14 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Using Coupons

You don’t have to sit with scissors in hand clipping coupons to get good deals on groceries.
Updated April 11, 2024
Fact checked
man in denim jacket looks at sales paper receipt

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

With the rising cost of groceries, most of us want to know how we can get our bills lower. The good news is that there are a lot more ways to save money than cutting coupons.

From buying on specific days to downloading a retailer’s app, here are some easy ways to make the most of your grocery trip and enjoy some extra savings.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Download the store app

Drazen/Adobe man using mobile phone app while buying groceries

You may be able to save extra money by looking for deals or qualifying for cheap finds using your favorite store’s app.

Grocery chains like Kroger have apps as well as retail stores with grocery sections like Walmart or Target to help you find good deals, make a grocery list, and more.

Buy in bulk

scandamerican/Adobe bags of coffee stacked on pallets at Costco store

You may be concerned about the upfront cost of a membership to a store like Costco or Sam’s Club, but it’s possible to earn some of that cost back by buying in bulk.

Compare the per-unit costs of some of your favorite items at your local grocery store and a warehouse retailer to see if you can get extra savings by picking up pantry items and dinner staples in bulk. 

And a great Costco hack is to buy products from its in-store Kirkland Signature brand to save you extra money.

Watch for sales

VTT Studio/Adobe sale signage at a supermarket

When you go shopping, look for sales on specific items marked down on the shelves. If the other option is cheaper, you might want to buy another brand for a specific product you like.

You can also find deals on food that may expire soon or slightly damaged cans that are still good.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.

Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.

For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote

Use the best rewards credit cards

pathdoc/Adobe woman holding showing credit card and cash dollar banknotes bills

Groceries are a big expense no matter the size of your household, so it’s worth figuring out a few ways to earn something in return. One way is to pay your bill with a credit card that offers cashback rewards for groceries.

There are a lot of cash back credit cards out there, so be sure to take the time to see which one makes the most sense for you. 

Another perk? Some of these cards work for more than just groceries, including dining out and gas.

Get the generic brands

Syda Productions/Adobe woman with food basket at grocery

You may be surprised to find that the generic brands for some items are just as good as the name-brand versions.

Check out the in-store brands for things like cereal, canned goods, snacks, and more. A small change to buy in-store brands can lead to big savings on your grocery bill.

Avoid the items at eye level

_KUBE_/Adobe woman opened the refrigerator and reaches for the top shelf with drinks

You may think it’s easy to just grab something on the middle shelves that doesn’t require you to bend over or stand on your tip-toes, but sometimes these items are easily accessible because they actually cost more.

Some name brands might pay more to have their items stocked on easy-access shelves, and some grocery stores may also promote more expensive brands prominently.

Try different stores

Graphicroyalty/Adobe woman putting package with groceries and vegetables into car trunk

You may find that some grocery stores have better deals than others, so give a few different stores a look to see where you can save the most money.

It may be a good idea to find a few grocery stores on your commute home or close to other places you frequent so that you can visit a few stores in one trip.

Shop at specific times of day

mtrlin/Adobe lady with a trolley and long hair in a supermarket chooses shampoo

Some grocery stores may mark down certain foods early in the morning or late at night to get them cleared off the shelves if they need to be fresh or are getting close to expiring.

Walmart, for example, is known to mark some of its meat or freshly baked items to get them cleared off the shelves and restocked with fresher products.

Sign up for a loyalty card

Robert Kneschke/Adobe senior woman paying in the supermarket

Loyalty cards are a good way to take advantage of additional discounts, deals, or other offers to help you keep costs lower.

You may be able to get special store deals or specific offers, and you could save more money depending on how often you spend money at your local store.

Stop overpaying when you shop online

Shopping online has its perks. It's super convenient, but it can be time consuming to find the best deals. Instead of hunting for coupon codes (that don't always work!) and opening tons of browser tabs comparing prices, you can try Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping makes saving money effortless. Just add the browser extension and when you check out, it'll scour the internet for coupon codes to help you save cash. And before you check out at 25+ major retailers, Capital One Shopping will notify you with a friendly pop-up if the item you're buying is available cheaper somewhere else.

Capital One Shopping is free to use and won't show you ads. Add it today and stop overpaying!2

Get Capital One Shopping now

Make a list and stick with it

Monkey Business/Adobe man reading shopping list from mobile phone in supermarket

It’s easy to wander the aisles of the grocery store and see tasty treats you want to add to your cart or things you may not necessarily need. But those items could cause you some pain when you’re ready to check out.

Instead, make your grocery list before you go to the store and stay with it. Sticking with your list can ensure that you stay within your budget when it’s time to check out.

Bring your own bags

bernardbodo/Adobe father and daughter in a supermarket with mesh bag choosing fruits

You may think it’s only a few cents here or there, but bringing your own bags can add up to some extra savings when you’re done shopping.

Check with your local grocery stores to see if they give you a credit for bringing your own bags, as well as major retailers like Target and Walmart.

Shop your pantry

Steve Cukrov/Adobe woman opening full pantry

Before you even head out to your local grocery store, check your pantry for items you may already have.

You can cut back on paying for things like soups, pasta, canned goods, or spices by seeing if you already have those things at home.

When making a meal plan for your family, it might be a good idea to figure out what ingredients you already have to build around.

Order curbside pickup

Andriy Blokhin/Adobe northern virginia whole foods grocery

If you’re one of those shoppers who adds extra things as they wander the aisles, perhaps it’s time for you to cut out the part of shopping where you find yourself adding things that weren’t on your list.

Ordering groceries for pickup can help you stick to what you need instead of adding extra items you want. It can also save you time by having someone else shop for you while you just need to set aside a few minutes to pick up your items.

Skip the pre-packaged items

New Africa/Adobe vacuum bags with different vegetables in fridge

It may be enticing to buy fruit that’s already been sliced or get a meal kit instead of buying the separate ingredients yourself.

But the convenience of pre-packaged items may come with a marked-up price. So skip those pre-cut fruits and pre-packed meals for cheaper options at the store.

Bottom line

Africa Studio/Adobe girl holding glass jar with money in hands

If you’re trying to eliminate some debt and financial stress, reducing your grocery bill is one way to feel more at ease.

Try out some of the different options listed above to discover new ways to lower your grocery bill. You might also want to track your budget closely to see how much each of these hacks is impacting your savings the most.

Discover®️ Cashback Debit Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt