In my post how to coupon without losing your mind, I talked about ways to coupon that are less stressful. Today I want to give some ideas for those of you who still find the idea of couponing too stressful to deal with. You can still save money without using coupons if you will put the tips below into motion. Of course there are probably other fabulous ideas that you can combine these with – but I do know for sure that if you use these suggestions below, you will drastically cut your food bill.
8 Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Coupons
Let the store coupon for you.
Yep, fool proof, isn’t it? Bottom line, if your local grocery stores have store discount cards, sign up. It is easy and painless and is a one time deal. I love the little key chain cards they give me so I just have to whip out my keys and then the savings start racking up.
I cannot stress the importance of this step. This one act alone can save you hundreds of dollars each month. You’ll save the most by only buying the ingredients you need and will use – no more wasted produce or other random items! If you have no idea how to menu plan or the thought of it stresses you out, I HIGHLY recommend signing up for a frugal menu planning service like FreezeEasy or eMeals. This service has been a HUGE blessing to my family and offers a huge variety of meal plans to choose from. Not only do they give you weekly menu plans, but they also give you weekly shopping lists! And it costs just a little over $1.00 a week! WOW!
Stick to your list.
This goes hand in hand with the menu planning. And if you’ll do this – you will maximize your savings each month. Every now and then if you see a PHENOMENAL (I mean a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal) on something you use all the time, then it is OK to stock up. But just because something is on sale, that isn’t enough to deviate from your list. Trust me, it will be on sale again, if not at the same store, at another one.
Shop at lower cost stores.
Try to find out which store in your area is considerably cheaper for most items and do the majority of your shopping there. One way you may do this is by using FREE grocery apps that compare for you, like Favado (our FAVE). Another way to do this if you do not use apps is by doing a walk through of each store noting prices of the items you buy frequently and those that are a little more costly.
Compare sales ads.
You can do this online or through print ads for the items that you need that week. This is especially crucial with the higher priced budget drainers such as meats, organic produce, specialty diet items (gluten free), etc. This is another place that the Favado app comes in handy!
Buy in bulk.
This really helps for families of 3 or more. I am not saying you shouldn’t shop in bulk with 2 people, I am just saying that you will really get a good ROI for your membership to a warehouse store (like Costco or Sam’s Club) when you have at least 3 in the family. We use this for our family of 5 on certain items and save LOTS of money doing so. However, BE CAUTIOUS as those warehouse stores can really suck you in with all their deals and high quality products. Remember, through those temptations – STICK TO YOUR LIST!
This is a wonderful way to maximize your grocery dollar even more! Just last night I pulled out a meal from our freezer cooking stock pile. Not only did it save me time, but money, as dinner for that night was FREE in the sense that it was not taken out of this weeks budget. WOOHOO! Check out my post 15 Freezer Meal Cookbooks for some great resources to help you on your once a month freezer cooking journey!
Cut out the excess.
Reevaluate what you are buying and modify it as necessary. This may involve cutting some things out entirely and/or replacing them with lower cost items (like store brands vs. name brands) that will help maximize their usage. It is important to be willing to make these changes if you want to trim your food budget. Just like exercising to lose weight – if you are willing to put in the hard work – you’ll see great results!
More to consider…