For many people cutting coupons is not an option. That’s totally OK – there are still ways to save at the grocery store without cutting a single coupon. The savings will not be as big or as impressive as if you clipped and used coupons, but don’t let that discourage you from trying to save money on groceries. Every little bit of money saved helps!
Create a Meal Menu. Knowing what’s for dinner allows you to make a detailed shopping list. You will be able to purchase every item that you need on your list without forgetting something and needing to make a quick trip to the store for one or two items. Those quick trips rarely end up as we had planned and we often impulse buy a bunch of things we don’t need (hello ice cream…and candy bar placed perfectly at the register). Keep your meal menu in view at your house. A dry erase calendar is very useful.
Have a Meatless Monday dinner (or any night of your choice). By substituting a different high protein food other than meat into a weekly dinner you will save your budget tremendously. Meat is an expensive staple. Check out Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters: Over 150 Delicious Recipes for inspiration.
Save Money on Meat with Zaycon Foods. Buying meat in bulk from Zaycon Foods (when they are delivering in your area), is one of the smartest ways to save money on meat. Sign up today and watch their emails. My favorite meat offer is boneless skinless chicken for $1.69/lb (prices vary per area). I hope that one returns this summer! I buy two 40 pound boxes of meat at at time when Zaycon is in my area.
Create a grocery price tracker. Now that you are planning your meals ahead of time you may have a few repeats (Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday). Record the prices of the items that you purchase frequently. Compare prices across stores. You may even make a special trip to a store just to check prices and not to purchase a single ite.
Stock up during sales. During a Buy One Get One Free sale you are getting one item for free….so why wouldn’t you stock up? Almost everything goes on sale during a sales cycle (approximately every three months). That is the ideal time to stock your pantry on non-perishable foods like crackers, peanut butter, cereal, and more.
Shop seasonally. Produce is seasonal and buying produce when it is in season makes cents in your wallet. Watermelons are cheaper in the summer than the winter and pumpkins are cheaper in the fall than the spring. Vary your meal menu by seasonal produce to save the most.
Shop with a list and stick to it. It’s as easy as that. If you need it and it is on your list, buy it. If it’s not on your list just say no.
Don’t buy processed foods. Processed foods are full of icky junk. Cut down on the amount of processed food that you are purchasing and use that money to shop seasonally instead.
Shop less. The fewer times you go to the store the less money you will be tempted to spend. Try to get your shopping done in one trip (per store, per sales cycle) to avoid temptation.
Find discount stores in your area. Scratch and Dent Stores and Big Lots are great examples of places that offer food at big discounts. A dented can is a dented can. The food inside is still good. Aldi is not a discount store, but they offer low, everyday prices that make shopping very affordable. If you haven’t shopped at Aldi you need to check their store locator and make a trip. Check out these Aldi Supermarket Produce Prices and you will see exactly what I mean.
Purchase store brands. If you are purchasing something when it is not on sale purchase the store brand.
Buy larger quantities. Stores discount bulk products. To see how much you are saving by purchasing in bulk check the per ounce or per pound price. Purchase a package of 6 paper towels instead of one roll at a time. Save even more by purchasing a package of 18 paper towels (space permitting).
Check the clearance section. Sometimes items on clearance on surprising and a fun treat to purchase. Seasonal clearance is rather predicatable after awhile. I know that almond bark goes on sale after Christmas, so I purchase it then to use on Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Goldfish Marshmallow Pops, Patriotic Strawberries, and more. Once you see a pattern to clearance make a note of it so you know when to stock up.
Use store loyalty cards. Sign up for your store loyalty cards (at stores like Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, Harris Teeter). By having a store loyalty card you will often receive discounts and sales prices that are not available without the card. You can often digitally download coupons onto your store loyalty card (don’t worry – there is no clipping involved).
Pay with cash. You can’t spend what you don’t have. Set your grocery budget and stick to it. Paying with cash ensures that you do not over spend. Once you get the hang of staying within your budget you could try using a credit card that you earn reward points with. Just be sure you pay it off in full every month!
See this list of 15 Ways to Save for more budgeting goodness.
Do you have ways that you save money on groceries without clipping a single coupon? Please leave a comment with your money saving technique.
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