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Groceries are easily one of the biggest household expenses for families today. According to a recent report in USA Today, food prices rose over 26% between 2008 and 2018.
This drastic jump means it’s more important than ever to find ways to save money on the food you buy every week.
Thankfully, there are a ton of easy, cheap ways to achieve a lower grocery bill, including many accessible right on your phone. Here are 22 easy ways to save on your next grocery trip.
Apps & Services
Smartphones allow savings on groceries through finding online coupons, taking advantage of rebate deals, and getting money back on your purchases. Take advantage of your phone by installing these apps to help you save money every time you shop.
Want to skip the reviews and get right to it? Here are some of our favorite apps for getting discounts on groceries:
- Ibotta ($10 bonus after scanning your first receipt)
- Shopkick (250 point registration bonus)
- Dosh ($5 sign-up bonus)
- Drop ($1 sign-up bonus when you link your debit/credit card)
- TruNow ($2 bonus after scanning your first receipt with promo TOF19)
- More below…
Similar to Checkout 51, Ibotta lists deals on grocery products that you can select to obtain a cash rebate. The offers reset every couple of days, so you can make different purchases of the same product throughout the week and save each time.
Select your deals, scan your receipt, and get paid to shop. Not only that, but you also get a $10 sign-up bonus when you register and scan you first receipt.
Ibotta also offers savings at well-known stores, pharmacies, theaters, home improvement stores, and more so you can see savings well beyond the grocery store with a single app.
You can link up your store loyalty cards as well to combine the Ibotta savings with the rewards system at your local store. Also, you can invite friends and get $5 for each friend that signs up with your link.
Shopkick is a super fun app that gives you points (or “kicks”) for completing activities such as scanning a barcode, watching videos, visiting stores in-person, making online purchases, submitting receipts, and more.
Shopkick was originally focused on products outside the grocery store, but has recently expanded to include groceries in its kick offerings. You can score kicks easily on the foods you’re already planning on buying by interacting with the app, watching videos and scanning barcodes.
Once you have kicks built up in your account, you can redeem them for gift cards. Earn cards for stores like Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and other popular retailers.
Like ReceiptHog, Dosh helps you earn cash back at tons of stores, so you can save beyond groceries. But, this works at stores like Walgreens, Target, Walmart, and others, making grocery savings easy and convenient.
After downloading the app, you securely connect your credit card and automatically get cash back when you use your card at any of the Dosh retailers. Easy money!
Combining a card cash back offer with other apps or coupons will double your savings.
Similar to Dosh, Drop helps you get cash back when you grocery shop, eat out, or grab that coffee on your way to work. Drop works by linking either a credit or debit card to your account, then earn points that can be redeemed for cash.
Earn points at Starbucks, Trader Joes, Costco, Whole Foods, and many more retailers. This is perfect if you don’t wish to use credit cards, since a lot of apps only do credit card integration. Drop will also give you points for referring friends.
Many coupon sites or apps don’t offer deals on organic options. If you prefer organic and non-GMO foods, this can be disappointing or make sifting through coupons feel like a waste of time.
A newer app called BerryCart aims to change that. Buy organic, gluten-free, or non-GMO products at local stores like Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, or Sprouts.
Take a picture of your receipt, upload, then receive your cash rebate within 24 hours. You can opt to be paid via PayPal or get a gift card. Super easy, and a great incentive to try healthier options.
6. Checkout 51
Looking for a way to save on groceries but don’t want to clip coupons? Checkout 51 provides curated weekly deals on a wide variety of grocery products.
Every Thursday, the offers refresh and are good for one week. After you hit the store, select the products you have purchased from the list of offers, snap a photo of your receipt, and get your cash rebate.
Some offers can even be used multiple times. If you don’t mind clipping coupons, you could combine the cash rebates with coupons for awesome savings.
Possibly the service that would require the least amount of effort, Paribus uses algorithms to track price trends at various stores nationwide. When pricing changes on a product, you get money back.
You get money back for products you have already purchased. This is an ultra-easy way to save on groceries, household items, clothing, and more.
Paribus only works with purchases made online, not in stores. However, if you order groceries online, such as through Walmart’s grocery service or Costco.com, those purchases would be eligible.
Simply sign up with your email and Paribus will detect incoming receipts. You get money back if pricing changes on products you have purchased.
Each store has their own policy on price changes and the length of time after purchase that you can receive cash back, but Paribus handles all of that for you.
SavingStar offers rebates on grocery and household products in the form of rebates.
You add all the stores where you shop frequently, link your store cards, and start saving. Some stores are considered “automatic”, which means you link your store card and then do not need to scan receipts. Other stores will require you to scan receipts to redeem your offers.
