How to Save Money on Groceries and Lose Friends in the Process

How can you save money on groceries

Saving money on groceries is the great American pastime, right up there with baseball and posting pictures of our breakfasts on social media. Sure, you could read some ho-hum tips in a finance magazine, but I’ve got the real insider secrets for you, the ones they don’t want you to know about.

First things first, let’s talk about a concept you may be familiar with: the shopping list. Some folks might tell you that you need to write one of these before you go to the grocery store. But that’s just what Big Grocery wants you to think. In reality, the shopping list is a ploy to lure you into a false sense of security, making you think that you have some kind of control over your grocery store trip. It’s a trap, and you’re smarter than that. Throw caution to the wind! Wing it! Really, what could go wrong? The worst-case scenario is that you come home with 17 bags of chips and no milk, which, to be honest, sounds like a great Saturday night to me.

However, if you insist on planning, may I suggest buying in bulk. Now, I don’t mean buying a few extra cans of beans or a larger box of cereal. I’m talking about renting a semi-truck, emptying out your savings account, and buying enough toilet paper to wipe the butts of a small country. Sure, you may end up living in a fort made of canned goods and granola bars, but just think of all the money you’ll save. Plus, you’re practically ready for the apocalypse.

Next up, let’s talk about loyalty cards. You’ve seen them: those pesky little pieces of plastic that hang from your keychain and give you a “discount” at the register. Well, my friend, I’m here to tell you that those are nothing more than a badge of honor, a symbol of your unwavering devotion to Big Grocery. Sure, they might save you a few cents on a gallon of milk, but is it really worth it? You’re much better off just negotiating your grocery prices like a used car salesman. The produce manager will love it, I promise.

Do you want another money-saving strategy? Quit eating fruits and veggies. I mean, who really enjoys the taste of broccoli or the crunch of an apple? It’s all a facade, a scheme invented by farmers to get you to shell out your hard-earned dollars for things that grow in the ground. Have you ever heard of the potato chip tree? No? Exactly.

And here’s another one: coupons. Let’s face it, clipping coupons is so 1995. Instead, why not take up a new hobby? Like extreme couponing. Now, I’m not talking about scanning the Sunday paper for a couple of dollars off a box of cereal. I’m talking about turning your living room into a war room with walls papered with flyers and coupons, using three laptops simultaneously to search the web for deals, and even dumpster diving for discarded coupon mailers. You’ll be saving so much money, you’ll practically be getting paid to shop.

Here’s a hot tip: supermarkets place their most expensive items at eye level. So what’s the solution? Simple: crawl. Yes, I’m suggesting you navigate your local grocery store on all fours. You might get a few strange looks and your knees might not be too pleased, but who needs dignity and comfort when there are bargains to be had?

Another thing you need to know about: generic brands. Look, don’t get snobby about it. The generic brand isn’t just for broke college students and people who’ve given up on life. These off-brands are just as good as the big-names. Sure, the packaging might not be as flashy and the name might not roll off the tongue quite as smoothly, but when you’re chewing “Crispy Hexagons” instead of “Cheerios,” your wallet will thank you.

Now, let’s get really sneaky: take advantage of the free samples. Some stores are so generous, they have entire mini meals up for grabs on those little plastic trays. Grab a bite here, a sip there, and before you know it, you’ve had an entire lunch without spending a penny. Add a little stealth, some cunning misdirection, and perhaps a fake mustache for repeated visits, and you might even score dinner. Just don’t let the store manager catch you.

Ever heard of the “expiration date”? It’s the ultimate conspiracy, created by Big Grocery to trick you into buying new stuff while there’s still plenty of good eating left. Got some sour milk? Don’t be so quick to toss it! Congratulations, you’ve got yourself some free cottage cheese. Those moldy strawberries? Artisanal jam in the making, my friend. Use your imagination, challenge your palate. Disclaimer: do keep a health line on this though, no one wants to see you on the 6 o’clock news as the guy who got botulism from old canned goods.

Last but not least, let’s talk about self-checkouts. These wonderful machines were obviously invented by someone who never had to endure the awkward small talk with a cashier. You can finally answer the “Did you find everything okay?” question with brutal honesty. But, that’s not all! These machines are the perfect opportunity for you to decide what’s worth scanning and what’s…err…a ‘gift’ from the supermarket gods. I mean, who hasn’t accidentally forgotten to scan that $20 block of gourmet cheese? Oh, just me? Never mind, then.

To wrap up this practical and totally achievable guide to saving money on groceries, remember: the key to success is creativity, persistence, and a complete disregard for societal norms. You may not win any popularity contests with the supermarket staff (or other customers, or your family, or your friends), but who needs popularity when you’ve got a basement full of canned green beans and enough toilet paper to last you until the next millennium? Remember, saving money is a marathon, not a sprint. And by marathon, I mean a hilariously absurd trek through the wild and wonderful world of grocery shopping. Now, go forth and save!