Save money on groceries without coupons
Clipping grocery coupons is a popular way to save money. But not everyone can or wants to be a coupon queen. Maybe the coupons you see are for products you don’t use or wouldn’t go out of your way to buy. Or maybe you’re in a hurry to shop. You can still avoid wasting money by remembering your loyalty card, checking for marked down/day-old/soon-to-expire racks and checking unit prices. How do you slash your grocery bill without using coupons?
Here are a few more suggestions.
Select a few store brands. Many vary only slightly to similar name-brand products, and many are manufactured by the same companies. Read the ingredients of both choices. Some are identical, and others are only slightly different. Stores are aware that they need to have quality products to compete. Many offer money-back guarantees, too.
LOOK FOR COUPONS WHILE SHOPPING:
Check the Red blinkie dispensers, coupons on shelves and on product packaging. Grab a store flyer while you’re there, too. One reader, Suzanne from Oregon, shares:”I shop the loss leaders at multiple grocery stores. Of course, these items are offered at such low prices to lure us into the store where the grocers anticipate we’ll inevitably spend more. But if you can limit your spending to the sale items only, there are some great deals to be had!”
Nonfood items can typically be found cheaper elsewhere. So only get what you absolutely need for this trip. Put off your bigger shopping trip until you’re better prepared to comparison shop (discount grocery, salvage food or dollar stores, warehouse clubs, ethnic or farmers markets, etc.), plan meals or make a list. One reader, Candy in Ohio, shares: “For quick trips, don’t use a cart. This works for me because I can only carry so much. When you have a cart, you are more apt to fill it. Shop the perimeter of the store, too. While shopping, I found a summer sausage for $3.99 in the center aisle. As I went on with my shopping, along the back wall of the store was a display with the same type of sausage for $2.99.” You’ll discover most prepackaged convenience and junk foods are in the center aisles, while healthier choices are on the outer perimeter. Don’t forget to weigh bagged produce, too. You can often get an additional serving by comparing the package’s weight.
PORTION IT YOURSELF:
Avoid pre-cut/chopped items such as produce and meat. Portion these at home. Another reader, Theresa from Florida, shares: “What I’ve learned to do is wait for sales on different types of beef. Then I ask the meat-cutter to custom cut for me. I get it ground, stir-fry cut, stew or kabob chunks, thin sliced for cheese steaks and bracciole or thicker steak cuts. Also, stop buying cold cuts from the deli. Buy whole turkey breasts, roast beef, chicken and ham when they’re on sale and slice them up for sandwiches and freeze.”
When checking out, watch that items are ringing up at the right price. Many grocery stores give a discount for pricing errors. Check your receipt in case you missed anything. Keep your receipt, too. Some have coupons on the back and you might be eligible for a price guarantee. If an item you’ve bought goes on sale within a certain amount of time, some stores will discount the difference.