How can you save money on groceries in the UAE

How can you save money on groceries in the UAE?

It is well-known that the cost of living is quite expensive in the UAE and that includes groceries as well which comes under essential needs.. It is a burden on your wallet every week if you go out to make purchases. 

Here in this article we provide you with some money-saving tips on groceries. Use these tips and  the next time you go out for shopping you will see a noticeable drop in final price. 

Money saving tips on groceries

Money saving tips on groceries
1. Use Coupons and offers
2. Don’t buy what is not on your list
3. Get your Loyalty Card
4. Do not plan to stock and hoard
5. Do not buy everything from Same place
6. Do online shopping
7. Use Credit Cards for payments
8. Choose Local products
9. Check the prices before you buy
10. Look out for alternative brands

1. Use Coupons and offers  

For coupons check magazines and newspapers. Look at local grocery stores or promotional booklets that supermarkets distribute. Find the best offers and plan your purchases. You can also subscribe to SMS alerts and social media alerts regarding offers, coupons and promotions. 

There are various stores like Quality Food, Noon, Tabalat, Carrefour, Barakat, etc. that offers discounts and deals on specific products.

Apart from the free coupons, there are some coupon sites that offer the coupons at a price like couponcodesme, rezeem, etc.

2. Don’t buy what is not on your list  

Stick to your grocery list that you have planned to buy. Choose the most cost-effective groceries and plan your time and money. Stick to the same list of items that you need to buy. Do not buy the items which are not on your list  as you may tend to spend more. Planning what to buy is an effective tool. 

3. Get your Loyalty Card  

Every supermarket issues a locality card for its customers. To check out faster, many people forgo the process of a loyalty card. If you use a loyalty card you can save up to 30 percent on your bill especially during the highest promotions seasons like Eid or Ramadan.

Some of the loyalty cards are listed below. 

UAE Loyalty Cards

Air Miles UAE

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Purchases made at selected stores in the UAE or Oman can earn 1-3 Air Miles per 1 AED
  • The card is available for free but if its inactive for 15 months, membership will be closed.
  • Air miles come with an expiry date of 36 months
  • HSBC Credit Card and Debit cardholders are provided additional miles on making purchases using their cards.

Carrefour My Club UAE

  • Grocery Shopping 
  • Earn 1 point per AED 10 spent and also avail exclusive offers on the Loyalty card
  • On every 500 points earned, you will get AED 50 Loyalty voucher 
  • The card is available for free to everyone 
  • Purchases made at freshood section can gain extra points

Tamayaz Union Coop

  • Grocery shopping
  • 1 point per every 1 AED spent
  • For every 3000 points collected, you will get AED 50 voucher 
  • The card is available for free 
  • Vouchers have no expiry
  • Can avail instant discounts on selected products

4. Do not plan to stock and hoard  

When you have savings on your mind you need not buy in bulk and hoard for months. Look at the best promotions as a timeline and buy less perishable items like rice or wheat. If you purchase more because of promotions you may lose the opportunity of spending on other essentials. Suppose you are in need of wheat and there are no promotions, buy less quantity for the time being and wait for the promotions that will come up every month. Do not plan to stock up the entire pantry, be smart and save your money, look for where and when to shop.

5. Do not buy everything from Same place  

When you shop everything that you need from a single place it’s easy and comfortable. However, if you compare prices and see you will notice that you might be paying more for some grocery items.

Find the best supermarkets and hypermarkets that are specialized for a group of products. Buy these products in these stores and plan to buy other items in other specialized stores. By doing this you will get good discounts and you can save money. 

For example Asian food items are cheaper in Lulu stores or Shaklan. International and Continental food ingredients are cheaper in Carrefour. 

6.Do online shopping  

Doing groceries online shopping helps you to stick to your budget and it encourages you to make the right purchasing decisions. By shopping online, you can get discounts and good deals on your purchases.

You can get order items that you want and If you change your mind then you can remove items from your virtual basket with just a click.

7. Use Credit Cards for payments  

Buying groceries and paying through credit cards is the easiest way to reduce your expenses. Credit card companies provide cashback offers on purchases. There are cashback credit cards and co-branded cards that help you save on purchases. Some of the cashback credit cards are HSBC cashback plus, Standard Chartered Platinum, ADIB Spice, CBD Supersaver, RAKBank World and Emirates Islamic Cashback Plus. 

Below listed few cards which give attractive offers, for example, 

  • RAKBank World credit card offers 10% cashback on grocery spending with a maximum of Dh200 per month, your monthly spending should be at least Dh15,000. 
  • By using ADCB Lulu Platinum card and ADCB Lulu Titanium card you can Turn spending into free shopping at LuLu Hypermarket with the LuLu Credit Card. Every time you use your card, you’ll earn LuLuPoints that you can use to shop at any LuLu Hypermarket across the UAE. Earn up to 5 Lulu points for every AED spent. Each 5000 Lulu point gives AED 50.

8. Choose Local products  

Many supermarket products in the UAE are imported from other countries because of the climatic conditions prevailing in the UAE. The prices for imported goods will be high whereas the locally grown products are less priced. 

For example, Carrefour stores purchase vegetables and fruits from 600 farms in the UAE. It pays Dh3 a kg for local tomatoes whereas it pays Dh20 for imported tomatoes. Buying local grown products can save a good amount of money.

9. Check the prices before you buy  

Checking the prices before you buy is the best way to compare prices. Check how much each item costs. Compare each unit costs and the product. It gives you a better idea of whether to buy in bulk or single items or whether to buy items on sale. 

10. Look out for alternative brands  

Look out for low and high brands and cheaper alternatives. The big brand names pay premium for retailers and also pay for spaces on shelves. This may be one of the reasons the prices are higher for big brands. 

For low or alternative brands look at the bottom shelves and search for alternative local brands where the prices are low. Spend on the local brands and save your money.


Apart from the tips discussed above, the most affordable groceries to buy in the UAE are pulses, eggs, canned tomatoes, potatoes, canned tuna, rice and others. These items are not only affordable but also nutritious for your health. Follow the tips given here in this article and save money on groceries.

Meet the author
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Vinay Kumar Goguru is a finance professional with more than 8 years of diverse experience as a researcher, instructor and Industry work experience with both public and private entities. Prior to MyMoneySouq, he spent 6 years in Berkadia, It’s a commercial mortgage banking company. He has a “Doctoral Degree in Commerce” and two master’s degrees with a specialization in Finance, one as Master of Commerce and other as Master of Business Administration. He has written several articles on personal finance, published by different International journals. He loves traveling, reading and writing is his passion. He has a dream of writing a book on his favorite finance topics.






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