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How College Students Can Save on Groceries

by Carrie Lowrance

Do you want to grind down your grocery bill savings? Everybody wants to save money on their groceries. If we’re not careful, it can get out of control.

Grocery bills can climb to astronomical heights by not paying attention to what you put in your cart or how much it costs. Here are a few tips to make your next trip to the grocery store easier and cut down your costs too. This is called grinding down your grocery bill.

Make a List-I know this sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people I see just throwing things in their cart without a care. Making a list helps itemize and organize your ingredients and keeps you from making impulse purchases.

Plan Your Meals Around What’s On Sale-Look at your circulars and take note of any meats, veggies or dairy that’s on sale. Then build your menu around it.

Look for discounted meats-Meat can make a huge dent in a grocery budget. Look for meats that are discounted, there is nothing wrong with them. Just because the expiration date is a few days after you buy it or the day of, does not mean it is spoiled. Take it home and put it in the freezer. On one of those weeks where money is tight, you will be thankful to have a full freezer.

Look for discounted bakery items-Every store has a display of discounted bakery items. This display can be a gold mine when you are looking for rolls for your sandwiches or a cheap treat. But only buy what you need, as these breads tend to spoil faster than the ones in the traditional bread aisle.

Eat one to two meatless meals a week-Not only is this healthier for you, it will shave some dollars off your budget. So bring on the mac n’ cheese, salads and vegetable quiche. Your wallet will thank you.

Eat your leftovers-Leftovers are great for lunches. It’s healthier and will save you a ton of money compared to buying take out or eating from the vending machine. Once a week, have a leftover night to make sure things get eaten up.

Use what you have-Don’t feel like going to the grocery store? Having a week where money is extremely tight? Challenge yourself and use what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. A bag of salad and chicken breasts can become lemon pepper chef salad, for example. Get creative.

Eat Before You Shop-This is crucial. If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are bound to come home with more than what’s on your list, mostly impulse buys. It’s happened to me. So by all means, eat before you shop. This alone will add up to grocery bill savings.

And one last tip for those of you who really struggle with the whole grocery thing; recipes, lists, ingredients and all. It’s okay, you’re not alone in your struggle. I love food and planning a menu but even I get stuck sometimes. Although I haven’t tried this yet, I have thought about it.

Try eMeals– Basically, you pick a meal plan based on your family size and eating style. Each week your meal plan arrives with seven days of meals including entrees and sides. You also receive a detailed grocery list organized by section.

If you choose a specific grocery store your meal plan will be coordinated with weekly sale items. As of this writing, plans range from $30 (3 mnths), $48 (6 mnths) and $58(12mnths) for two people. Prices are the same for a family menu which feeds 3-6 people.

In conclusion, there are many ways to save on your groceries. Get creative and have fun with it. Your wallet will thank you and who knows, the money you save could be used for a special night out once in awhile too. Now that is what grocery bill savings is all about.

Carrie Lowrance is a writer and author. Her work has been featured on Huffington PostThe Penny Hoarder, & Crosswalk. She is also the author of two children’s books, Don’t Eat Your Boogers and Brock’s Bad Temper. You can find out more about Carrie and her writing at

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