Today in the A to Z of saving money, I’m focusing on the letter G and how to save money on groceries. WITHOUT using coupons.
Here’s the thing, couponing can be exhilarating. You can score amazing hauls of items for free or ridiculously cheap. Have a stock pile of goodies, enough to last for years. BUT with that… comes a lot of work.
I mean, a lot a lot of work. There’s the clipping of coupons, printing the printable coupons, matching up the deals and preparing the list. Then the whole big huge shopping trip where you bite your lip while the cashier scans every last coupon. It’s a ton of work which can take hours every single week!
I’m here to help! Here’s exactly how to save money on groceries without coupons.
Use Rebate Apps
There are several rebate apps available now which offer cash back on groceries. Just open the app, check out the deals you want, go shopping and then earn some money back. Apps like iBotta and Saving Star will sync with your favorite grocery stores. So your cash back will go into your account automatically.
I have a secret tool up my sleeve. Ok, so maybe it’s not that secret. I mean, there are at least a few hundred other people using the same tool. Flipp is an awesome app to comparison shop grocery stores near you. When you need to check for sales on a particular item, just search for the item and see which store has the lowest price. You’ll be surprised how often stores have sales on your favorite products, and which stores have better sales.
Buy In Season
Just like shopping for seasonal items at a department store, you can save by shopping according to the season at the grocery store. Especially on produce items. For instance, at the time of this post, strawberries are in season. They’re running only $1.29 at our ALDI! If you shop in season, prices will be lower and produce fresher.
Find a good deal while out and about? Snag it and a few extra. If it’s fresh produce you can preserve it for later by freezing, dehydrating or canning. If it’s canned or dry goods, just stash it on the shelf. It will come in handy later when you need the item and don’t want to pay full price.
Keep Track Of What You Have
If you know what you have, you’ll know when it’s a good idea to use the previous tip. You won’t necessarily need another 6 cans of chicken broth if you already have a dozen back home. Plus other items you won’t duplicates of. So keep track to keep yourself from spending money you don’t need to.
Try A Discount Store
In larger cities, there are often several options available. Try doing a Google search for scratch and dent grocery stores near you or a food thrift store. Places like Wonder Bread Thrift Store will have close to expiration date and discontinued items for much less than retail. And FYI, day old bread can make a killer bruschetta, a savory stuffing or a perfect grilled cheese.
Look For Markdowns
Stores will often mark down things like produce and meat when it’s close to the expiration date. I’ve found markdowns at everything from Giant Eagle and Whole Foods all the way to ALDI and the Dollar Tree. Seriously, Dollar Tree! Ours has a rack at the front with things for 25 to 50 cents each! Here’s a pro tip for you: Walk through the meat section and take a look at the sell by dates. Stop by again the day before the sell by date for the markdowns. Morning is usually best.
Sign Up For Loyalty Cards
Yeah it can be a hassle at first, but trust me, you miss out on a ton of money saved by not using your loyalty card. Once you get through the initial set up, it’s as simple as scanning the card at the beginning of every transaction. Then you’ll get the extra in store savings and at some stores you’ll even earn cents off gasoline!
Cat WilsMay 2, 2016 at 2:06 am
I first started couponing so we could have more money to pay bills. Couponing helped me to be able to take the full legal amount of maternity leave from my job. So months off instead of 6- 8 weeks. Because we started saving so much we also were able to go on some nice vacations that we could never afford before I couponed. I would work full time and come home and only see my daughter 3 hours before she had to go to bed. It was barely enough time to cook dinner and help her with homework. Then last year I had to leave my job for health reasons and couponing helped me because of money saved from couponing prior and my huge stockpile. When I was sick I could not shop around as much but still was able to get some great deals here and there. Even if I did not have time to clip coupons I saved way more because of the stuff you learn from couponing. After I lost my job we were able to easily adjust to only one income in our family. I now have way more time to help my family. So the extra time I put into it was so worth it in the long run for me. But it is a lot of work it helps to have a reason to do all of the work.
Elizabeth @ Guilty Chocoholic MamaApril 15, 2016 at 8:02 am
Great ideas…because I’m one of the nobodies who ain’t got time for couponing! 😉 I love my grocery store’s “perks” program that’s linked through my cell phone. I just enter my pin at checkout, and money starts coming off. The online coupons are even autoclipped for me. Brilliant. So glad to find you as a feature at #FridayFunday!
Carrie BowersApril 12, 2016 at 1:02 pm
I used to coupon all the time before children and it really was worth it. I just don’t have time to coupon anymore. Maybe when the kids get older they can help me cut the coupons! I use the Walmart Savings Catcher and it has helped some. I am up to over $20 that I can get back when I cash it out! Thanks for linking up at Friday Funday and please come back again this week!