Holiday Grocery Shopping Tips

Woman holding cell phone while resting arms on shopping cart

One part of the holidays that quickly adds up, but is often left out of budgets, is additional holiday groceries. Whether you’re hosting parties, family get-togethers or you’re just bringing a dish to the work potluck, the amount spent on grocery shopping during the holiday season is always a little more.

So, here are some ways to make the most of your budget. If nothing else, remember these four key points as you prepare for your shopping trip:

1. Clean out your pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Before you head to the grocery store, make sure you have the space you need once you get home from your trip! Try to do this in stages starting in October. Use what you already have for that month, so you aren’t wasting food. Hopefully, by buying less groceries that month, you can save a little extra money for your food budget in November and December.


2. Plan ahead.

Anytime you can plan ahead for what you will actually need will help you cut down on stress and time in the grocery store.


3. Take your time and do the math.

Everyone tends to rush around this time of year. So, when you’re ready to grocery shop, try to go at a less popular time. You might even ask your local grocery store what their busiest time of the day or week is. Then, do the math! Account for the coupons you have and the sales going on to help you decide what is the best price. Sometimes you will discover the generic brands are actually more expensive once you’ve calculated all of the coupons and discounts you can apply to the brand you like.


4. Remember, great meals don’t have to be extravagant.

This can be hard to remember when your mother or grandmother always made a special meal. But, just because you don’t offer 2 meats, 6 sides, and 4 pies, doesn’t mean you aren’t providing a great meal to your guests. Know your abilities and limits. Plus, don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring a dish!

Now, onto the savings! Here are some tips to help you get what you need while remaining frugal:

  • Plan out your menu before you head to the store. Then, add ingredients and supplies for a few extra desserts or appetizers that are simple to make. When that unexpected party comes up, you’ll be glad you already have what you need on hand!
  • Watch local ads and clip coupons, but only for the things you know you’ll need. If you plan ahead, you can buy items as they go on sale. For instance, one week turkeys may be on sale, while the next week all of the canned goods are, etc.
  • Stock up now for later! This may make you go over your budget a bit this month, but if you know you’ll use it before the expiration date, then it could help you save big over the next few months. For example, you might find a good deal on canned goods, where you could save $0.25 or more per can. So, stock up on what you know you’ll need for the next year or buy extra to give to your local food pantry.
  • Check with your store for gift card promotions. Some stores offer gas discounts or even grocery discounts for purchasing certain gift cards. If you know you’ll use them or gift them, then this is a no brainer! Just be sure to keep up with them and use them, otherwise they won’t be a good deal.
  • If you don’t already, you can use apps such as Kroger’s app for coupons or cashback apps like Ibotta. Or, print coupons from There are many sites and apps such as these to help you find coupons and extra savings on the products you need.

One thing to remember: If it’s not something on your grocery list, don’t buy it just because it’s a good buy. Be smart about your purchases and the space you have available in your pantry. It’s only a good deal or coupon if it’s for something you need or really want.

*NOTE: The stores and apps mentioned in this article are not endorsed by or supported by First Kentucky Bank. This article is meant to present possible avenues to help you save money but are not guarantees.