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20 Clever Ways To Save Money On Groceries

If you're paying more than $0.50 for hummus, you're doing it wrong.

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

1. Before you go shopping, clean out your pantry and fridge, and take stock of the items you actually need.

Miroslav Pesek / Getty Images

Don't be like me and buy coconut milk when you already have two cans hiding in the corner.

Taking a look in your fridge/pantry can also give you ideas for dinner recipes using the ingredients you need to use up!

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2. Always head to the food store with a list, so you don't end up like Ellen here straying away from the plan.

NBC

Going into the grocery store without a plan = buying overpriced frozen food and 12 bags of white cheddar popcorn.

3. Plan recipes ahead of time, and you will be the boss of that food store. Check out some amazing budget-friendly dinners for ideas.

Tasty / BuzzFeed

Get the full recipes from Tasty.

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4. Skip the meat one, two, or even three days a week, and watch your grocery bill shrink! There are plenty of high protein vegetarian dinners out there.

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Meat is expensive, and meatless meals can make a huge difference in cutting down your grocery bill. I recently ate vegan for 30 days, and I spent at least $20 less on groceries every week!

Get more vegetarian meal ideas from Tasty Vegetarian.

5. Prolong the life of your veggies with ethylene gas absorbers so no vegetable goes to waste.

walmart.com

Promising review: "I am single and like to eat salads. My lettuce, cucumbers, etc., would get wilted and mushy fast. These little balls work very well. My veggies now last much longer and that saves me money. I'm very glad I got them!" –altonlady1103

Find more tips for making your food last longer.

Get them from Walmart for $9.99.

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6. Save money on produce by shopping at your local farmer's market.

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Farmer's markets cut out the middle man, which is better for the environment and your wallet (less transportation costs!). Check out the national farmer's market directory to find a market near you.

7. Keep track of the items you buy most frequently, and check their prices at various stores to make sure you are getting the best buy! If you shop at Walmart, you can use their savings catcher.

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This sounds like a lot of work, but it is worth it. Once you figure out what you eat most of and who has the best price, you can keep shopping there and save money every month on your grocery staples!

Or, let the Grocery Pal app do the work for you. It will help you find sales and deals at your local stores based on your shopping list. Download Grocery Pal from the App Store or on Google Play.

If you shop at Walmart, you can plug your receipt number into their savings catcher to make sure you got the best prices possible.

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8. Preserve fresh herbs in an herb saver so your ~green~ doesn't go to waste!

jet.com

Features: three removable dividers to store a variety of herbs, max water fill line, stores easily in the refrigerator door, fresh herbs last up to 10 days longer

Promising review: "Finally found a great herb keeper. Tried many kinds. Like this one the best so far!" –MT

Get it from Jet for $19.99.

9. Check to see if your grocery store has a grocery app. Some apps will load coupons automatically, and curbside pickup can be a big money saver.

Kritchanut / Getty Images

Think about it. You can order curbside pickup from Walmart at home as you take stock of what you need, get your groceries, and go. You won't be caught in the clutches of the frozen food aisle or wander off to buy anything you don't need if you don't go in the store!

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10. Remember the internet exists, and save money buying shelf-stable items in bulk online without ever leaving your home.

jet.com, jet.com

There are few things that appeal to me more than buying coconut water for less than $1 each from my bed. I don't have the space to buy in bulk, but if you do, fill that pantry up.

Promising review (for the coconut water): "I'm hooked on VitaCoco coconut water. This was my first Jet experience. Product was packaged and shipped with other items and delivered in two days as promised. Neatly packed and delivered on time. I will definitely be ordering from Jet again." –Mike B

Promising review (for the fruit snacks): "Kids love these, and I love that they are made with real fruit and veggie juices." –Rebecca G

Get them from Jet: an 8-pack of solid white albacore tuna for $16.31, a 12-pack of Vita Coco for $15.71, and 90-count Mott's fruit snacks for $18.26

11. Make the most of your online order by adding some speciality items (that are prob still priced better online, depending on where you live), to qualify for free shipping.

jet.com, jet.com

Jet has free shipping on orders over $35.

