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Do you feel like you are paying too much for your groceries? Are you looking for ways to trim some corners and maybe even cut your grocery bill in half? If this is you, keep reading because I’m gonna show you how to save money on your groceries without spending hours clipping coupons.
When my husband and I first got married, we were on a VERY tight budget and rarely had much money left over after paying bills to spend on groceries. At that time I was working at a local grocery store and quickly learned how to use coupons and sales to minimize our grocery budget.
Of course, everyone knows about clipping coupons from the Sunday paper, but many of us don’t have time to clip coupons or if you are like me don’t even get the newspaper. That’s why I have found several ways to still save a huge amount of money on my groceries without clipping a single paper coupon.
And the best part is you can use all of these methods right from your smartphone.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND ANYTHING THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR USE MYSELF. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE)
Shop what’s on Sale
This may be the oldest way to save in the book. But seriously think about it. If it’s something that people have been doing for decades, there’s gotta be some truth to it, right?
This is actually the very first step I take when planning a grocery shopping trip. And it honestly doesn’t take but 5 mins of my time to plan a week’s worth of meals. In fact, I will usually take the time when my kids are eating breakfast to quickly see what I already have in my kitchen.
And by checking to see what I already have on hand I can try to make some meals from those items and only buy what I truly need. (This also prevents me from buying another jar of pasta sauce when I already have 3 others in my pantry….shhh).
When you are scanning through the sales, you want to try to brainstorm a few different meals from whatever meat, produce, and etc. is on sale that week. For example, if boneless pork loins are on a really good sale, I will brainstorm a few meals like pulled pork, pork chops, and even a roast.
This way instead of planning what meals you want to eat what you are craving, you can avoid paying full price for only meal planning around the current sales. Make sense?
Make a Meal Plan
After browsing through the sales ad, make out a meal plan for the week and STICK TO IT!!! This was very difficult for my family at first, but I noticed when we started writing our planned meals on the calendar that we were more likely to stick to it.
Buy the Store Brand when it’s Cheaper
We all have certain brands that we love and that’s fine, but when you can substitute the brand name products for a store brand product that’s cheaper, do it. Generally, most store-branded products are actually made at the same factory as your favorite brand name products anyhow.
Sometimes I have noticed that the store’s brand of products is even better. So try to compare prices and if you see a store brand that is a little cheaper, give it a try. You might be surprised that it’s very similar. Or you might like the store brand more.
Yes! You read that right. Now, I know I mentioned earlier that I would show you a way to save money on your groceries without clipping a single coupon and that is true. But when I say start couponing, I mean start using digital coupons.
Digital coupons have become very popular and there are several grocery stores that have a FREE app you can download on your phone. Many of these apps also allow you to load digital coupons even while you are right there in the store. For example, if I ran to the grocery store right now and needed a box of pasta for dinner tonight, I would quickly check my store’s app to see if they have any coupons available.
It really is that easy. I’ve even taken just 5 minutes to look through my cart and check to see if there are any digital coupons available right before check out. It doesn’t matter how little the savings because it all adds up in the end.
Buy in Bulk
Now I’m not saying that you have to start buying everything in bulk (unless you have a huge family that is). Although, stocking up on a few items is a great idea, especially when they are on sale.
I love to stock up on a ton of things when they are on sale, especially anything that is unperishable or that I can toss in the freezer. One of the biggest things I stock up on is bread. When I see that bread is marked down I grab 2 or more loaves for my toast and peanut butter and jelly sandwich-loving family.
And to keep it from going bad, I freeze it in our small chest freezer until we need another loaf. It’s that easy! And the best part is that the bread is just the same even after being in the freezer.
Don’t Pay for Convenience
This is a HUGE tip for all moms who are paying for convenience. But don’t feel bad, because I was completely guilty of this too. And until I started truly looking at the price I was paying for the convenience I didn’t know how much money I could save by preparing more food of my own.
For instance, when I say paying for convenience, I am referring to paying a little more to avoid extra steps when preparing meals. Such as purchasing bagged salad mixes. This might not seem like a lot but let’s weigh in on the prices.
A bagged salad mix is already prepared and can simply be opened and served but you are paying anywhere from $1.99-$2.99 for one 7-11oz bag. Now that may seem like a lot of salad but you truly could get a lot more for less.
Let’s say we take a head of iceberg lettuce instead. You can generally find a head of lettuce on sale or even regular price for $.99 or less for 16oz or more. That’s more food for less!!! Just by making the decision to wash and cut up your own lettuce rather than paying for already prepared lettuce kits.
And there are several ways to use this scenario.
Another way I skip on convenience is by purchasing whole chicken when on sale and using that one chicken in several meals. What????
Yes! I take one whole chicken and bake it in the oven for my family of four and then I use the leftovers for sandwiches or soup for days. This is actually how I plan most of our lunches as well to save even more money.
Now I want to tell you about these awesome rebates that can be redeemed from your phone. Yes!! No filling out rebate forms or even going online to send them in. You can do all of this right from the palm of your hand.
The first rebate app that I use is called Ibotta and it has become very popular in the last few years. Ibotta is cool because it finds the rebates for you. All you have to do is select your store and then click on the items that you have purchased.
After this simply scan the product that the rebate is for and take a picture of your receipt. That’s it! Instant cash in your Ibotta account. You can even link your store’s loyalty card to the app. It really is that easy.
Once you have earned $20 all of your earnings can be either transferred to your PayPal account or you can convert them to a gift card.
Just like ibotta, Checkout51 is a rebate app that you can download right to your smartphone. You simply download the app, scan through the rebates and select the ones that you buy. After your purchase, simply upload your receipt, select your rebate claims and earn your credit.
The only big difference between Ibotta and Checkout 51 that I have found is that Checkout 51 doesn’t generally separate their offers by store so you have to look through their list to see if there are any rebates that you would like. Checkout 51 also gives you your earnings via check instead of PayPal or gift cards.
However, I can say that Checkout 51 has many rebates that are in higher amounts ibotta offers which saves lots of money.
Are you still looking for other ways to save money?
If so, here is my last tip for you. My very good friend Victoria and her family of three spend less than $200 each month on their groceries and they eat an all organic, grass-fed diet. In fact, she used to spend over $1000 a month on the same healthy foods that they are eating now. How does she do it?
She has created a system that has helped her save over $15,000 on food and household items last year alone and she doesn’t use a single coupon.
Did I miss anything? How do you save money on your groceries? Tell me below! Was there anything I missed?