Our grocery budget is higher than anyone’s I know.
We have different priorities for sure and food is high on the list. We don’t cut corners. We like all-natural and homemade. We like to cook and eat together. I’m home with the kids seven days a week and we all eat three meals a day together. Aaron joins us after work each night for weekday dinners and helps cook meals on weekends. My kids are turning into great bakers and cooks!
See an example of our grocery expense a few years ago.
I’m not realy into couponing and most of the items I regularly buy aren’t in regular mailed coupon circulars anyway.
I want to be a good steward of our financial resources and I want to teach my kids about budgeting and being good stewards as well. It’s a constant balance between spending more on the better quality and healthier options and trying to save money where it counts.
I primarily shop at Kroger since that’s our closest grocery store. I really like Meijer, but there are only a few in our area that I occasionally shop at because it’s not really convenient. I buy several things at our base commissary each month, like bacon, sausage, and cat litter – because they’re remarkably cheaper and tax-free. We buy most of our meats at a local butcher shop. I occasionally shop at our local Walmart, mostly for birdseed. I shop at Costco every few months to stock up on a few items that are only found there. I buy cat food at Chewy because it saves me time and money.
I shop online for lots so I don’t interact with too many people. I also like self-checkout when I can! The site to store shipping option is my fave.
Shopping isn’t entertainment for me. I don’t like browsing or window shopping.
I usually check these FREE apps on Thursdays when they update.
Apps to Save Money while Shopping:
Shop anywhere. Snap every receipt. Earn FREE gift cards! It’s so easy!
Shop anywhere. Snap every receipt. Earn FREE gift cards! Sign up for Fetch with my code “1KW6Y5” and get 2,000 points when you snap your first receipt!
Sign up for Fetch and get 2,000 points when you snap your first receipt.
I’ve been using the Shopkick app for years. Get all kinds of rewards for just walking into stores or scanning products and uploading receipts.
We’ll both get points toward a free gift card when you try Shopkick.
This is my favorite service where you upload your receipts for 287 participating stores and receive instant rebates.
It’s most convenient on mobile where you can you access the camera to take pics and upload the receipt.
For Walmart and some other stores, you just scan the QR code on the receipt and it’s smart and does the rest for you!
You choose your store and the items you’ve purchased each week to receive cash back on those purchases.
Sometimes, there are offers on “any item” or “any brand” and those are wonderful.
There are bonuses each month or so that you can earn more.
You can use this app to earn even more when you shop online.
Some of the deals are combos, like you buy a certain brand of crackers and any kind of cheese.
There are great rebates on baby items.
I love love LOVE that it offers deals at military commissaries.
iBotta has communities with threads of deals, like a message board.
I’ve earned over $70 this year with iBotta. You can cash out once you’ve earned $20. When you’re ready to get your cash, use the app and withdraw directly to your bank or PayPal account. Easy money.
Sign up for Ibotta now!
This is another service where you upload your receipts for participating stores and receive instant rebates.
This app has improved a great deal in the last few years. They are consistent with a few brands but offer great deals on those. You can link brand accounts to save even more. I love that they offer Back to Nature and Bob’s Red Mill and other more natural organic product deals.
You can add loyalty cards to the app for a few participating stores. Sometimes, you can earn on several items at once.
It’s also most convenient on mobile where you can you access the camera to take pics to upload your receipt.
You choose the items you’ve purchased, upload your receipt, and receive cash back on those purchases.
You can cash out once you’ve earned $20.
I’ve earned over $40 this year with Checkout 51. They only mail checks, which I don’t really like.
Sign up for Checkout 51 now!
I’ve earned over $300 shopping online with Rakuten (formerly eBates) for things I would buy anyway.
I use Rakuten when I buy floral arrangements for my mom or friends.
I use it when I’m buying needed items at Kohl’s or Lowe’s or Walmart and use the free ship to store option. It saves me time and earns me money!
It’s free and even has a nifty little Chrome plugin so it manages coupon codes and alerts you if there’s a better deal at a competing store.
You can link a credit or debit card to earn cash back when you shop in-store!
There are frequent sales with Rakuten when you can earn extra cash back.
They used to mail a “Big Fat Check” and I love getting the cash back via Paypal now.
