In-Store Strategies to Cut Your Grocery Bill ~ without coupons ~ (Part 2)

We may earn a commission on purchases made after clicking links on this page.

by Robin

This here’s part two of our three-part series on how to save money at the grocery store: Have an In-store Strategy. (Did you miss Part One? There we shared five tips about how saving starts before you leave the house.)

Part 2: your in-store strategy...

1. Steer your cart for clearance.

  • Look at the day old breads and overripe produce. 
  • Buy reduced meat. 
  • Even if you can’t eat it today - you can cook or freeze it for later. 
  • Be selective and buy things you normally would and if things look bad – leave them and try some other day. 
  • Don’t judge your store’s clearance section with one visit – it is like thrift shopping: some days will be great, others, not so much.

Quick Tip: - Learn your store’s “Discount Sticker” and keep your eyes peeled for it. Our favourite place has made it easy to spot and the discounts can be deep.

2. Go alone, if you can.

It might feel like drawing the short straw, but generally speaking, if you can leave the kids/significant other at home the trip will be smoother. You will have time to comparison shop, check your price book and make sure you really have everything. Trips with kids = tantrum potential, rushing and otherwise envying the dead. Avoid if you can.

Not everyone is so fortunate to have a partner to swap duties with.  I've often thought that it might actually pay off to hire a babysitter to watch the kids while you go shopping.  The going wage where we live is about $10 an hour.  With some time and peace to walk around the store, you could probably save a few times the amount you'd be paying a sitter.  Plus, there's time AND peace!  Have the sitter hang around while you unload and unpack everything, too.

Quick Tip: If you simply have to shop with kids in tow, we’ve found that asking the kids what they want to put on the list ahead of shopping helps reduce in store requests – if it isn’t on the list – it is easier to say no later.

3. Spend most of your time in the outside aisles.

Cheaper and healthier foods are most often found around the store perimeter. It goes without saying that if you buy mostly fresh (or frozen) fruits and veggies, unprocessed meats, eggs, milk and bread, you will probably be eating better, but you can also spend less money.

Quick Tip: Do your outside lap first and fill your cart with the healthy stuff, then hit the aisles for the other stuff. If your cart is mostly full already, you’ll have to think twice before you shoehorn in those sacks of chips.

4. Have an Organic strategy.

If eating organic is on your radar, but you don’t like how much it costs, check out the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce lists from the Environmental Working Group. Their lists are compiled to help make your produce shopping easier.  

Focus your organic purchases on “The Dirty Dozen” – the produce most likely to have chemical residues. 

Save on the “The Clean Fifteen” – produce with fewer pesticides – just buy the “regular” options for these. Your finances are finite, so choose your battles wisely.

Quick Tip: Download the EWG’s free app to your smart phone (or print the wallet size .pdf), then you’ll have the lists with you when you need it.

5. Price Match.

Many stores have a price match policy for food. This is where flyer reading and price-booking can really pay off. Suddenly, you can get all the deals at one location, instead of having to run all over for them. Bring all your flyers and have them handy at check-out.

Many stores allow you to price match using the Flipp App!
Read more about Flipp here.

Quick Tip: This tip comes from a friend who has perfected this bit of Grocery Store Ninjitsu. He uses the top section of his cart for things he wants to price match and the bottom section for regular shopping. Getting organized in the store, will save the cashier time and save you from scowling customers in line behind you.


  1. These are great tips! I've just started playing the "price matching" game using other store's flyers. I found it very intimidating at first. But I had a lovely cashier (and no line behind me) who showed/taught me how best to price match. I am very grateful to her.

    1. You scored, Andrea - what a great cashier! I'm curious - what were her tips?

  2. LOve your blog! Really can save much money from now on.

  3. Great tips to save money! I really love your blog with a lot of helpful information. Thank you

  4. You know if you go to grocery store with kids, you will buy something which is the kids love.

  5. ell, i've just read part 1 and now follow part 2 lol. So, i hope i can save more money after reading your series, they are so so helpful. Thanks again for share.

  6. Another tip for children in tow- give them $1 to spend as they will. That's all they will get so they want to make a wise choice.

    1. I LOVE that idea, Marie! Thanks so much for sharing. :)


We love hearing from you! If you have a moment, leaving a comment would make our day.

© Frugal Family Times. Design by FCD.