Grocery shopping on a budget is easy if you follow these tips. It takes a little time and energy, but it’s worth it if you want to feed your family healthy food without breaking the bank.

Grocery shopping on a budget is easy if you follow these tips. It takes a little time and energy, but it's worth it if you want to feed your family healthy food.


Shopping for healthy food can get expensive. Higher end items and organic brands tend to be pricier than their lower-quality counterparts.

Grocery bills can easily reach $1000 or more a month for a family, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Fortunately, making food at home is usually a lot less expensive than eating out. And there are actually many ways to save money on healthy food and groceries.

It takes a bit of planning, but these strategies will help you to keep your grocery bill down without compromising quality.

Meal Planning

The first step to grocery shopping on a budget is meal planning. If you go to the store without a menu in mind, you’re bound to waste time and make lots of impulse purchases.

What’s worse is that you may end up with a bunch of wilted produce in your veggie drawer at the end of the week. Without a plan, it’s hard to use up everything you buy while it’s still fresh.

Here’s my complete guide on how to meal plan. You can use this weekly meal plan template to organize your ideas. I always feel so much better when I have a menu in place for the week.

A meal plan is essential for saving money on groceries.

Healthy Grocery Shopping List

Without a list, it’s very difficult to keep your spending in check at the grocery store.

It’s good to have a basic grocery shopping list that you use as a template before you go shopping. You could put together a master list like this one I use to keep track of prices of the ingredients I often buy.

Some people like to use a blank spreadsheet or a pad of paper on their refrigerator to jot down things they need. Then when it’s time to go to the store, you can generate your list from that.

For my weekly trips to the store, I use the Notes app on my phone. I make a checklist of items I need, arranging them in the order they appear in the store. I start with produce, then make my way around the back and far side of the store. Most of the healthy items I buy are on the periphery of the store, rather than in the aisles.

Apps to Save Money on Groceries

These days, grocery shopping on a budget has gotten easier as many stores have apps with special coupons for savings at their particular store. If I go to Whole Foods or CVS, for example, I check the store app for special deals before I shop. Amazon Prime members also get special deals at Whole Foods.

Other apps like Ibotta and Shopkick can be used to get cash back while you shop.

If you shop at Target, you can use their Target debit card to get 5 percent off on all purchases. This really adds up if you do your grocery shopping there.

Once you learn how to grocery shop on a budget, you’ll find that it doesn’t actually take much extra time or effort. Using these tips becomes second nature, and you’ll find your grocery bills going down while the quality of the food remains high.

Read my 5 tips for saving money on real food for more valuable strategies. And check out my post, “Is Saving Money Worth My Time?” The answer may surprise you!

How to Grocery Shop on a Budget at Specific Stores

Different stores have their own strengths when it comes to providing affordable groceries to customers. For example, Costco has lots of affordable organics if you don’t mind purchasing in bulk. Whole Foods Market has more non-GMO items than any other store in the U.S., and their 365 store brand offers many affordable products. And Trader Joe’s has a lower starting price point, so they don’t need sales and coupons to attract frugal shoppers.

There are unique ways to save money at each individual store. Click on the images below to learn more about frugal grocery shopping at these specific stores.