Do you hate to clip coupons? Here are 30 Ways to Save on Groceries without using scissors!
If you hate to clip coupons but still need to spend less on groceries, I will share some of my money saving tips with you. I am not an “extreme coupon user,” but I have found many time and money saving ways to save on groceries.
In order to save the most money, you will need to clip a few coupons in addition to trying some of the other tricks and tips outlined here.
Saving money on groceries can be done, try these ideas and keep chipping away. You should be able to save about $200 a month on your groceries without any clipping.
The average family spends about $7,000 a year on food and groceries and the cost continues to rapidly rise! How much do you spend? Take a few minutes to tally this up and you will be extremely motivated to try some new money-saving strategies! What would an extra $200 a month mean to your family?
Here are 30 ideas to help you to save on groceries. Try them and see which ones work best for you and your family: (Bookmark this page and try these ideas one at a time until you have your new routine.)
1. Make a meal plan for the week based upon what is going to be on sale at your grocery store. If you only do this step, you will save money! Look at your grocery store flyer each week and buy and serve what is on sale.
2. Plan theme nights for easy menu planning. Here is a suggestion from the #DealPros at Savings.com: Monday is a meal with Chicken, Tuesday is Pasta meal, Wednesday is Mexican food, Thursday is Vegetarian night , Friday is Pizza, Saturday is a meal with Beef, and Sunday is for leftovers. Adapt this for your family and rinse and repeat.
3. Fast 5 – have a repertoire of 5 fast, easy and inexpensive meals that you can serve faster than ordering an pizza. These Fast 5 are for those extra busy nights so you won’t have to “drive- through” to get dinner. Keep them on a note card, or saved on your computer or smartphone.
4. Plan one or two nights each week where you cook once and eat twice. You can cook a chicken or a roast and make at least two meals out of it. Pasta dishes are excellent dollar stretchers. If you are washing and chopping something for a recipe, chop enough to use in one or two additional meals for the rest of the week.
5. Try going meatless one night a week.
6. Cook from your pantry and plan one or two meals a week with just the items you have on hand. The weekend is a good time to use what you have and not let anything go to waste.
7. Use a calendar or an online calendar to plan your meals based upon your schedule and the kids schedule.It doesn’t make sense to shop for elaborate meals when you will be getting home late from soccer practice and just need something quick.
8. Find more slow cooker recipes to put into your meal plans. Come home to a fully cooked meal.
9. If you have left-overs, search online for recipes by searching “easy recipe for (insert the name of your leftover).
10. Freeze extra food for a future meal. Use up the frozen meals within the next week. Add it to your meal plan calendar so it doesn’t get buried in the freezer and then tossed out.
11. Get organized at home before you go grocery shopping. Allow time to make an inventory, a meal plan, and to think about the week ahead. The quicker you can get in and out of the store, the more money you will save. Don’t wait until you are in the grocery store to wander the aisles and figure out what you need.
12. Learn the layout of your grocery store. Often you can print a map from the store’s website. Make your master shopping list by aisles of your store for faster and more organized shopping.
13. Use technology to help you to plan your shopping trip. Start a master list on a word processing program or in your cellphone. Don’t rewrite your list every time you shop. Improve your master list continually by adding a “buy now’ price when you know you should be stocking up. If you have a coupon, jot down the coupon details next to the item on your list so you don’t have to shuffle through your coupons in the store.
14. Buy the loss leaders. Grab the store flyer when you first walk in and note the items on the front page. Those are this week’s loss leaders and biggest markdowns. Typically items are on a sales cycle of about every six weeks.
15. Stockpile the non-perishable items that you will use for the next 3 months. When you see a great deal, consider buying 3 months worth of toothpaste, deodorant, pasta, etc. You can keep a running list of what you have in your stockpile on your master list. Note the price you paid on your master list so you can refer back to it.
16. Check the unit pricing. Sometimes the largest size is not the most economical. Buy in bulk when it makes sense for you.
17. Buy 10 and get the discounted price. Store policies vary, but often you can get the sales price on just one item. Carefully read the tag and ask if you are unsure.
18. Use a few coupons – You can start with one area of the shopping list like cleaning supplies or toiletries and just clip coupons for those items. See how this works for you and then add another category when you get more proficient. If you are buying diapers, you must use coupons and buy diapers on sale! I always ask my coupon-clipping readers to be the coupon fairy, clip and leave coupons in the store next to the diapers as a small way to bless someones day!
19. When using those few coupons, find an organizing system that works for you. I use one envelope for each aisle of the store and put the matching coupons in that envelope. Some people prefer a binder or a coupon holder. I keep my coupons in the car so I always have them for those quick trips. I reorganize and purge them when I need to wait. This keeps the coupons that I have on hand fresh in my mind. Keep your restaurant and fast food coupons with you too, just in case.
20. Put your kids in charge! If your kids are old enough, pawn off the job of clipping and organizing coupons. Split the savings with them and call it their allowance. Think of all the lessons you can incorporate by including them in the meal planning, price comparing, and the money-stretching needed to run a household.
21. Use e-Coupons – many grocery stores have electronic coupons that you can load right to your store loyalty card ahead of time. Swipe your card at checkout and those coupons come right off your bill. I also like SavingStar which has a large database of eCoupons. Your savings go into a fund that you can cash out in $5 increments. This is a great way to start a separate fund for Christmas shopping or for a special splurge.
22. Try to leave the kids at home unless they have become highly trained bargain shoppers with a vested interest in saving money. Take turns watching the kids with a friend so each of you can grocery shop, focus on saving money and get everything you need in one trip
23. Pick one drug store; CVS, RiteAid or Walgreens and follow their sales and use coupons to match up with a sale. Check the Sunday flyer to see their loss leaders for the week. You can save so much money on your toiletries, beauty products, paper products, OTC medicines, and more when you shop this way. You can get items for free and items that you can donate to your local shelter by shopping smarter at the drugstores.
24. Reconsider the warehouse store – if you shop at a big box wholesale club and feel like you are spending too much money, you must take the time to see if you can save more money buying some of these items elsewhere. Not everything purchased at these warehouse stores is a bargain. Sometimes we find ourselves consuming more because we have more, or throwing out perishable items because the quantity is too large.
25. Stay out of too many stores. If you are visiting several stores for just a one or two specialty items, visit once a month and buy what you need for the entire month. Limit the number of stores you frequent.
26. Try buying your non perishable online. You can stock up on your beauty products, toiletries, snacks cleaning supplies and more at Amazon. Use the Subscribe & Save feature for those items you need all the time, You can save additional money and change this anytime. Order enough to get free shipping if you do not have an Amazon Prime membership
27. Try the dollar store in your area. The dollar stores are really competing with groceries stores these days. Check the frozen foods, produce, canned goods and more. You will see many brand names now where a few years ago it was mostly off- label goods.
28. Start a produce and herb garden. Make this a family project and share your surplus. You will be amazed at how many ways you can serve zucchini!
29. Shop for local produce at Farmer’s Markets. The website Local Harvest will tell you what Farmer’s Markets are in your area.
30. Set a goal for saving a certain amount of money on your grocery bill and then plan a special family activity with the some of the savings. I recommend getting everyone involved in the process. Make a prop to continually track your progress to keep everyone motivated.
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If you have additional ideas to share, please let me know. Together, we can find more ways to stretch our dollars!