Once your stores are all added to your account, you can start selecting the offers you wish to redeem. Many products are limited-time offers, so it’s a good idea to check the app each time you shop.
SavingStar does offer an “Always On” program. You opt into it separately, but earn rewards on those products EVERY time you buy it, for the lifetime of the program. Products that are “Always On” eligible are marked, so sign up for those deals to save every time you buy them.
Oh, Target. Where else can you shop for leggings, home furnishings, and organic coffee all in one spot? Target’s Cartwheel app is amazing for stacking deals, coupons, and the cartwheel offers to get amazing deals on groceries, baby items, cleaning products, and more.
Deals load on the Cartwheel app, which are usually 5% off the offered item. If you also have the Target RedCard, you can get an additional 5% off your purchase as well, so a potential savings of 10%.
Cartwheel deals can be combined with Target coupons AND manufacturer coupons as well. Plus, Target occasionally runs promotions where you receive gift cards for buying certain products, such as diapers.
You can stack the manufacturer coupons, Target coupons, Cartwheel deals, AND your RedCard for max savings… and sometimes even score gift cards as well to use later.
You can also use the app in store to scan barcodes of the products you’re already buying to check to see if there is a Cartwheel offer available.
If you like shopping at Target, definitely get the Cartwheel app to maximize your savings… or maybe just balance out the extra items that snuck into your cart while browsing.
Once more focused on printable coupons, Coupons.com now has an app and a receipt rebate option. You can browse hundreds of printable coupons to use in-store, and then scan receipts at home if there was an offer you missed or decided to snag.
Some coupons are store specific, but you can load them before you shop to avoid printing, clipping and organizing. Like other apps, you can link your store cards to this as well to rack up those store points.
Coupons.com also offers cash-back options at restaurants and other retailers, coupon codes, and a weekly savings newsletter.
This fantastic app is so easy to use – simply snap a photo of your receipt, submit, and get cash. Too easy. You don’t need to buy anything specific or redeem any special deals.
The best part is this helps you save far beyond groceries, since you can submit receipts for anything at all. Pet products, beauty supplies, household products… any receipt, from anywhere. Bonuses are available through playing games, taking surveys, and more.
Your earnings can be turned into cash via PayPal or Amazon gift cards.
12. Food For All
If you live in the New York City or Boston areas, check out Food For All. This innovative app displays restaurants near you that have unsold meals available for deeply discounted prices.
Select the restaurants and meals you wish to purchase, pick them up, and save all while feeling good by contributing to less food waste. The caveat is that you must be able to pick up the meals right before the restaurant closes.
If you are a night owl, work odd shifts, or just appreciate a super cheap date night, definitely check this out. If you are not located within the Boston or New York areas, check back frequently to see if they expand to your area.
Discount Grocery Stores
If apps aren’t your thing, and clipping coupons makes you cringe, shopping at a discount grocery store is a fantastic way to still save substantial money. With a bit of patience and a lot of savvy, choosing a discount grocer over a traditional retailer can yield impressive savings.
The German-rooted chain ALDI has reshaped the discount grocer world. With no frills and limited, largely private label product offerings, ALDI keeps prices low for consumers.
Despite the low-prices, ALDI’s products are the same quality you would expect at a traditional store. They carry a large selection of natural and organic options as well.
If you need specialty ingredients, you may still need to head to a larger grocery store for those items, but for general, common grocery items, stock up at ALDI and save a ton of money.
Efficiency is the name of the game at ALDI. You bag your own groceries, making checkout lines shorter. There is typically only 1-2 options for each product, so say goodbye to sifting through 100 different peanut butter options.
Bring (or buy) your own reusable bags to save on wasteful plastic bags. Carts cost .25 to rent, and you get your quarter back upon return. All of these unique practices save ALDI from hiring extra employees to bag groceries or manage cart returns, meaning those savings get passed on to you.
To see if there is an ALDI location close to you, check out their store map.
A cousin to ALDI, Lidl also originated in Germany. The stores quickly became popular, spread across Europe, and in 2017, Lidl opened its first location in the United States. Currently, they have locations in Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
However, with extensive plans to expand, more locations will be available soon.
Similar to ALDI, Lidl operates with predominately private label products at discounted prices, less waste, and efficient store management. Lidl does offer freshly baked goods as well, along with an exclusive clothing line created by Heidi Klum.
This is a common practice in Europe, and Lidl aims to make shopping for pants and pickles at the same time more common in the US. To see if Lidl has opened a location close to you, check their map here.
