Save Money on Groceries With These Online Tools

By Sarah Winfrey on 25 April 2011 (Updated 6 May 2013) 4 comments
Photo: Ed Yourdon

The cost of just about everything seems to be going up these days. Gas is only the most notable example. The prices on groceries are rising steadily to the point that people are in a tizzy after they check out, getting a lot less food for a lot more money.

There are many ways to save on groceries. Unfortunately, these all take time, and that’s a precious commodity in our world, too. However, there are some online tools that can help you save both time and money, so you’re happier, more relaxed, and still eating well. (See also: 3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online Is Great)

Menu-Planning Tools

Most people know about the wisdom of menu planning. If you look at what you have in your house and plan your menus around that, you’ll spend less because you won’t buy as many new items each week. In addition, you’ll use up everything you have, so nothing goes to waste. Finally, you won’t be as prone to impulse buys because you’ll know your list has everything on it that you need.

In fact, the only downside to menu planning is that it can take quite a bit of time, especially at the beginning. But there are some handy-dandy websites that will not only allow you to choose the recipes you want to make, but will put together grocery lists and, sometimes, organize them for you, too.

Kitchen Monki

KitchenMonki not only provides you with recipes, but will break those up into an aisle-by-aisle list of what you need to buy. It will also help you scale recipes and figure out if you have enough of an ingredient left or if you need to buy some more.

HealthyEating

HealthyEating is similar, with an added focus on healthy foods. They help you understand nutrition, then provide recipes to help you meet your particular goals.

Relish!

While Relish! charges a $7/month fee, they claim to have better meals and more flexibility. You can choose to go gluten-free, or you can go for options that you know the kids will like. Five meals worth of food should cost around $90, and there’s little thinking involved on your part.

Coupon Resources

For most people, coupons are either a favorite or a least-favorite way to save money. For some, the process of finding, clipping, and using coupons feels tedious. To others, it seems like a no-brainer. And to some, it becomes a way of life, or even an obsession.

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If you’d like to use coupons, but you’re intimidated by the process or aren’t sure how to get started, CouponMom is a great site. You’ll have to invest a little time, but it offers articles on how to use coupons, what the different terms that couponers use mean, and how to get started. She also offers printable coupons, online coupons, and a coupon database, as well as a list of coupon deals by state.

Once you know what you’re doing, there are a bazillion coupon sites online. Redplum is one of the best, and one that people have found to be trustworthy, reliable, and worth their time.

Online Price Comparison

One of the most tried-and-true ways to save on groceries is to compare the costs of items you buy regularly and shop where they’re the cheapest. In terms of a time hog, though, this takes the cake. Not only do you have to find all the items in each store you want included in your comparison, but you also have to write down the prices. Then, when you’re done, you have to decide where you’ll save the most. (See also: Save on Groceries with Discount Grocery Stores)

Enter Pricible. This site claims to do your comparison shopping for you. All you need to do is tell it where you live, then enter the item you want to buy. It should give you the price options and the stores reporting the different prices in your area. Once you’ve worked through your standard grocery items with Pricible, you should be able to target your shopping so you can save as much as possible. Note: I didn’t find too many price options in my area, but it seems like other locations around the country had a much higher participation rate on the site.

Hopefully these tools will help alleviate some of the strain that rising food prices can put on frugal people.

Do you have other sites that you use to save on food? Let us know in the comments.

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Guest's picture

I am going to definitely start using some of these tools to start saving some money on my groceries.

Guest's picture
Shannyn

I totally am going to use MealsMatter! I was looking for a meal planning tool that would help me simplify my shopping, cut down on cost but still eat healthy! I can't wait to try it out and bookmarked it to check out before my next shopping trip- thanks!

Guest's picture
Gina

I like Relish! because not only does it plan your meals, it prints out a shopping list for the ingredients, organized by aisle. This saves me time because I'm not wandering around the store, and the less time I spend at the grocery store, the less I spend.

Guest's picture
valletta

I use Mealfire and love it! App for iPhone too.
You can surf the web and save any recipe you find automatically to your Mealfire account (free) and print grocery lists from your planned menus. It's fantastic!