Even though we have plenty of food and grocery coupons, we know that coupon clipping isn’t for everyone. Here’s a list of 1o ways to save on groceries and food without bringing coupons to the grocery store. You might also like the Ibotta app.
1. Browse your shelves before you go shopping
This practice ensures you’ll know what you need to use before it goes bad. Keep those foods in mind when you’re getting ready to plan your weekly menu. While this sounds simple, I know that I’ve ended up with way too much chicken broth and other staples that eventually go bad!
2. Check the ads before planning your meals
Shopping the sales is one of the easiest ways to reduce your grocery expenses. Most stores have websites that allow you to browse their weekly flyer and click items to add them to your shopping list.
3. Always make a list and stick to it
That way you won’t find yourself going from one side of the store to the other, trying to ignore all of those end caps and other temptations.
4. Buy store-brand products if the ingredients match
Store-brand foods have come a long way since the 2008 financial meltdown. In some cases, they’re actually the identical to the name brand product minus the snazzy packaging and advertising.
5. Opt for cheaper cuts of meat and cook slowly
The key to using cheaper cuts of beef is cooking them properly. With marinating, for instance, a pair of $7 USDA Select steaks can rival their Choice counterparts that cost twice as much.
6. Don’t be a brand loyalist
An easy way to begin doing this is by banishing brand names from your grocery list entirely. Rather than writing down “Crest,” for instance, write “toothpaste” and instead of “Cheerios” write “cereal.” You’ll remind yourself to look beyond your automatic brand preferences and find yourself saving quite a bit, too.
7. Look down for better prices
In other words, you’ll find the best deals on the lower shelves. This is where store brands and bulk items are located, along with bulk items that grocery stores sell to compete with Costco or Sam’s Club. Shopping from these shelves will save you the most money in most cases.
8. Don’t pay the store to do work for you
Having the store wash and chop vegetables for you is convenient but it drives the cost up sometimes as much as 40 percent. Spending an hour washing and chopping vegetables on the weekend might not sound like a lot of fun, but when it translates into savings of $20 or more it’s worth it!
9. Shop without kids if you can
There is a reason food companies target kids with their ads for soda and other unhealthy foods: it works. Pressed for time, tired parents often give in to the endless pleas for treats. Even if your kids’ treats are a box of clementine oranges, you’re still spending money you hadn’t planned on, and you’ll see it reflected on your receipt.
10. Making your own mixes is much cheaper
Whether it’s pancake mix or your own Homemade Mrs. Dash, Old Bay and Seasoning Salt, it is far cheaper to make your own.
11. Know the average price and stock up on sales
You don’t have to keep a full-fledged grocery price book to track prices on the items you purchase most often. A list on your smartphone, or even the back of a business card in your wallet, will help you recognize good deals.
12. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
The easiest way to save is to avoid shopping when you’re hungry. Impulse buying goes way up when you’re hungry, so shop during times of the day when you’re less likely to be tempted.
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