While not specifically a discount store, Kroger is well-known for putting out marked-down products that you can score for deep discounts. Kroger has affiliate stores throughout the United States under different names (Smith’s, Ralph’s, Dillons, Food 4 Less, and others).
Check out the regional match-up map created by Katie at KrogerKrazy.com to see if your area has an affiliate store.
At Kroger, most marked-down products will have a yellow tag with the new, discounted price. Often, the marked-down products are perishable, so watch dates and inspect everything carefully.
The produce, meat, dairy, and bread sections are good places to search for discounted items. This is especially helpful since perishables are often excluded from coupons. With marked-down products, the availability will change based on the day and what each store has available.
You could ask the managers of each department what day they mark items down, then stop in on those days to see the best deals. If you don’t want marked-down products, Kroger also has digital coupons you can print from home.
16. Local Discount Stores
If you do a quick Google search for “discount grocery store near me” you will likely discover a few privately owned discount grocery stores.
These stores offer products that traditional grocery stores couldn’t sell because they are scratched, dented, have weird packaging (printed upside down or something similar), or are packaged foods close to expiration.
While you may have to really comb through what is available at these stores, since inventory regularly changes, you can get incredible deals on items that have a long shelf life.
Spices, soap, makeup, crackers, cereal, coffee, diapers, and other similar items can be incredibly cheap at these types of stores, while still being great quality.
If you have the time, visiting the discount store first, then finishing up your shopping at a traditional store for items you still need is a great way to combine savings without the need for coupons.
If you are intrigued by the idea of using paper coupons to get great deals, finding all those coupons can be a bit difficult.
Buying tons of newspapers gets expensive, which is definitely a step backwards in saving money. Plus, some really great coupons are regional, meaning you won’t have access to them in your local papers.
Thankfully, there are some really great options for getting paper coupons easily and affordably.
This fantastic coupon clipping service makes getting paper coupons so easy. It takes a bit of pre-planning to know what coupons you will use, but the time savings are still substantial over cutting your own.
Plus, you won’t have to deal with all the extra paper left over after clipping. The biggest advantage to using Klip2Save is that they publish coupons the Wednesday BEFORE they are printed in local papers.
If you order on Wednesdays, you will receive them on Saturday or Monday, so pretty comparable to when they would be available locally.
Coupons are available per coupon, often for a few cents. Some are slightly more if they are a high-value or popular coupon. Others will have limits on how many you can purchase.
There are no minimums, no hidden fees, and shipping is $1.00 per order. If you wanted to, you could purchase a single coupon from them.
If you have thought about getting into couponing, but are daunted by the idea of cutting all of them yourself, check this service out.
18. Discounted Newspapers
If you are all in with cutting your own coupons, getting discounted newspapers will yield you the most savings. DiscountNewspapers.com is a subscription service to over 400 publications, all over the United States, at a substantial savings rate.
You subscribe to the newspapers you want, and then they get delivered right to your door. If you want newspapers for different regional coupons, this is a great way to get your hands on those.
Different publications have different rates and lengths of subscriptions, but the savings are huge. For example, The Washington Post is available at a 63% discount for the Sunday paper versus full-price.
This service is an excellent way to get whole newspapers for a really deep discount.
If you are really short on time, check out Lozo. This unique site curates coupons from all over the internet into one, convenient site. Better still, you can enter your grocery list and see coupons perfect for your shopping trip.
This helps you maximize your time, while minimizing sifting through tons of irrelevant coupons.
Coupons can be filtered by category, type of coupon, and the sites from which the coupons will be pulled Lozo is perfect when you are short on time and know exactly what you will be buying.
SmartSource is one of the very best printable coupon websites and an incredibly popular newspaper coupon insert. This site has a vast number of printable coupons and deals available.
When you create an account, you get access to exclusive deals as well. They offer printable coupons, along with coupons you can send directly to your store’s loyalty card for effortless savings.
Coupons for household products, such as cleaning supplies, paper towels, pet care products, and other items are really valuable. Not necessarily because the coupons have a high value (although many do), but because the products themselves are expensive.
P&G is the parent company behind many of the popular household products, such as Tide, Gain, Crest, Olay, and others. They have a dedicated coupon site where you can print coupons from home to use in stores. Pair these with offers on apps and you’ll save a ton of money.
22. Retailer Coupon Sites
Many retailers offer coupons directly on their websites. Simply pick the store where you shop and print the coupons you need. Some stores allow you to stack their coupons with manufacturer coupons. Just be sure to check the policy of each store, as they do vary.
Whether you like searching for deals on your phone or clipping coupons, you can easily save tons of money on groceries and get deep discounts on the products you use every day.
With so many great options for how to get discounted groceries, try one or more of these methods on your next grocery trip.