Shop Smart & Cut Your Grocery Bill

Everyone knows you’ll save money by making lunch & dinner instead of eating out. However, it’s still important to shop smart when you go to the grocery store. Here are some ways to spend less.

Save By Planning

You can definitely save money with proper preparation. Creating a weekly meal plan, for example, will focus your efforts and prevent impulse buying. You can even check online for coupons or in your mailbox for supermarket circulars and use sale prices to set your menu. Get on a schedule, too, so you don’t find yourself grocery shopping every day.

Once you decide what you want, write it down—a physical list keeps you on track and you won’t forget the important items. Make sure to check your pantry before you go & take inventory so you don’t end up with something you already have. Learn common costs so you know a good deal when you see it. Be sure to compare stores and find the best deals on canned goods, meat and dairy.

Save While You Shop

Never shop hungry—eat a snack or two before going out or you’ll be grabbing things because the packaging looks delicious or you’ll get more than you need. Also, limit your available shopping time. Leisurely aisle strollers usually spend more.

When it comes to produce, buy what’s in season because prices go up when supply is down. Cut items yourself instead of purchasing pre-sliced veggies & fruits that are sometimes twice as expensive. And never pick up the first thing you see. Double-check prices and ingredients to see if you can pay less for the same thing. Get the store brands when possible & always look high and low. The pricey groceries often appear at eye level and sometimes the best bargains are at the bottom.

Use cash whenever possible so you don’t shell out more than you allotted. Additionally, scan the receipt afterward, making sure there aren’t errors, then take note of what cost the most so you can find a way to save on those items in the future.

Save At Home

Instead of making a trip to the grocery store because you’re missing one ingredient, see if you can create something else with food you already have. Use what’s in your inventory instead of letting it go to waste. The same goes with leftovers—plan on using them for a meal or two instead of throwing them out.

If you have the space, grow your own produce and freeze what you can’t eat to extend its life. And always watch for specials when you’re shopping. For a limited time, America First is offering to pay for $100 in groceries when you open a savings and checking account in one of our convenient in-store branches. Head to for details.