Grocery

5 Super-Simple Grocery Shopping Tips for Saving Time & Money

Make your trips to the store a breeze this season.

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November 16, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.

We’ve teamed up with Albertsons Companies to share our top grocery shopping tips and tricks. Whether your local store is Safeway, ACME, or one of Albertsons Companies’ 19 other supermarkets across the country, download their free Deals & Delivery mobile app. And don’t forget to join their for U™ Member program to get weekly personalized deals, redeem Rewards for discounts on groceries, receive an annual birthday treat, and even get a free item every month—all for no membership fee or monthly cost. Not a member yet? Here’s a sweet "Welcome" offer: Get $5 off your next online grocery order of $25 or more.


I don’t know about you, but every year come November and December, I’m amazed at how fast the time flies by. The holidays mean gathering with loved ones, of course, but they also signify an endless parade of dinners, parties, and traditions along the way.

While I love the celebratory nature of this time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different commitments. This year, I’m planning ahead and thinking how I can make grocery shopping a breeze so that I can actually take a pause to enjoy the holidays. Here are a handful of tips I’m keeping in my back pocket each time I make (or plan) a trip to the supermarket this season.

1. Save a Bag (& Your Wallet)

If you’re anything like me, you have a stash of canvas tote bags sitting in the depths of your closet and a pile of big rolling carts in the corner. Rather than let them collect dust, I’ve made a point to keep the bags in the back of my car so that I have no excuse not to use them when I’m grocery shopping. When I lived in a city, I kept the bags in sight of my door so I wouldn’t forget to bring them. Reusable grocery bags not only help prevent waste, but also saves you money by not having to buy bags at the store. While you’re at it, it’s worth investing in reusable produce bags so you can skip the plastic altogether.

2. Stick to the Plan

I know making a meal plan isn’t the most fun way to spend a Sunday, but having a sense of what you’re going to make for the week can be one of the best ways to save money and time. By knowing what you’re going to make, you’re less likely to buy extra food that will go unused, which is good for your wallet and the environment. There’s also no panic at the end of the work day to come up with some meal ideas, and if you’re really on the ball, you might have even already done a little meal prepping to make dinner come together in minutes. While I love this approach year-round, it’s especially helpful during the holidays when I find myself in the mood for lots of vegetable-packed dishes to counter all the sweet, rich recipes that are typical of the season.

3. Don’t Double Up

After recently discovering I had three large jars of mayonnaise in the pantry, I’ve tried to reform my shopping habits. I’m guilty of not always practicing this, but taking a few minutes before leaving for the grocery store can make a real difference in your shopping. Check your meal plan and grocery list, then scan your fridge and pantry to see what ingredients you already have. Chances are there are a few items you can cross off the list, saving you extra dollars here and there, not to mention pantry space. You’ll also cut down on food by not buying two bunches of scallions (guilty) when you have some in the fridge, or yet another box of salad greens.

4. Lean Into Whole-Ingredient Cooking

It takes a little more planning (see tip #2), but I find such satisfaction in whole-ingredient cooking. That means making a great roast chicken one night, then saving the carcass to make homemade chicken stock on the weekend. You could also make a gorgeous carrot salad spiked with za’atar and feta, then use the tops for carrot top pesto. Or, make roasted celery soup and save the leaves for a crunchy slaw. I love the challenge of coming up with different combinations, and always feel good about the fact that I’ve extended the use of a single ingredient, while simultaneously saving money.

5. Take Advantage of Your Grocery Store’s Rewards App & Loyalty Program

This might be one of the easiest ways to save money at the supermarket. Just find the Albertsons Companies grocery store nearest to you, download its free Deals & Delivery mobile app, and join the for U™ Member program—all for free (no membership fee or monthly cost). With the app and Member program, you can see a real-time assortment of what’s available at the store from the comfort of your kitchen and see what items have special savings that week, so you can build your meal plan based on those ingredients. Other great perks: You'll earn Rewards, get a free item each month, and even get a treat on your birthday (who doesn't love that?).


What are your top money-saving grocery tips? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out the free Member programs at supermarkets from our partner Albertsons Companies, like ACME for U™, Albertsons for U™, Carrs for U™, Jewel-Osco for U™, Pavilions for U™, Randalls for U™, Safeway for U™, Shaw’s for U™, Star Market for U™, Tom Thumb for U™, and Vons for U™.

The All for Farmers Market

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The All for Farmers Market

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Alexis deBoschnek is a freelance recipe developer, cook, and video host based in the Catskills.

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