quickly see what you have and stop you from buying duplicates. Use the first in, first out method to use older items first to prevent items from going bad unnoticed.

Shop the Perimeter of the Store

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Vox notes that “processed foods tend to have a lot more calories at a lower price” than fresh foods, but they often have fewer nutrients and have a higher fat and sugar content. To avoid the processed foods in the central aisle, shop around the perimeter and look for the least expensive options for fresh produce, dairy, and meats.

Learn Basic Food Preservation Techniques

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Canning, freezing, drying, and pickling are excellent techniques to make your meats, herbs, fruits, and vegetables last longer, reducing food waste and grocery costs. There are loads of guides to canning, drying, and pickling online that will teach you the basics.

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