Saving Money on Groceries: Tips and Tricks for Filipinos

In the Philippines, where the cost of living continues to rise, finding ways to save money is essential for many families.

One significant area where savings can be made is in the grocery budget. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the average Filipino household allocates a significant portion of its income to food and non-alcoholic beverages, making it a prime target for cost-cutting measures.

In this blog post, we will explore practical tips and tricks to help Filipinos save money on groceries, with real-life examples and references to expert advice.

Create a Budget and Stick to It

Before heading to the grocery store, it’s essential to create a budget for your shopping trip. This budget should be based on your monthly income, taking into account other financial obligations.

A common guideline is to allocate around 10-15% of your income to groceries. Creating a budget helps you avoid overspending and impulse buying.

Example: Let’s say your monthly income is PHP 30,000. You allocate 12% to groceries, which amounts to PHP 3,600. This becomes your grocery budget for the month.

According to financial experts like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey, creating a budget is the foundation of sound financial management. It helps you track your expenses and prioritize your spending.

Make a Shopping List

Once you have a budget in place, create a detailed shopping list.

List down the items you need for the week or month, and stick to it as closely as possible.

This prevents you from buying unnecessary items and helps you focus on what you genuinely need.

Example: Your shopping list for the week includes rice, vegetables, chicken, and toiletries. Stick to this list and avoid adding items like chips or soda that aren’t essential.

The National Consumer League recommends creating a shopping list to reduce impulse buying and save money.

Take Advantage of Sales and Discounts

Keep an eye out for sales, discounts, and promotions in your local grocery stores.

Many supermarkets have weekly or monthly promotions on various products.

Take advantage of these deals to stock up on non-perishable items or items you frequently use.

Example: If your favorite brand of shampoo is on a buy-one-get-one-free offer, buy it in bulk to save money in the long run.

The Philippine Retailers Association advises consumers to be alert for discounts and promotions, especially during special occasions and holidays.

Compare Prices and Brands

Don’t be loyal to a particular brand if a more affordable option is available. Compare prices and quality among different brands and go for the best value for your money.

Example: When buying canned goods, compare the prices of different brands to see which one offers the most reasonable price per gram or per can.

Consumer Reports suggests that consumers can save significantly by choosing generic or store-brand products over name brands for many items.

Buy in Bulk When Appropriate

Buying in bulk can save you money in the long run, but it’s essential to do this wisely. Only purchase items in bulk if they are non-perishable or have a long shelf life.

Example: Stock up on items like rice, pasta, and canned goods when they are on sale or offered in larger quantities.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recommends buying in bulk for items you use frequently, but be cautious not to waste perishable items.

Use Coupons and Loyalty Cards

Many grocery stores in the Philippines offer loyalty cards and digital coupons that provide additional discounts and rewards. Sign up for these programs and use them to your advantage.

Example: If your loyalty card offers points for every purchase, accumulate these points and use them to get discounts on future grocery trips.

The Philippine Retailers Association encourages consumers to use loyalty cards and digital coupons to maximize savings.

Plan Your Meals and Reduce Food Waste

Planning your meals in advance can help you buy only the ingredients you need, reducing food waste and saving money.

Example: Plan your weekly menu, and only buy the necessary ingredients. Leftovers can be used for future meals, preventing food waste.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlights the importance of meal planning in reducing food waste and saving money.

Avoid Shopping When Hungry

Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to impulsive and unnecessary purchases. Eat a meal or snack before heading to the grocery store to make more rational choices.

Example: Have a light snack before going shopping to curb your hunger and avoid buying snacks or junk food impulsively.

The American Psychological Association discusses the link between hunger and impulsive buying behavior.

Use Cash Instead of Cards

Paying with cash can help you stay within your budget, as it provides a tangible sense of how much you’re spending.

Example: Withdraw your grocery budget in cash and leave your credit cards at home to prevent overspending.

Financial experts like Dave Ramsey recommend using cash envelopes for budgeting to control spending.

Consider Online Shopping

Online grocery shopping can offer convenience and sometimes better deals. Compare prices between physical stores and online retailers to find the best options.

Example: Explore online grocery platforms and compare the prices of your essential items with those at your local supermarket.

The Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines encourages consumers to explore online shopping for better price comparisons and convenience.


Saving money on groceries is not just about tightening your belt; it’s about making smart choices that align with your budget and financial goals.

By creating a budget, making a shopping list, taking advantage of discounts, and being mindful of your choices, Filipinos can reduce their grocery expenses significantly.

These strategies, along with meal planning and avoiding wasteful habits, can lead to substantial savings over time.

In a world where every peso counts, adopting these tips and tricks can make a real difference in the financial well-being of Filipino households.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I allocate for groceries in my budget?

Experts recommend allocating around 10-15% of your monthly income to groceries. Adjust this percentage based on your unique financial situation.

What is the benefit of creating a shopping list?

A shopping list helps you avoid overspending and impulse buying by keeping you focused on what you genuinely need.

How can I take advantage of sales and discounts?

Keep an eye out for promotions in your local grocery stores, and buy items in bulk when they are on sale or offered in larger quantities.

Are loyalty cards and digital coupons worth using?

A4: Yes, loyalty cards and digital coupons offered by many grocery stores in the Philippines can provide additional discounts and rewards, making them worth using.

Is it advisable to shop online for groceries?

Online grocery shopping can offer convenience and sometimes better deals. Compare prices between physical stores and online retailers to find the best options.

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