How To Save Your Money While Grocery Shopping: Plan Ahead

Lets face it: grocery shopping can be hard, expensive, and stressful. Most people don’t like taking the time to plan out meals, taking the time to go to a store, and then put the groceries away when you could eat out instead. Here are 10 tips on how to save money at the grocery store.

  1. Do research about the local grocery stores/ markets around you
    While you may have a few different types of grocery stores around you, some will be more expensive than others.
  2. Plan ahead
    Decide what you want to cook for the week and make a list. Also, check your pantry and ensure that you have all of the necessary staples (flour, sugar, etc.) and write down what you are missing.
  3. Eat before you shop!
    Shopping on an empty stomach always leads to unwanted purchases in your shopping cart.
  4. Try to shop alone
    Shopping alone will make the trip go faster because there will be fewer distractions. It will also lessen the amount of impulse buys.
  5. Avoid eye-level products
    Stores tend to put the most expensive products at eye level in the hope that you will buy the first thing you see.
  6. Ask for deli products to be sliced thinner
    Thinner deli meats and cheese will last longer since three or four thin slices could be equivalent to one thick slice, so it’ll seem like you get more product per 100 grams.  
  7. Buy from farmers markets
    Farmers markets vendors may have end of day sales and will have fresher products than at a chain grocer.
  8. Buy generic
    Many store brand items taste similar to name brand products, but are cheaper.
  9. Use coupons/ Use student ID if applicable / Shop sales
    Save your money if you can! Coupons will save you cash! Using your student ID on “Student Days” at certain grocery stores can often save you 10-20%. And of course, buy sale items. Wait another week if you don’t absolutely need something, because there’s a chance it’ll go on sale.
  10. Apply for a store card
    Store cards will give you extra savings and save you the time of clipping coupons.  
Don't forget to shop seasonal! Photograph by Rose Tornabene

Don't forget to shop seasonal! Photograph by Rose Tornabene

Now, another way of saving money at the store is to plan out meals so that they last longer than one week. Assuming that you have the basic kitchen essentials (oil, butter, spices, etc), here is a basic grocery list with groceries that can last you a week or longer. This list can be easily modified to your personal liking or any allergy or allergies you may have.

Here is a tentative grocery list:


  • one dozen eggs

  • six-pack of yogurt

  • granola

  • bagels + cream cheese

Lunch/ Dinner

  • sandwich items: deli meat, cheese and bread

  • one bag of rice

  • box of pasta

  • meat: chicken breast

  • fish: salmon

  • turkey burgers

  • lettuce

    • salad toppings: carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes

  • choice of vegetables (2)


  • hummus + chips or pretzels

  • fruit: grapes, bananas, apples

  • granola bars