Money-Saving Hacks: 9 Ways to Buy Discount Groceries
Looking for ways to lower your grocery bill? Try these tips to save on your next shopping trip.
Contributing Writer at Tally
November 9, 2022
In today’s economy, many peoples’ budgets are getting thinner while prices continue to rise. This includes grocery budgets.
Fortunately, you can save big and make your grocery budget go further by buying discount groceries. But where do you find these discounts and how can you make the most of them consistently?
Below, we highlight nine ways to get discounted groceries to help your cash go further every month.
9 tricks to getting discount groceries
We all need to save a few bucks here and there. Here are nine hacks to get cheap groceries and help stretch your food budget.
Couponing is one of the most reliable ways to get discount groceries. Keep an eye out for inserts from your favorite grocery stores and product manufacturers in the newspaper. Typically, these ads come only in the Sunday newspaper, but you’ll want to confirm this, as some papers could vary.
Stores will also sometimes mail out coupons and offer them in the stores. These in-store coupons are usually near the front entrance.
Make sure to read the coupon terms carefully and abide by them to avoid getting denied your discount. For example, some coupons may only apply to one size of an item. Sometimes, you can stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons to save even more.
2. Buy-one-get-one (BOGO) deals
BOGO deals are a great way to get a discount on your favorite products. Stores will generally rotate their BOGO deals, so you can keep track of them via weekly ads or the store’s website.
You can deepen your savings by also using manufacturer coupons on BOGO deals. Many stores will allow you to use two manufacturer coupons on one BOGO deal, giving you a small credit on the free item to use toward other groceries.
For example, if you buy two bags of coffee on a BOGO deal and use a coupon for $2 off, you would have a $2 credit for the free bag of coffee. Not every store allows this type of credit, so check with the store’s coupon policy.
One thing to keep in mind is to only take advantage of BOGO deals you will use. Try to avoid using the deal as a reason to buy something you don’t need.
3. Clearance aisles
Some grocers have clearance aisles where you can get extra-low prices. The items in this aisle are often discontinued or in low demand, but they could also be damaged packages or items nearing their sell-by or expiration date. So, despite being a great deal, be sure to check for damage and make sure the expiration date has not yet passed.
You can get extra savings if you also have a manufacturer’s coupon for a clearance item, as many stores will still accept coupons on these specials.
4. Grocery outlet stores
You don’t always have to go to big-name stores like Walmart, Safeway, ALDI or Trader Joe’s to go grocery shopping. You may be able to find smaller local grocery outlets that deal only in discount groceries. These discount grocery stores will often buy low-demand groceries, damaged or salvaged groceries or those nearing their best-by date in bulk and then resell them at great prices.
This is another option to get all your groceries at a low price.
When buying from grocery outlets, it’s good to understand the meaning of date-labeling phrases, like “best-by,” “sell-by” and “use-by.” According to the USDA, the best-by date is not an expiration date. It’s simply the date the manufacturer says the food may start having a lower-quality flavor. It is generally okay to consume foods near or beyond their best-by date.
5. Farmer’s market
Farmer’s markets often have some of the freshest fruits, veggies and other produce on the market. They are sometimes pricier than supermarkets because they are smaller, but if the farmers who contribute have an unexpectedly high yield of a certain crop, they may offer that product at a deep discount.
Knowing the peak growing seasons for fresh produce will help you predict when you can get the cheapest grocery items.
6. Discount clubs
Discount clubs, such as Costco or Sam’s Club, can be great places for a larger family to get discount groceries by buying in bulk.
Generally, you can expect to save 30% to 40% compared to a normal grocery store. But again, you must buy in bulk to enjoy the best prices at these affordable grocery stores. If you don’t have a large family, you may buy too much and lose your savings in food spoilage.
To buy cheap food at these clubs, you need a membership, which comes with an annual fee. A Sam’s Club membership currently starts at $50 per year, and Costco starts at $60 annually.
7. Skip name-brand groceries
We see all the commercials for big name-brand groceries, so those tend to stick in our minds. However, if you look closely, many grocery chains will sell an equivalent store brand on a nearby shelf that could save you 20% to 25%.
The savings may not be huge, but it’ll make a difference. Plus, many of these store brands are high-quality groceries produced in the same factory as the name-brand items and with the same ingredients. They just get tossed into a different box.
Remember, store-brand items generally don’t have coupons available, so compare any coupons for a name brand to the full price of the store brand before making your purchasing decision.
8. Credit card rewards
Credit cards often offer some of the highest reward points at grocery stores. If you can secure one of these credit cards and use it every time you buy groceries, you can save money in several ways. The most direct way is if the credit card company allows you to use your points as credits on your account to pay down your grocery bill.
If you can’t get a credit on your account, you can use the points for other things, saving you cash in other areas of your budget.
Try to pay off the entire statement balance by the due date monthly to avoid any interest charges.
9. Cash-back apps
Today, several cash-back apps, such as Ibotta, offer you cash back for buying certain groceries. This can help you save money just by uploading your receipt after a trip to the grocery store.
Like coupons, these apps attempt to steer your shopping list toward certain items. So, keep this in mind and try to only purchase things you need and pantry staples you will use, like salt, pepper, pasta sauce, peanut butter, etc.
Discount groceries are an easy way to stretch your budget
Most people are looking for a way to save a buck and make their limited monthly budgets go further. A quick way to do that is by getting discounted groceries. Whether this is by couponing, shopping at budget-friendly salvage grocery stores, using cash-back apps or any of the other grocery-shopping tricks mentioned above, you can then apply your savings to other needs and wants.
You can also help your budget by saving on high-interest credit card debt. If this is an issue for you, the Tally† credit card debt repayment app can help. The app helps you manage your credit card payments, and Tally offers a lower-interest personal line of credit, allowing you to efficiently pay off higher-interest credit card balances.
†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 to $300.