Smart Shopping Tips to Help You Save Money

We have had comments that “this is too expensive”, or “we can’t find an ingredient locally”. We’ve got some tips for keeping costs down:

Use the Weekly Supermarket Ad

One sure way to help control the cost of weekly groceries is to take a look through your supermarket’s weekly ad specials.

With pen and paper in hand, make a shopping list from all the specials they are running for the week:

  • Create your menu from those items.
  • Or, if you don’t make weekly menus, look for specific recipes featuring those items you have selected from the ad.
  • Or, use the Recipe Builder and create your own recipes from the featured items you have selected from the ad.

Woman Grocery Shopping

Take Advantage of the “Sale” Bins

Most grocery stores have a “Manager’s Special” bin in the meat department. Shop that bin for deals on meats up to 70% off! Most of the time you can freeze the food if you aren’t going to use it, and often you can use the meat right away in a Zone-friendly recipe.

Shop the Sales

Build your pantry of staples when you see the items on sale. When that spice, canned good, or staple goes on sale, buy extra (if you know you’ll use it).

Did you know?

You can select a “whole” cut of meat and have the butcher slice it for you. Many times the whole cut is cheaper than the sliced ones. You can buy a pork loin and have the butcher cut it into chops.

“Family sized” packaging is less expensive many times, and often freeze well.
If you use canned fruits and vegetables, stores will often run specials, so stock up on these if your family has favorites.

In the fresh produce section, seasonal items will often be much cheaper, so eat with the seasons to save a ton on your produce.

Make a HUGE Different – Manage Your Menus

If you take the time to manually manage your menu, you can really start to save.

Lets say chicken is on sale this week – build your menu so that many meals use chicken, and you’re eating food that’s less expensive.

Plus, with some simple combining and consolidating, you can save on virtually EVERY menu, regardless of whether food is on sale. Here’s how:
Problem: If your menu calls for ham for lunch one day, then a smoothie the next, and pre-grilled chicken the third day, and so on – you’re going to buy a package of ham (and not use the whole thing), a gallon of milk and protein powder (again, not use all of it), and some pre-grilled chicken (and not use it all) – you get the idea.
Solution: Manage that menu a bit. Use the same recipe for lunch on several days so that you use that entire package of ham (and more importantly, aren’t buying milk, protein powder, and chicken). If you don’t want the same recipe, at least use other recipes that use ham. You can do this easily by using the Search by Ingredient feature in the Recipe page.

Cook for Yourself

When a recipe calls for grilled chicken – buy raw chicken and grill it at home. You can grill up a batch and put it in the freezer (or fridge if you’re going to use it right away) and save a lot of money.


When a recipe calls for avocado (yum!), you may choose to substitute another fat (mayo, olive oil – or even nuts, if it’s appropriate) that costs much less.

Have Other Tips?

Do you have other tips? Let us know! Send us an e-mail with your best tips – share them with other members and help them to save money also!

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