There are a number of ways in which people can save money on groceries, ranging from growing their own to coupon-clipping. Your ability to save money on groceries depends on how much time you want to commit, and how much space you have for things like gardening and the storage of bulk foods. Dedicated households can save a substantial amount on their grocery bills by exploiting available deals to the maximum and making smart buying decisions.
If you want to save money on groceries, it helps to have a versatile repertoire in the kitchen, because this will allow you to take advantage of great deals. Picky eaters and unimaginative cooks tend to spend a lot more on groceries because they have difficulty eating outside the box, sometimes literally, and a willingness to be a bit adventurous can go a long way. It is especially important to be inventive with leftovers, because this will allow you to stretch food throughout the week.
One very easy way to save money on groceries is to exploit coupons. Chances are high that one or more stores in your area publish their coupons on a regular basis, and you can sometimes get very good deals when shopping with coupons, especially when combined with store sales. Coupon shoppers also get very crafty; if, for example, you are not allowed to combine coupons in a single transaction, you can buy a batch of groceries with coupons, and then buy another to get the discount again.
In addition to using store coupons, you can also use manufacturer coupons. A number of websites have listings of coupons you can print out, and often these can be combined with store coupons. For example, if your store is having a two for one sale on pasta, and you have a manufacturer's coupon which allows you to buy a box of pasta for 35 cents, you can combine the coupons to get two boxes for 35 cents.
You should also keep an eye on produce prices. Seasonally available produce is, as a general rule, much cheaper than out of season or imported produce, and in addition to saving money, seasonally available produce also tends to be of better quality. If there's a really great sale on vegetables or fruits, consider buying a bunch and making preserves so that you can enjoy your favorite foods out of season.
Another excellent way to save money on groceries is to avoid packaged foods. Packaged foods tend to be significantly more expensive, and sometimes less healthy, as well. For example, bulk dried beans are typically very cheap, while canned beans are expensive and high in sodium, something which some people like to avoid. Prepared packaged foods like pasta sauce, pilaf mixes, and so forth tend to be very pricey, and they are easily made at home! You can also purchase staples in bulk, spending less money in the long term on something like a huge sack of rice than you would on a bunch of individual boxes or bags of rice.
Packaged baked goods in particular tend to be very expensive; if you bake your own bread, cookies, cakes, and other treats, you can cut down on expenses significantly. Avoiding things like packaged junk food will also save money on groceries, and perhaps contribute a health benefit as well. Instead of potato chips, think carrot sticks.
For people who are willing to radically change their diets to save money on groceries, cutting out animal products can save a great deal of money. Dairy and eggs in particular tend to be extremely expensive, along with meat of good quality. By eliminating such foods from your grocery list, you can cut costs and leave more room for special treats like chocolate bars, wine, or other splurges.
If you really want to save money on groceries, consider joining a discount store or club. These stores are great for high-volume bulk items, which you can stock up on to keep your pantry well supplied, and often they have very good deals on discontinued items or goods in packages which are too damaged to sell in a regular store.
You can also grow your own groceries, if you have garden space to do so. In some communities, people can take advantage of public gardens or allotments to grow produce, and some people find that working as a collective to share the labor and the end product can be a very effective way to save money on groceries. In addition to growing your own, take advantage of farm stands and community markets, where produce is often cheaper than it is at the store.