You can cut a lot of corners in your budget, but unless you’ve found a way to photosynthesize, you’ve gotta eat . And the sad reality is, food costs money — quite a bit of it, in fact, especially if you plan on eating healthfully. The average American family of four spends between $550 to $1,100 per month on groceries , according to USDA data as of July 2016. That’s not an insignificant fraction of most of our paychecks, and the figure only climbs if your children are over the age of six. Luckily, we’ve got lots of ways to keep your grocery bill much closer to the low end of the spectrum — and well out of four-figure territory. *shudder* How to Save Money on Groceries if You Have No Idea Where to Start Like walking into the grocery store itself, getting a handle on your grocery budget can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve gathered the following super informative posts to give you a jump start on saving money every time you restock the fridge.
1. Become an Expert Couponer Cathy Yeulet / Getty Images Yes, you’ve probably already thought of this method for saving on groceries… but it’s old-school because it works. Here’s how to get started on couponing, and where to find free coupons on all sorts of items. How to Save Money With Coupons: A Simple, Efficient Organizational System This Mother Rarely Pays for Groceries. Here’s Her Couponing Strategy 100 Awesome Places to Find Free Coupons for Everything on Your Shopping List
2. Save Money on Groceries Without Coupons Noel Hendrickson / Getty Images If clipping coupons just isn’t your thing, don’t despair: If you strategize well, you can save cash in other ways. Here are our best posts on figuring out how, when and where to shop — and the best practices for choosing and storing your food items. Before You Shop How to Get the Best Deal on Everything: The Ultimate Guide to Deal-Stacking How to Make a Money-Saving Meal Plan You’ll Actually Stick To You Need to Stop Grocery Shopping on the Weekend. Here’s Why Buy More, Spend Less: How Buying in Bulk Helps You Save Money on Groceries Think You Can’t Afford Online Grocery Shopping? You Might Be Surprised At the Store These 7 Sneaky Pricing Tricks Might Be Making You Spend More Money How to Buy Perfectly Ripe Fruits and Vegetables, Every Time You’re Wasting Your Money on Cage-Free Eggs. Here’s What to Buy Instead Fresh, Seasonal and Affordable: 9 Ways to Save Money at the Farmers Market Could Ugly Vegetables Help You Save Money and Reduce Food Waste? At Home You’re Probably Storing These 21 Foods Wrong… and It’s Costing You Money Here’s How Sell-By Dates Could Be Costing You a Ton of Money
3. Use Tools to Save More Money 97 / Getty Images Saving is an art, and a craftsman is only as good as his tools. Here are some of our favorites to help you get even better at hacking your grocery bill. This Simple Worksheet Will Help You Save Money on Groceries — Every Time This App Will Give You Rebates for the Healthy Foods You Already Buy
4. Use Store-Specific Strategies boggy22 / Getty Images Know where you’re going? You should know how to save there, too. Here are some best practices to apply next time you hit your favorite retailer. Oh, and some of them are secrets… so you’ll have insider intel! Aldi 8 Genius Ways to Save Even More Money Next Time You Shop at Aldi Costco 7 Ways to Save Money at Costco — Even When You’re Only Shopping for Two Is a Costco Membership Really Worth It? Meijer The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money at Meijer With mPerks Publix 5 Reasons Every Publix Fan Should Check Out “I Heart Publix” Shop at Publix? Make Sure You’re Getting This Freebie — You Just Have to Ask! Target Secret Ways to Save More Money at Target 9 Reasons We Always Check Totally Target Before Heading to the Store Attention Target Shoppers: Don’t Miss These Money-Saving Secrets Psst: Did you know? Target Matches Prices at 30 Stores, Including Costco and Sam’s Club Trader Joe’s 13 Deals You Should Never Pass Up at Trader Joe’s — and 9 You Should Walmart How to Save Even More Every Time You Buy Groceries at Walmart The One Site We Always Check Before Shopping at Walmart Secrets Every Walmart Shopper Needs to Know Whole Foods 23 Money-Saving Secrets Every Whole Foods Shopper Needs to Know
5. Save Money on Groceries, Even When You Follow a Specific Diet kasto80 / Getty Images No, it’s not “picky” — it’s being informed and adamant about the fuel you put in your body. Just remember you can be adamant about getting the best deal possible, too. Here’s how. How to Eat Well on a Budget How to Go Gluten-Free Without Destroying Your Grocery Budget 14 Simple Ways to Eat Paleo on Your Regular Grocery Budget How This Family Actually HALVED Their Grocery Bill by Switching to Organic Foods
6. Get the Best Deal, Every Time Agnieszka Kirinicjanow / Getty Images Here are some miscellaneous posts about saving cash on groceries — and how you can apply the same methods to your own weekly list. 22 Creative Ways to Cut Your Food Budget in Half and Still Eat Well How to Save 10%+ on Your Grocery Bill Without Cutting a Single Coupon How to Get a Bag of Groceries for Under $5 Easy Grocery-Shopping Changes That Could Save You Over $200 a Month Ridiculous (But Effective) Ways to Save on Groceries — No Coupons Necessary (Psst — We’ve got some for Canadians , too!) Hate Clipping Coupons? Try These Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries I Only Spend $50 per Month on Meat for My Family of 6. Here’s How How One Mom Feeds a Family of 5 for $64 a Week Try an Asian Grocer to Save Up to 44% Without Using a Single App or Coupon
7. Get Adventurous with DIY, Found Food and Unorthodox Savings Renee Keith / Getty Images Does foraging sound like fun to you? What about bartering for your food? Have you given dumpster diving any serious thought? Here are some grocery-bill saving tips for those of us willing to get a little dirty. Hey, free is free. This Father of 3 Saves $300 a Month on Groceries by Foraging How Bartering on Craigslist Helped This Couple Save $750 on Groceries How Regrowing Vegetables Can Save You Money on Groceries Save Money With Your Green Thumb: How to Start a Backyard Garden How a Backyard Garden Could Save You $500 on Groceries (Psst — these are the veggies that are cheaper to grow than buy ) How Regrowing Vegetables Can Save You Money on Groceries How to Spend Only $200 on Groceries in 6 Months (It’s a Little Extreme) Would You Eat Roadkill to Save Money on Groceries? A Weird Way to Save Money on Groceries: Raise Rabbits in Your Backyard
8. Cheat the System Anna Zielinska / Getty Images And finally, for those of you who want serious Penny Hoarder bonus points: How to Actually GET PAID to Grocery Shop Your Turn: How do YOU save money on groceries? We’re always hungry for more tips, so let us know in the comments!