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Stop Wasting Money: 3 Ways to Save on Groceries

Food is, like most things in the world, getting more and more expensive. Maybe it's inflation, maybe it's higher demand, maybe it's both (and likely any number of additional reasons, too). But odds are, food prices are going to go up even as your paycheck remains steady, which means more and more of your paychecks will be expended at the local supermarket.

Hey - people gotta' eat, right? Well that's of course true, but it doesn't mean you have to pay full price every time you visit the grocery store. There are some essential ways to save on grocery purchases, some of which you may be familiar with and others we're almost sure you haven't.

With that, let's try to save you some cash on your next trip to the supermarket, shall we?

1.) Bonus cash back cards on groceries

Imagine a coupon that saved you 6 percent cash back on every single dollar you spent at US supermarkets for up to $6,000 per year in purchases. That would be a pretty awesome coupon, right? (We'll do the math for you - that's a savings of $360 per year just on groceries.) Well, one credit card - the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express - offers just that.

This isn't the only credit card that offers bonus cash back on grocery purchases, but it's easily the best. And not only that, this card can save you just for driving to the grocery store, too, offering 3 percent cash back at US gas stations and select department stores.

The "catch" to this offer is that an annual fee of $75 required - arguably a small price to pay given how much cardholders can stand to save via cash back - and it requires excellent credit for approval. However, American Express offers a similar card that requires no annual fee - the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express - that offers 3 percent cash back on up to $6,000 a year at US supermarkets and 2 percent at US gas stations and department stores. The long-term cash back benefits aren't as strong, but they're still above average when it comes to cash back cards on the market today.

Browse through our complete list of the gas and grocery credit cards we recommend to find out if another offer is right for you.

2.) Those coupon offers aren't always junk mail

Look, I hate junk mail. I think it's a huge waste of paper, and it rarely does anything for me except clog my mailbox.

HOWEVER, there are exceptions, and local supermarket coupons are one of them. A dollar here or a Bo-Go offer there isn't going to make a huge impact on your monthly groceries budget right away, but over the course of a month and multiple supermarket visits those savings can start to add up. Combine these coupon offers with a bonus cash back card applied to groceries and suddenly you're saving a considerably amount on food each time you venture to the store. 

The next time you receive coupon offers in the mail (probably later this afternoon or tomorrow at the latest), flip through the coupons to determine if there's anything in there that can save you money on the purchases you plan to make, anyway; you'd be surprised what the total savings could look like over time.

3.) Walk or bike to the grocery store


If you live somewhat close to your local supermarket, there's a third way to save on groceries each month that you probably never thought of - walking or biking to take care of your grocery errands. Sure, it sounds resourceful and environmentally-friendly, but what's that going to do to save you money on groceries?

Well, as someone who routinely walks to the grocery store, I can tell you that it really limits the amount of unnecessary food you're willing to (or even able to) buy at the grocery store. Let's face it - you're not The Hulk, and there's a limit to how much you can carry, especially if you're walking a half-mile or more back home.

When you know you have to walk a considerable distant with all those groceries, you become very aware of just how heavy that basket (or reusable grocery bag) is getting. With that, unnecessary purchases start to go by the waste-side, as does your final tally when you hit the check-out counter. And just like that, you've saved some cash at the grocery store.

It's not magic, folks. It's being savvy. Follow the above steps, shop for deals and save a little cash on food this summer and beyond.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

This bonus cash back card from American Express is the best available on the market when it comes to credit card offers for gas and groceries. Consumers who qualify for approval earn 6 percent cash back on up to $6,000 per year on purchases made at US supermarkets, and 3 percent cash back at US gas stations and select department stores. $75 annual fee required - click the "Apply" button to the left for complete details.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This American Express cash back credit card with no annual fee includes 3 percent cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases per year at US supermarkets, and 2 percent cash back at US gas stations and select department stores. For complete details on how this cash back card can save you on gas and groceries, click the "Apply" button to the left.



Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® - Excellent Credit

Another no annual fee cash back card, this Barlcaycard for excellent credit includes 2x points per $1 spent on gas, groceries and utilities. Plus, earn 5,000 points after your first purchase, enough for 5,000 bonus points. Click "Apply" to the left for full terms and conditions.

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Jason Bushey's picture

Jason Bushey is the former Editor and Vice President of Creditnet. Jason is a Burlington, Vermont native who moved to sunny San Diego after earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and Political Science at the University of Vermont ('09). When he's not sharing his take on credit cards, administrating the Creditnet Forum or blogging about all things related to credit, you can probably find him cheering on the Green Bay Packers (He's an owner!) or running up and down the streets of SoCal.

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