Promising review (for the granola): "I've been eating Pumpkin Flax-Plus for years, and I'm glad I found it here online. Aside from being nutritious, it's low in sugar and has benefits with Omega 3's. I usually add blueberries and/or raspberries, a healthful dollop of plain Greek yogurt, and bit of milk, to make my healthy lunch. Keeps me satisfied all day long!" –excuseme

Promising review (for the pancake and waffle mix): "This mix makes the best pancakes that I've ever tasted – anywhere. They are so easy to make with this Stonewall Kitchen mix, and they turn out perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They are rich and buttery tasting. The mix is not inexpensive compared to readily available boxed mixes, but these pancakes are definitely worth the money to me." –Marjorie F

Get them from Jet: the granola for $4.02 (11.5 oz) and the pancake mix for $11.99 (33 oz)

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12. Don't overpay for staples like olive oil and sugar – if you don't have time to check prices and multiple stores, throw them in your online shopping cart and save the bucks!

jet.com

Promising review (for the olive oil): "I knew this was great olive oil as soon as I opened it, and it smelled like olives. This tastes great. We use it for daily cooking, and love it. Tastes like olives, and I like it that I can order it online and get it fast within a couple of days at my doorstep. We will be buying this again for sure." –Natalia

Promising review (for the brown sugar): "Good product and price, fast shipping." –Alesha B

Get them from Jet: the olive oil for $13.99 (33.8 oz) and brown sugar for $4.72 (4 lbs.)

13. Research what's in season each month, and buy tons of it while prices are low.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

Idk about you but I'll be buying many a mango this month 👀.

Find out what is currently in season near you from Seasonable Food Guide.

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14. Freeze those in-season items, as well as bread and meat that are near expiration and on mark down.

Wwing / Getty Images, Qwart / Getty Images

No need to fear those soon-to-expire items with the power of your freezer.

Check out 27 Make-Ahead Recipes That Freeze Well for more ~cool~ ideas.

15. Invest in a food saver that'll save you tons of money in the long run. It's perfect for vacuum sealing produce so it lasts longer, or freezing everyyything.

walmart.com

Promising review: "Absolutely love it. Using it to vacuum seal lettuce and other veggies in 1/2gallon mason jars. It's been two weeks, lettuce is still green and fresh. AMAZING! I leave this on my countertop and use it daily with zipper vacuum seal/reseal bags to store cheese, lunch meat, etc.. I've vacuum sealed and frozen sausage, bacon, and chicken. I can see how food will stay fresh longer, and save us money. Love it, and would recommend it for any size family." –AVernon

Get it from Walmart for $140.

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16. If you're just shopping for one, go to the butcher directly to get just a few slices of bacon or two chicken cutlets vs. buying family packs you don't need.

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Dinner for one just got easier.

17. Look for generic and store brands above and below eye level in the grocery aisles. That's where they hide the cheaper stuff 👀.

Getty Images

My grocery store carries so few store brands overall, and they def. stock them where you gotta look 🙄.

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18. Be open and on the lookout for the best prices in unexpected places. One of the best places to look is the dollar store.

Morgan Creek Entertainment Group

I buy my cans of coconut milk for $1 each at the dollar store near me. You never know what's out there until you look!

19. Try Jet cold-packed so you can entice yourself to eat at home with chicken tikka masala or Panera mac & cheese, and make the most of the flat-rate shipping.

jet.com

I have paid way more for pickles and good Indian food and I feel personally attacked by the grocery store.

Promising review (for the chicken tikka masala): "It was good, the portion was very decent. Much more then you would get if you went out." –Just me :)

Get them from Jet: Ba-Tempte Half Sour Pickles for $3.29 (32 oz), chicken tikka masala for $6.09 (16 oz), and Panera mac & cheese with fruitwood-smoked uncured bacon for $3.69 (12 oz, Jet cold-packed ships for $4.95 flat per-order ❄️).

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20. If you're like "uhm, never" at the idea of buying fresh food online, just know that's more $0.50 organic pesto hummus for the rest of us!

jet.com

Not even the dollar store can beat that price.

Get them from Jet cold packed: the organic pesto hummus for $0.50 or the organic lemon hummus for $0.50 (Jet cold-packed ships for $4.95 flat per-order ❄️).

Find more deals like this from 35 Groceries That Make Sense To Buy Online.

You holding onto your dollars and all the food:

CBS

Reviews here have been edited for length and clarity.

Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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