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Smart Shopping: Ways to Save Money on Groceries

A mother and daughter looking at a grocery store's frozen food cases while holding coupons, for a blog post about how to save money on groceries

If you’re like most of us these days, rising costs have you looking for ways to save money on groceries. (Every little bit helps, right?) At your Food Town, we’re here to help make your life easier. Here, we’ve pulled together a few easy, effective ways to help your family save money on groceries while staying stocked up on all the things you need:

Stick to an Actual Grocery List
This might sound like common sense, but impulse buys can hit budgets hard. (This is especially true if you’re grocery shopping while hungry!) Before piling into the car for your next grocery run, grab a pen and paper — or a smartphone, if you’re so inclined — and think through what you need. Focus your list on a few key areas:

  • Feeding the Family: Do you have what you need for this week’s family meals? (Give those recipes another read to make sure. Few things are as frustrating as making it halfway through the meal prep process before realizing you’re missing key ingredients!) Don’t forget about snack time. Check the pantry to gauge where you stand in terms of crackers, fruit snacks and similar eats — and be sure to scope out your fruit and veggie supply, too!
  • Pet Provisions: Do your four-legged friends have what they need? Take a quick assessment of the food and treat situation, and remember to factor in essentials such as kitty litter.
  • Cleaning Considerations: Housekeeping might not be among the most enjoyable of activities, but maintaining a healthy environment is awfully important. Check out what you have on hand to keep your kitchen, bathrooms and general surfaces clean — and take a look at your laundry detergent levels, too! Other factors to consider include rubber gloves, sponges, paper towels and spray bottles.
  • Other Everyday Essentials: This is admittedly something of a catch-all category, but it’s important, nonetheless. Here’s where you think through all the other items your family uses each day. How does your supply of napkins or paper plates look? Are you running low on ice? Need more propane for that outdoor grill? What about shampoo, conditioner and soap?

Food Town Tip: Consider keeping a running grocery list the entire family can add to. Whether it’s a chalkboard on the kitchen wall or a dry erase board affixed to the fridge, it makes things more convenient when people have a centralized place they can jot down what they need while it’s on their mind.  

Pay Attention While Produce Shopping
Fruits and vegetables are key elements of a healthy diet, but they can carry heftier price tags than other options out there. If you’re looking to stock up on nutritious bites without breaking the bank, consider these tips:

  • Look into Both Fresh and Frozen Produce: Depending on the time of year or even your store’s sale schedule, it’s possible that prices per pound will vary from one grocery department to the next. Take time to scope out both the Produce and Frozen Food sections, but don’t base your decision solely on price. Issues such as freezer space and when you plan to prepare your food can make fresh food a better option than frozen (or vice versa). We have an entire blog post aimed at helping make that decision easier.
  • Shop According to the Season: The law of supply and demand comes into play with fresh fruits and vegetables. Put simply, when there’s an abundance of certain items — the crops farmers are harvesting from their fields at a certain time of year, for instance — you can often get those items for a lower price. Plan your cooking around what’s in-season to reap the greatest savings. (Not sure where to start? The U.S. Department of Agriculture can help!)
  • Don’t Rule Out Shelf Stable Options: Canned fruits and vegetables can last a long (long) time in the pantry, and they’re often just as healthy as fresh varieties. They tend to be pretty budget-friendly, too! If you only need a bit of an item for your chosen recipe, or if the ease of simply opening a can and pouring out its contents is appealing, head to your Grocery section and stock up. Remember to keep an eye on expiration dates to ensure you consume them while they’re at peak quality.

Use Every Tool to Your Advantage
There are all sorts of grocery deals to be had, so long as you know where to look. If you can devote even a few minutes to digging into the various communications your favorite grocer puts out there, you’ll be well on your way to big savings. At Food Town, for instance, there are a number of ways to stay in the know regarding the week’s biggest deals:

  • You can start with our weekly ads and in-store ads, which offer a handy overview of low prices available for all sorts of popular products.
  • Additional digital coupons (and even giveaways!) are available to those who use the Food Town + app or manage their account online.
  • Our Swift Savings yellow coupons are located all throughout our stores, right next to their applicable products. There’s no limit to the number of yellow coupons you can use, so when you find one for a product you love, it’s OK to stock up!
  • In addition, we always offer Sunday One-Day deals — free products available only on Sundays to those who spend $20 or more on groceries.
  • Your Food Town also accepts manufacturer coupons — and we allow “stacking”! So, if your favorite brand offers up a money-saving coupon and we’ve got an in-store deal for the same product, you can apply both discounts!

Food Town Tip: Set aside a time each week to check out all the offers your favorite grocery is advertising (including those sent via email and posted on social media). From there, pull together your grocery list, gather your coupons and get ready to save big at the store!

We hope the above info helps you when planning your next shopping trip, and makes it easier to save money on groceries. Really, it all boils down to putting a bit of forethought into things before you head into the store — and being aware of your options once inside. If you have questions about anything you’ve just read, feel free to contact your Food Town. We’ll see you soon at your neighborhood grocery!

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