5 simple grocery shopping tips that will save you thousands! (literally). Free printables included!

As many of you know, I was on vacation recently. While I love vacation, it stinks to come home to piles of laundry, an inbox busting with emails, and this…
 …the world's emptiest fridge.
“Who wants margarine for dinner?! Or would you rather have dijon mustard?”

I ran sprinted to the grocery store and price-matched a great load of stuff. So, of course, I had to show you pics of my loot this week to (hopefully) motivate you all and remind you that you should NEVER have to pay full-price for your groceries!

As we are all back to school, back from vacation, and just plain back to the grind of a functional  routine, we are all most likely focusing on cooking more. As you do, please remember that there are 5 simple things that will save your family literally thousands this year:

  1. Only grocery shop 1x per week…no matter what. Need milk? Tough. Wait 6 days. Or borrow from a neighbor. Or, send someone you trust. If I send my hubby, he will ONLY get milk and nothing else. If I go, I will walk out with $50 in stuff I all of the sudden “needed”. No Bueno. (P.S…See how I track my simple budget HERE, and see how much you should be paying for groceries HERE.)
  2. Plan your grocery list around the best deals that week and avoid full-priced items. You can look at ads, or I use Deals to Meals because they find the best deals for me. Then, stock up on those sale items, and plan your meals around them! Duh! I take the list of the best prices that week and price-match everything at Walmart so I only have to go to one store (examples HERE, how I do it HERE)
  3. Plan your meals at LEAST 1 week in advance. Make your meals from scratch (no store-made meals, please!!), but be sure to plan some “eating out” days (ours is usually Friday and/or Saturday nights). Don't forget about our free meal-planning printables HERE.
  4. Cook with what you have rather than buying what you want or need. Don't have the ingredients you need for a recipe you want to make? Don't make it! Again, cook around what you have, and only buy what's on sale. I like AllRecipes.com because you can search recipes by ingredient.
  5. Dont. Waste. Anything. Find a way to use it. Fruit? Bread? Veggies? Leftovers? Halloween pumpkins? (no joke) Use them, or freeze them to use later. (Once again, allrecipes.com is a life saver.)
See a full run-down on how I save about 1/2 on my groceries each week without clipping coupons HERE.

Now, for many of you I may sound like a broken wheel. “Jordan, we've heard you say all those things a MILLION times before!” But here's my question for you…

Of the 5 things, how many do you actually do regularly?
See my point?
Repetition is the best way to learn, friends!

Now…for those of you who DO coupon or who like to occasionally coupon, I can't leave you out! You guys really do have the best of both worlds, because you can use your coupons AND price-match. For you guys, I recommend a coupon clipping service. It really is a win-win because it allows you to use the benefits of coupons, without making it a full-time job! 🙂 Check it out, it's really a cool concept.

“Ooh, mom, can we eat all this now?”
 You will notice that if I find a good deal on something, I almost never buy only one of that item. I buy several and use them up before they go bad (by planning my meals around the items), or I freeze the extras and use them for later. 


Everything in the picture above AND the picture below (except the crackers and watermelon) can be frozen! (yes, even the potatoes can be frozen. Hashbrowns? Tater tots? French fries? Those are frozen potatoes, folks.)

As you can see by my haul, for under $100 I have enough groceries to last us several weeks. Oh yeah, and everything you see is healthy too. Weird that this is getting increasingly more awesome…

So there you go! Once again, PROOF that eating well and saving thousands doesn't have to be hard. Or taste gross.
You're welcome, world.



  1. Avatarbrianne says

    I’d love to see the menu for this week’s worth of groceries…can you do that sometimes to post the picture and the menu? wondering what I’d be making with all the containers on the right and cream cheese.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Sure! The thing is, much of it I don’t use that same week. I keep one container in the fridge, and freeze the rest. I can then use the thawed sour cream in casseroles, soups, and other things that require sour cream when baking (you wouldn’t want to dollop it on top, the texture changes once frozen). You can even freeze cream cheese!

  2. AvatarLindsey says

    Hi, Jordan! It looks like Dealstomeals doesn’t include WinnDixie in their weekly deals. It’s one of the biggest competitors to walmart in our area (along with Publix), and they offer a lot of BOGOs… Do you think it’s still worth it to me to use their service if I only have Publix and Walmart ads to use? Thanks for all the great tips! Can’t wait to get started!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Lindsey, email them!! They are so good about adding stores in your area upon request. There are thousands of stores they have to add, and while they are adding new ones every day, they will bump your requests up to the top of their list. So give it a try!

  3. AvatarHeather says

    I am truly amazed that you got all that food for less than $100 dollars. I live in a suburb of Vancouver Canada and that haul would easily cost closer to $200. And that is our weekly budget for food and household, including incidentals that come up at school, ie:field trips:(. So here is my question, I find it difficult to stock up and cook for our week without spending more than the weekly budget. But their are weeks when all of sudden it seems like there is no basics left and we have to up the budget to stock up again. Help;) We love costco for getting some basics, especially the baking stuff. Put for sure the week we go there we have doubled our budget because it is really hard to make a week worth of meals with a 2L jug of oliver oil:)

  4. AvatarPatty says

    I’m sure you are aware of this now but I haven’t seen it mentioned… Wal-Mart has that incredible Savings Catcher option on their app. It is amazing and I never have to worry that I could’ve paid less elsewhere. I’ve saved loads using it.

    I enjoy your site!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Yes! It’s so convenient! I’ve used it several times and have never made money back, even though I know there were lower prices at local stores. So it’s not fool-proof but I feel confident it will get better and better over time. I’m grateful they made it so easy to use!

  5. AvatarEmma says

    Jordan , quick question about walmart price matching for example if another store was selling their own brand chicken for specific price per pound will walmart allow you to purchase their brand of chicken for the same price or does that not work because they are 2 different brands??
    Many thanks

  6. AvatarRaegan says

    How do you go about price-matching? There are always great deals going on at different stores but I don’t want to have to run to all of them to get them. What stores accept price-matching?

  7. AvatarJulie says

    I’m not sure if it’s all Walmart’s, but ours has a sign at each check out saying, “We no longer offer price matching.” I live in a very small rural area where there is literally just a Walmart and our local grocery. The next city is 2 hours away. Yes! This stinks! I do however practice the art of browsing the weekly sale flyer from our local grocery, (closer than Walmart is), and plan our meals around sale items. I’ve been doing this for years. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t do this. Meal planning has always been a life saver in our home, where my husband and I successfully raised 3 sons. They are grown now, with families of their own. My husband and I still meal plan. I also meal plan and shop for our middle son and his family, as he and his wife have very busy careers that don’t always allow them the time to do it on their own. This is a job I love! I want to thank you, Jordan, for doing what you do. You are an inspiration to many!

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