10 Ways You're Wasting Money At The Supermarket & 10 Ways To Save Cash

10 Ways You're Wasting Money At The Supermarket & 10 Ways To Save Cash

Inflation has dampened affordability and old shopping habits. It seems that everywhere you go has sky-high prices or smaller quantities than what you remember. While it seems like a losing battle, there are still ways to save money at the supermarket—and ways you’re burning through cash.

1. Not Checking Prices

When we see the product we want, we take it—and sometimes that comes without looking at the cost. Make sure you always peek at the price. You probably don’t need an item that urgently, and you can wait until it’s on sale. 

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2. Reaching for Add-Ons

Candy bars here, little household items there. Supermarkets strategically place items close to the register, but resist the temptation. Everything you need is already in your cart.

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3. Shopping All the Time

Cut down the frequency of your shopping trips. Try to grab what you can for at least a solid few days before you head back. People who go every day, or every other day, are at bigger risk to continuously buy what they don’t need.

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4. Turning to Drugstores

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of buying a few things from a drugstore. However, prices at drug or convenience stores are often through the roof and it’ll help your wallet to just pop into the supermarket.

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5. Not Taking Stock

Another benefit of making a list! Take stock of what you have at home before heading out. You may already have what you need at home, and inventory helps you avoid buying more of the same.

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6. Buying Convenience

Prepackaged meals or shredded cheese is great—but they’re also expensive because you’re paying for convenience. When you cook from scratch or cut your own veggies, you ultimately save more. 

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7. Not Tracking Money

Don’t just assume everything is okay in your bank account. It’s good practice to always keep an eye on how much you spend, especially with the invention of debit cards. Make a shopping budget and stick to it!

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8. Shopping When Hungry

Shopping on an empty stomach is a dangerous game. Your tummy is grumbling and now you’re surrounded by a bunch of food—cost be damned! Even if you have a quick granola bar beforehand, it’ll curb the urge to grab everything in sight.

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9. Falling for Fancy Language

“Buy three, get three free!” “Limit of five per customer!” Language like this is meant to entice shoppers into a full cart, so don’t fall for it. You don’t need six banana bunches or eight boxes of cookies. You’re still spending money, even if it’s on sale, and now you’re spending more than you would have! 

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10. Not Buying in Bulk

On the flip side, bulk stores are great for those with large families or those who shop once every few weeks. If you have the storage space, and can use the items, bulk stores offer larger quantities on the cheap—which helps you save in the long run.

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Now let’s dive into how easy it can be to save money at the grocery store, and how to do it.


1. Clip Coupons

Coupons are everywhere if you know where to look, and they’re not hard to find. Sift through your local paper for flyers or shop online to score digital deals. You’re throwing money out the window by not taking advantage of weekly deals!

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2. Shop Generic

We tend to reach for brand names but in a lot of cases, the generic brand is just as good. Not only that, but generic brands are generally a great deal cheaper and come with more frequent sales. 

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3. Take Advantage of Sales

Sales save you money and give you a chance to grab what you need in bulk. Comb through flyers beforehand to ensure you’re fully prepared for the trip. 

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4. Stick to Your List

A classic mantra of shoppers everywhere: “I’ll remember to get that.” Next thing you know, you’re lost in the cereal aisle trying to remember the three things you came in for…and somehow your cart is full. Make a list before you shop!

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5. Loyalty Programs

It can get annoying for cashiers to push loyalty programs, but they do hold value. Oftentimes, a value program lets you rack up points or offers special discounts. So, think about it the next time someone offers. 

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6. Compare Prices

We don’t necessarily have the time to shop from different stores. However, comparing flyers and prices gives you a better idea of what’s available—and most affordable. It’s worth the trek if you save double digits off your receipt. 

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7. Go Alone

Leaving the kids at home isn’t always an option, but go without them any time you can. The last thing you need is another hungry mouth asking for whatever they see. To be fair, this also applies to partners! 

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8. Use the Right Card

Some credit cards offer cashback on grocery store purchases, so they’re worth looking into. Tread carefully to sidestep any plastic you don’t need and don’t opt for another card if you already have trouble paying one off. 

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9. Ditch Pricey Produce

That perfect, organic apple with pristine skin is calling your name. But you know what’s right beside it? Its more unsightly cousin—it doesn’t look the same, but it tastes the same, and it’ll also save you money through stores that specialize in such produce.

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10. Take a Better Look

Pay attention to what you grab off the shelves. You may need to bend a knee for general brands or reach up top for that sale item. But a proper search of shelves is how you find cheaper stuff, too.

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