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9 Genius Grocery Store Hacks That Will Save You Money

grocery store hacks

There are a lot of ways to save money at the grocery store, but not all of them are obvious! In addition to short-term savings like taking advantage of sales and coupons, there are dozens of little choices that have the potential to save you money over time.

Today I’ll be sharing 9 clever tips and tricks that can help you save money at the grocery store. From picking the freshest produce to avoiding overspending, these simple grocery store hacks can help make it easier to stick to your budget!

For more grocery shopping hacks, be sure to check out my eBook Grocery Guru! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

9 Genius Grocery Store Hacks That Will Save You Money

grocery store hacks

1. Order Cakes From The Bakery

If you’re planning on getting a cake for a party, don’t buy it on the day you need it! Instead, call the bakery department a few days ahead of time and put in an order for the type of cake you want.

Not only is this an easy way to ensure you get the right flavor and frosting, it also guarantees the cake will be as fresh as possible! That’s more than you can say for the pre-made cakes that have been sitting in the bakery’s display case.

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grocery store hacks

2. Be Smart With Quantity-Based Sales

Don’t let a sale fool you into buying more than you actually need! Apparently, people tend to buy 30-100% more than they normally would on sales that are based on quantity (such as 5 for $10). Stick to buying the amount you know you’ll use, unless it’s something you can freeze or store for a longer period of time.

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grocery store hacks

3. Pick A Smaller Cart

If you’re looking to save money at the grocery store, pick a smaller shopping cart! Shoppers buy up to 40% more when they use a large cart as opposed to a smaller cart or basket.

Smaller carts fill up fast, so you’ll have to be more restrained with the sizes and amounts you buy. This simple shopping swap is sure to save you money in a hurry!

grocery store hacks

4. It Never Hurts To Ask

As Nora Roberts wrote, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” This sage piece of advice is useful in all kinds of scenarios, including while you’re perusing the aisles of the grocery store.

If you see a dented can or a product that’s nearing its expiration date, ask the store clerk if you can buy it at a discount. A “yes” will save you some money, and a “no” certainly won’t hurt you!

grocery store hacks

5. Make The Most Of The Meat Counter

The helpful folks who work in the meat department can provide a wealth of useful information and helpful services. From getting custom cuts to breaking down a whole chicken, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by getting friendly with the meat department!

For specific tips about making the most of your visit to the meat department, check out this post.

grocery store hacks

6. Get Your Bread Sliced

Buying a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery? You can save yourself some time and mess by asking them to slice it for you! Not only will it be done in seconds, but you can also choose how thick you want each slice to be to suit your preferences.

grocery store hacks

7. Keep Bakery Bread Fresh

Bread from the bakery department typically comes in open-ended paper bags. These bags help maintain a crisp crust on baguettes and crusty loaves, but too much air will make your bread go stale quickly.

If you’d rather prevent staleness than keep the crust crispy, transfer your bread to an airtight bag when you get back from the store.

grocery store hacks

8. Shake Off Your Produce

When picking produce that’s sold by weight, give it a good shake before putting it in the bag. The excess water can make your produce heavier, and thus, a bit more expensive.

And while it should go without saying, make sure to shake your produce off over the produce case and not onto the floor. You don’t want someone to slip and hurt themselves because you made the floor a slippery mess!

grocery store hacks

9. Choose Bagged Greens With Less Air

When buying bagged greens, look for bags without a lot of air in them. Greens release gas over time that can cause the bag to puff out, so a bag that is less puffy will typically be fresher than a bag with more air in it.

Do you have any favorite grocery store hacks?

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Bright Ideas

  • Regarding the meat counter…at my local HEB I often have the butcher grind sirloin or chuck if I’m making anything that uses ground beef OR if it’s on sale to freeze later. They will also cut up my skirt steak for fajitas. It’s a free service that I overlooked for years. Now I’m hooked and will never go back LOL

  • Oops this sent before I was ready., If a customer comes in our line with a stuffed cart – we will offer to get them a bigger cart. We do have a few that are determined to keep stuff in the smaller carts.

  • This is interesting. I work for a grocery store . The dented cans we usually try to spot and will swap them out if a customer wants. Otherwise we have a place items people don’t want or goods that are damaged. To actually get a can discounted because of a flaw would involve calling or showing management. Our bakery and meat depts will slice things if you ask. Most people get the small carts only intending to get a few things. If a cart looks cwty

  • Don’t have a grocery tip but a handclap and smiley face for quoting Nora Roberts in this post. Love her. Currently reading one of her JD Robb novels.

  • Loved the tip about the puffy bag of salad greens! Never thought of that. I always look to be sure there’s not any slimy, deteriorating leaves & of course check the expiration dates. On everything!
    Thanks for the great tips as always!

  • If you need to buy one or 2 things, skip picking up a shopping basket or a small cart! Trust me, you’ll be out of the store in no time and with more money in your pocket lol

  • Buying 5 for $10 when you only need two, allows you to put the others in the bag going to the food pantry. That way you get the savings and they get the food which is always needed!

    • That’s true for large dents, but small ones are not a problem per the USDA website. Same with dates. They are not required except for infant formula as it is not generally a safety issue but a freshness issue. Again, USDA website. :)

  • Snow crab legs 1/2 price in plastic wrap. 5 days before the stale date. I poke a hole in the film and it smells fishy. I’ll take a pass. If fish it not on ice and fishy smell free, don’t buy it.

  • Another tip for buying anything with a date: always reach for the back-most one – stores place the items that are about to expire in the front to get rid of them.

  • I have one tip when buying grapes. Look more closely at the color and quality of the stems instead of just the grapes. If the stems are dried and withered looking then the grapes are old and closer to becoming rotten. You will see the difference right away! Joan

  • Thanks Jillee!! These are great tips! I didn’t know/think about the ‘puffiness’ in bagged salad being caused by gases being released…totally makes sense tho’.

    If you ever figure out a way to keep crusty bread fresh while still keeping the crust “crusty and chewy”…please let me know. : )

    Have a great day!!

    • Store fresh bread cut side down on a wooden cutting board, then cover with a reusable produce bag or similar mesh. Bread stays soft inside and crust stays ‘crusty’!

  • I do have some extra grocery shopping tips. The first one depends on your store. Sometimes stores have Buy 1, Get 1 Free offers. If you don’t need two, some stores will allow you to get one item at half price. When you buy a head of lettuce, be sure to pick up several heads to get a heavy one. Some heads of lettuce are loosely formed and light, while others are closely packed and heavy. Our local grocery specialty store charges an arm and a leg for birthday cakes. We recently saved half the cost by ordering a birthday sheet cake from a big box grocery store and buying the fancy princess cake topper on Amazon. Be sure to sign up for shoppers programs at your local grocery stores. Often you can attach digital coupons to your account by signing up online. You access the coupons by signing in at the store with your phone number. I’ve even gotten grocery items absolutely free that way, especially when they are a new product. Be sure to check the clearance section of your grocery store for bargains on overstocks. Look carefully – not every item in clearance is a bargain! One of the photos in your post is of a Bush’s Beans can. If you are ever in the Pigeon Forge, TN area, be sure to go to nearly Chestnut Hill, TN and take the free tour of the Bush’s Beans Visitor’s Center that’s across from the Bush’s Beans production facility. There’s a delightful general store and gift shop, a museum, and an educational film that is also funny. They will also take a keepsake photo of you with Jay and Duke – oh, the wonder of technology – and it is all absolutely free. We recently did that and it was one of the highlights of our TN vacation!

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