Grocery Shopping The Frugal Way

What does the word ‘frugal’ mean to you?  Does it conjure up images of your grandparents doing without?  To some people the word frugality is old fashioned and means depriving yourself; but today the word means living a more simpler, less wasteful life.  Living a life that our personal finances will allow.  Today with the skyrocketing costs of fuel, groceries and heating bills to name a few, as well as the shaky economy, living a frugal life is the way to go. 

First, I ask you to not think of frugality as doing without.  Think of it as buying smarter and healthier!  Today we will talk about some frugal grocery shopping tips.  The most important step in becoming a smart shopper starts before you leave the house.  And that is with the grocery shopping list.  Your grocery list will not only save you time at the grocery store but will keep you from getting tempted by things you don’t really need.  This is where it is important that you stick strictly to your list. 

Here are some tips for your frugal grocery shopping list:

  • Decide in advance your next week’s meals and note down the ingredients required.  Planning meals in advance really helps you to stay focused on what you really need and cuts down on wastefulness.
  • Check your cupboards to see what ingredients you do not have or need to re-stock.
  • Check your staple items such as bread, milk, cleaning products and personal care items.
  • Once you have made your list keep it available for next week, it will come in very handy as reminder of items that you regularly need.

Be a smart frugal shopper:

Did you know that grocery stores spend thousands of dollars a year on marketing ploys to make you spend more money than you intended?  They employ teams of people to analyze shop layouts and consumer shopping habits so they can place items in their stores just in the right places to tempt you.

However, since you are aware of these tricks and are becoming such a smart shopper you won’t fall for them.   Here are some common ploys:

  • The long walk – commonly purchased items such as milk, bread and eggs, are normally placed along the edges of a store, often at the back of the store.  This is to force you to walk past lots of tempting goodies.  If all you need is a loaf of bread then keep to the edge of the store and avoid walking through the center isles.  This will help you to not only save on your wallet but also your waistline.
  • Check the lower shelves – stores will most often put their most expensive or their own brand names on the shelves at eye level.  This is because a lot of shoppers buy the first item they see on the shelves.  Check out the lower or upper shelves first.  If you are on a frugal grocery mission, here is where you will find items at a much cheaper price or that have special offers on them. 
  • Beware of Advertising – don’t fall for the hype.  Stores and brands will bombard you with ads making all kinds of promises.  Don’t fall for it!  Did you know that many products are made by the same manufacturer and sold as different brands?  Therefore, buy only what you need and not what the advertisers tell you that you need.

Shop fresher and cheaper:

Cut out processed foods.  Not only are they full of preservatives and additives they are expensive. 

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables and preparing our own meals is much healthier as well as cheaper.  This is especially true if you shop at farmer’s markets or buy produce in season.  Help local growers by getting cheap, seasonal and plentiful produce.

More frugal grocery shopping tips:

  • Watch for coupons for items you buy regularly.
  • Buy bulk items on sale if you regularly use them.
  • Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry, in a rush or tired.  You will come home with more than you intended!
  • Never buy single portion items.  A box of rice will last several meals and cost less than a single serve item.

I hope you find this information useful.  Next time we’ll talk about more frugal food tips.  If you have any grocery shopping tips let us know.  Hope to hear from you!  Enjoy Life!!!


  1. Yea, I’m pretty good about making a list and sticking to it! The times I don’t I spend more than I would have otherwise.

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