Join Rakuten now!
Honey is a great price checker online so I can get the best deal.
I can save items I want to purchase in a droplist for up to 60 days, then I can renew the item in my droplist if the price isn’t right. They will alert me when there’s a price drop!
I can view the price history for 120 days, so I can plan to wait for a sale.
This is super handy around the holidays.
Earn gift cards just for shopping. You’re already shopping. Rack up Honey Gold rewards while you’re at it.
I have earned so many gift cards for Amazon and other favorite stores with Honey Gold.
Join Honey now!
I don’t do many coupons and I don’t follow my favorite brands on social media or subscribe to newsletters to get updates and deals. I know that there are some good options out there on some items. I find that the little savings they offer isn’t worth the stress and clutter of my inbox and mailbox. I actually hate shopping!
I like the Kroger app for in-store coupons for things I’m going to buy anyway. Kroger also mails me coupons periodically for items I’ve bought in the past. Meijer has app coupons too. I’m not very brand conscious or loyal, so most of the big coupon sites don’t have much to offer for me.
I have apps for Joann and Michael’s for their amazing weekly coupons.
I check the Kohl’s app for coupon codes before buying. This is pretty much the only clothing store I use.
And my husband uses the Chick-fil-A app to earn free items!
We almost never dine out, so restaurant apps are a hassle so I don’t bother with them.
These irritate me to no end, but I try to remember to use them. It seems that every store has a loyalty card these days but some of the perks are barely worth it. I like the Kroger card to save on gas and store brand items. If the store has an app that I can link the loyalty card to, I am much happier. I do love how Kroger has in-app pay now! Now, if they could just let me use that at their gas stations.
We move so frequently and the cards aren’t always transferrable in a new state or the store isn’t in our new city or state. Then we have to start all over again.
What unique ways do you save money?
You might also like:
How We Save Money
How to Set a Budget
5 Money Tips
5 Frugal Tips for Buying Kids Clothes
A Frugal Birthday
Shopping in Germany
Obstacles to Being Frugal During the Holidays
How to Have a Debt-Free Christmas
Jerralea MIller says
I’m a fan of Shopkicks and Swagbucks. It’s really cool when you can earn money off stuff you’d buy anyway.
Lisa notes says
Thanks for sharing these tips, Jennifer. I wasn’t aware of most of them! We all do want to be good stewards of our money so why not save where we can?
Rhonda | Small Things Over Time says
Thanks for the tips. I’m always interested in how people save money and if the apps and programs are helpful or a bother.
Sandra Black says
Oh how I wish that these apps would have been available when we lived in the US over 25 years ago. I did a lot of couponing and my children really learned from our time there so that they are great with Food and clothes shopping now.
jessi's design says
I use Ibotta constantly but I”ll def have to check out the others! Thanks for sharing! xo
Sue Donaldson says
Wow – I always tell my husband, it takes a lot of work to save money! I love planning meals around what’s on sale.
And I love shopping and talking to people while shopping – especially fun on Sunday afternoons at Costco (if not in a hurry!) so I will most likely not try these – but more power to you!
Karen, the next best thing to mummy says
Great ideas, I love a coupon, my tip is not to be drawn in by the buy one get one tree gimics#ourminilinkyparty@_karendennis
Elizabeth Stewart says
Thanks for the tips!
I always enjoy the loyalty cards! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!
We use the shopping apps as well, but the number one thing that has helped us save money on food is to stay on budget. Not very exciting, but rounding up to the nearest dollar and adding up my cart as we shop keeps the impulse buys way down.
We also try to stay out of the packaged food sections and just shop around the edges, which helps us eat healthier too. We stick with dairy, produce, and meat aisles when we do our normal shopping and buy grains/legumes in bulk 25-50 lb bags. This keeps our food bill under $300 a month for a family of 4.
Tina at Mommynificent says
Thanks for linking up and sharing these tips at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com! I’m like you in that we eat a lot together and focus on healthy ingredients. My strategy is that I shop ads and we eat whatever produce and meat are cheap that week. I primarily shop Aldi and Sprouts with occasional runs to Costco and Walmart to fill in staples or things the other two don’t carry. I’m going to try again to join ibotta. I’ve had terrible luck getting in in the past.