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When Are the Best Days to Go Grocery Shopping?

reusable bag full of groceries
Billion Photos/Shutterstock

When it comes to finding all of the best deals on your groceries, you might have to shop more than one day a week, since some items are cheaper on certain days. So, when is the best time to go shopping?

There is one day a week that can get you some deals and the freshest foods. There are also certain times of the day that are better for getting your shopping needs out of the way. Let’s break it down.

When Not to Go Shopping

It may seem like weekends are an ideal time for shopping, since that’s when you have the most available time (or that’s the case for many). The thing is, you’re not the only person rushing to the stores on weekends. That makes for a busy place to shop, and you might be paying more for your groceries than you would on certain weekdays.

Many stores also offer senior shopping days, which are fantastic for seniors but can be a bit crowded if you’re not old enough to take advantage of the deals.

So, When Should You Go Shopping?

When it comes to the best overall day to go grocery shopping, Wednesday is probably the winner.

Many grocery stores receive new stock on Tuesday nights. By Wednesday, most of that new stock is on the shelves and sales on overstocked items begin. It’s the best of both worlds. You get access to fresher meats and produce, as well as to deals on pantry items that stores might now have too much of.

And if you can’t make it on Wednesday, Thursday is a good second choice. 

As a bonus, because most people are busy shopping on weekends, mid-week shopping offers you a more relaxed grocery-getting experience.

You Can Get Better Deals if You Work for Them

Okay, maybe you’re pinching your pennies, and you’re willing to hit up the grocery every day for those savings. Not a problem.

Ibotta (an app that gets you cash back when you shop) did some research on grocery spending habits. When it comes to college students, anyway, there are certain days when you can get the foods you like a few cents cheaper. It seems weird that stores would change prices throughout the week, but it’s a fact.

According to this recent article from ibotta, for those of you buying quick meals—like Ramen noodles, soup, mac and cheese, and even popcorn—you’re going to need to go to the store every day of the week just to get your grocery list checked off. Each of these foods is a few cents cheaper on a different day of the week.

  • Tuesday: Buy Ramen four-percent cheaper. For non-college age adults, this is also a good day to grab some wine.
  • Wednesday: Bread and beer are cheaper on Wednesdays, but again, alcoholic beverages aren’t part of the grocery list for underage college students.
  • Thursday: Snack foods like popcorn and chips are two-percent cheaper. It’s also the perfect day to pick up some mac and cheese and other pasta dishes.
  • Friday: Produce is cheaper on Friday (now that it’s been sitting in the store for a few days) and you may get about a percent off ice cream too.
  • Saturday: Soup is the one thing you can get cheaper on Saturdays.
  • Sunday: Shop for pizza, sports drinks, and coffee on Sunday, for the best deals.

If you’re not a college student, your best bet for stretching your money is to pay attention to store circulars and sales. Stores change up deals all the time, so we can’t give you a rundown on which particular days are best. But, you can rack up some real savings if you’re willing to put in the extra time.

Another interesting thing to note about grocery store pricing is the slow integration of digital shelf tags. Some larger chain stores in bigger cities already have these new ways of showing the current prices on your groceries. With IBM’s digital shelf tags the store can show instant discounts without hours of employee time to change shelf tags, allowing you to get a jump on the best prices.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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