Be a Thrifty Food Shopper


A couple using a list while grocery shopping. You are not alone when it seems like you spend a small fortune on every trip to the supermarket. Good food for you and your family is a good investment towards good health. You will keep everyone healthier by eating well and teaching your family to make good food choices.

Making lists, checking store flyers, and comparing prices might take time, but once you get the hang of it, you will become faster and more organized in your food shopping skills.

Here are some tips for being a thrifty food shopper and saving money on your trips to the market.

1. Keep a running grocery list.

Each trip to the supermarket will cost you extra time and gas money. By keeping a list, you won’t have to run out to grab single items. Plus, fewer trips to the grocery store means fewer impulse buys. When you are shopping, stick to your list.

2. Cook more meals at home.

As the shopper, you get to control the ingredients, and you won’t have the labor costs involved with restaurant meals.

3. Serve appropriate portions.

Especially with higher-priced items like meats and cheeses. Save money and take care of your waist by not overeating. Stretch chicken breasts by cutting them into thin cutlets. Add lentils or oats to extend ground meat.

4. Do a 5-minute inventory of your refrigerator.

At least twice a week, find a use for everything before it goes bad. Toss wilting vegetables into a pot of soup or spaghetti sauce. Freeze leftovers for another day and use ripe bananas for banana bread or smoothies.

5. Plan your menus around the sales.

Planning is key. Review several supermarket flyers or look for their specials online. You’ll save the most money on sales for meats. When creating your menus, have a plan for leftovers, such as making sandwiches with leftover chicken or pot roast. Try to shop on double- and triple-coupon days. Or use store apps for additional savings. 

6. Follow your favorite brands on social media.

Send them a tweet or friend them on Facebook. You’ll find some of your best bargains and coupons this way.

7. Identify the foods you can prepare more cheaply at home.

There’s no need to buy prepared gelatin, pudding, and tea when they’re simple and inexpensive to make yourself.

8. Grow your own.

Plant tomatoes, peppers, carrots, lettuce, and more. Save money, have fun, and get better flavor simultaneously.

9. Invite the kids.

Shop with your kids and show them how to choose healthy fruits and vegetables. It might be chaotic, but follow these tips to make it fast and easy.

10. Stock up.

Buy extra canned and frozen goods, cereals, and even meats when they’re on sale. Wrap meats in a freezer bag before freezing. Limit pre-packaged foods, chips, cookies, candy, soft drinks, or sugary beverages.

11. Buy generic.

Store brands are often as good or better than the pricier name brand. Compare ingredients lists and Nutrition Facts panels. Search high and low because the least expensive items are often on the top and bottom shelves.

12. Use high-nutrition, low-cost foods.

Beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, eggs, peanut butter, canned salmon, tuna or crabmeat, oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa, and frozen fruit and vegetables are all low-cost but high in nutrition and add flavor to any meal.

What thrifty shopper tips can you add to the list?