Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

More details
Rocket Mortgage
Learn More
Terms Apply
Rates recently increased and could continue to rise - look into refinancing with one of our top picks
CIT Bank
Learn More
Terms Apply
Earn 14x the national average with a Savings Connect account. Member FDIC
Learn More
Terms Apply
No late fees, no monthly service fees, and get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
BMO Harris Smart Advantage™
Learn More
Terms Apply
$300 bonus after meeting deposit requirements - offer ends October 1st
Rocket Money
Learn More
Terms Apply
Track your spending and net worth, and cancel unwanted subscriptions
Select independently determines what we cover and recommend. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers. Read more about Select on CNBC and on NBC News, and click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.

11 tips for saving money at the grocery store

Grocery shopping can be expensive, especially if you have a lot of mouths to feed. Here are eleven tips you can follow to save money on your next grocery run.

Getty Images

Americans spend an average of  $5,174 a year, or roughly $431 a month, on groceries, according to the latest spending data available from location intelligence firm Esri.

And because of record-high inflation, this cost is only going up. Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the cost of food staples, like meat and eggs, have risen the fastest in decades.

Of course, the amount you spend on groceries depends on where you shop, what you buy and the number of people in your household. But regardless of how much you spend, there are simple actions you can take to save money — whether it’s using the right form of payment or clipping coupons. The savings can add up each trip and help offset the increased cost of groceries.

Here are 11 tips you can follow to save money on your next grocery run.

How to save money on groceries

1. Pay with a grocery rewards card

Using the right form of payment at checkout can help you earn rewards that can be used to offset your bill. While a generic cash-back card like the Citi® Double Cash Card can earn you 2% cash back (1% on all purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill), there are specific grocery rewards cards that can earn you up to 6% back.

Here are CNBC Select’s top picks for cards offering supermarket rewards:

Don't miss: I spend $325 a month on groceries—here's why the Amex Blue Cash Preferred is my favorite card for grocery shopping

2. Sign up for the loyalty program

Most grocery stores offer loyalty programs that are free to join. By signing up, you can benefit from member-only discounts that automatically deduct at checkout — without the need to clip coupons.

3. Clip coupons

After you've signed up for your favorite grocery store's loyalty program, maximize your savings by clipping coupons for additional discounts. Look out for the weekly circular in the mail and sift through the pages for deals that matter to you. Cut out any coupons and save them for your next grocery run.

There are also now digital options that are just as easy to use. Download your favorite grocery store's mobile app, browse available discounts and click to load coupons onto your digital loyalty card. Then when you checkout in-store, the discounts will automatically be applied.

4. Join a wholesale club

Wholesale clubs like Costco can help you rack up savings for buying in bulk. If you have a large family, joining a wholesale club can be a good idea. But remember that buying in bulk isn’t for everyone since you’ll have to spend more money upfront, even though you’re saving overall. This may not be an option depending on your cash flow.

Also note that clubs come with membership fees. Currently, the cost for Costco membership starts at $60 for Gold Star and doubles to $120 for Gold Star Executive. The cost can be worthwhile if you frequently stock up on items. Plus you can optimize savings by using the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi (which has no annual fee, but requires an active Costco membership). (Read our review of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card.)

Don't miss: Sam's Club credit card relaunches with enhanced rewards for Plus members.

5. Go in with a list and stick to it

If you go to the supermarket without a list, it can be easy to grab things that aren’t needed. And even if you have a list, it can be hard to follow it if you bring your kids and/or shop on an empty stomach.  The next time you go to the grocery store, make sure you have a list and stick to it so you don’t wind up raising your bill. You may also want to consider eating first or leaving the kids at home to avoid spur-of-the-moment items.

6. Buy items on sale

Supermarkets are always running various promotions that can help you save on everything from staples, like milk and eggs, to sweets, like ice cream and cookies. Consider buying items on sale whenever possible, especially if the cost is normally high. Sale items are often displayed in prominent locations throughout the store, such as at the entrance and ends of aisles. 

7. Avoid pre-packaged items

While buying pre-cut veggies or pre-shredded cheese can save you time while cooking, stores often charge more for the convenience. Opt for whole items, like fresh or frozen veggies and block cheese, to save money.

8. Compare prices between stores

If you live near various grocery stores, consider shopping at a few and comparing prices. You can learn which store has the items you need for less and also look at the sales they run. If it’s not too much of a hassle, you may want to grocery shop at two stores to optimize savings.

If you currently shop at a high-end grocery store, consider switching to a store that's known for more affordable food prices like Walmart, Aldi or Trader Joe's.

9. Buy generic brands

Supermarkets put the costly, name brand items at eye-level, which can tempt you to spend more money on high-cost items. But if you look at the top or bottom of the shelves, you’ll often find generic brands, like the store’s own brand, that are cheaper and often taste just as good. Next time you go shopping, opt for a generic brand to save money.

10. Bring your own bag

If you bring reusable shopping bags to the store, you can often receive a discount on your order total. Stores like Whole Foods Market can give you a 10 cent discount per bag you bring.

11. Use a rebate app

There are a handful of rebate apps, such as Ibotta and Rakuten, that give you cash back for buying groceries. You can register for free with one of these services to save more on top of loyalty benefits and credit card rewards. Depending on the app, you may need to link a loyalty card or submit receipts to receive a rebate.

Learn how Ibotta's 100% cash back offer can get you a free Thanksgiving dinner on eligible food at Walmart.


On Ibotta's secure site
  • Cost


  • How to save

    Activate cash-back offers and clip digital coupons to get cash back on purchases.

  • How to use it

    Download the Ibotta app or the browser extension.

  • How to receive your savings

    Redeem cash back once you reach $20 as a deposit into your bank account, PayPal account or for gift cards.

Terms apply.

Don't miss:

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication; if you purchase something through Select links, we may earn a commission.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide
Enjoy an intro APR on purchases plus, Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.