UAE: Grocery shopping? Here are 9 ways to cut costs, save money

While everything about the city may scream opulence, residents aren't just blindly spending their hard-earned money


Elizabeth Gonzales

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Published: Mon 6 May 2024, 2:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 May 2024, 1:11 PM

With cost of living on the rise and residents looking for ways to cut their spending or save some more, grocery bills should be one of the first areas of focus — simply because it's an easy place to get more bang for your buck.

Here are ways in which you can slash your grocery bills while shopping in the UAE, without sacrificing quality or variety.

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1. Use coupons and promo codes

No money-saving method has endured the test of time like coupons have. By using coupons wisely, you can reduce your bill and may even get your groceries for almost nothing.

While it may be tempting to opt for an online bill, printed receipts are where you can find discount offers. Carrefour has coupons and vouchers on the back of the bill, showing you the discounted items in their store and their partner brands.

It's also important to check the online store and mobile app of the grocery of your choice; this helps you see the price difference of products. When shopping at Grandiose, for instance, you can check the app for the best applicable voucher and simply present it at the counter when shopping in person.

Online grocery shopping by Noon, Careem, and Instashop also offers daily promo codes, helping you decide which deal is best for you.

2. Watch out for daily, weekly sales

Aside from major sales events like the Ramadan and summer sales, shoppers can also watch out for daily and weekly deals of supermarkets.

Carrefour rolls out new promos, sales, and discounts every Wednesday. Meanwhile, Almaya does it on Wednesday, once every two weeks. Grandiose offers a regular weekend sale, so be sure to come by the store on Saturday or Sunday. Prime members can avail of supermarket discounts during the first week of the month on Amazon.

3. Plan your meals

With grocery stores offering daily and weekly deals, you can stock up on items like meat, fruits, and vegetables, allowing you to save you money for your meals that week. Planning your meal around discounted items is an effective way to reduce your grocery bills.

Studies and testimonials have shown families saved hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars simply by meal planning.

4. Sign up for loyalty programmes

Signing up for loyalty programmes is a great way to save money while spending it.

Most supermarkets offer loyalty programmes that grant their members exclusive discounts, rewards points, and other benefits.

You can earn points for each purchase you make, which can then be redeemed for discounts or free products.

Some famous loyalty programmes are Share by Carrefour, Shukran by Landmark Group, and Smiles by Etisalat.

You can pay for your groceries using your Share points, as well as Smiles points. You can use your Shukran points to pay for your toiletries at partner brands like Centrepoint.

5. Collect credit card points

When signing up for a credit card, you can avail of various discounts, offers, and partnership benefits. Checking out the offers on your credit card can help you save money on grocery items you regularly buy.

Most banks partner with grocery stores and grocery shopping apps, so make sure to check your mobile banking app before making a purchase.

ADCB, FAB, and Mashreq usually partner with Noon and Careem, so be on the lookout for the promos that will earn you discounts and credit card points.

6. Buy in bulk

Most supermarkets in the UAE offer huge discounts when you shop in bulk.

Bulk buying not only helps you save on the cost of individual items, it also helps you save shopping trips, reducing your transportation costs.

While mass buying is an effective way to save money while shopping, it is important to take note of the expiration date of the products.

7. Buy only what you need

Have you considered how much money you lose in a week or month by throwing away unused or excess grocery purchases?

This usually happens if you bulk buy more than you need or make impromptu purchasing decisions (say, when you're hungry). Sometimes, it happens because you end up not using all the fruits or vegetables you bought with good intentions at the start of the week.

All this only hurts your finances. Think of it like dumping your hard-earned dirhams in the bin.

8. Buy now, pay later

Take advantage of Buy Now, Pay Later schemes when grocery shopping.

Applications such as Tabby, Tamara and PostPay gives shoppers interest-free monthly instalment options.

Using these options, you can pay for your purchases in full but over a longer period, without having to pay any interest charges. This can result in significant savings compared to using a credit card and being charged interest for late payments.

9. Read promotional emails

Some supermarkets like Carrefour, Grandiose, Choithrams, and Viva offer discounts to people subscribed to their email lists.

It might be time to pay attention to the promotional emails in your inbox. You might be surprised by the number of coupons, offers and savings there.


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