Couponing is a great way to save money, but not the only way. Which is a good thing! Some people don’t like to coupon because of the time it takes to find, download, and/or physically clip out coupons. And other people have trouble using coupons on groceries because the brands they usually buy don’t often have coupons, as is the case with many organic, gluten-free, or other “special diet” brands of foods. If you want to save money on food, but don’t want to rely on coupons, then you need to learn about these 7 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Using Coupons!
7 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Using Coupons
1. Make a Meal Plan
One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to make a meal plan! A meal plan is just a plan of what you want to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week, or for the whole month if you feel like planning out that far. Not only does this save you from having to wonder what to make each day, but it can also save you money! That’s because a meal plan allows you to plan ahead, which then allows you to take advantage of sales and bulk purchase deals. It also reduces how often you have to go to the grocery store, which in itself saves money.
2. Shop Less Often
The more often you go to the grocery store, the more you buy. It’s weird, but it’s true. After all, how often have you run in “just” for one or two items, and come out with five or more? Impulse shopping like this happens easily in a grocery store, where most individual things don’t really cost that much. But over time, all those extra purchases start to add up, and can really eat away at your grocery budget. So to save money, make a meal plan and a shopping list, and go to the grocery store only one or two times a week at most!
3. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money on groceries without using coupons! Stores often have sales on multiple packs of items, and some coupons only apply to buying several packages of a certain food. And some stores, like Costco, are built completely around the idea of buying in bulk to save money. As long as the individual unit price of your bulk purchase is lower than if you bought those individuals without the sale price, bulk purchase is a good deal.
4. Buy Groceries with Cash
Something interesting happens when you use cash instead of a credit or debit card to make purchases- you spend less. Psychologists believe the reason behind this is that with cards, we can’t fully envision just how much money we’re spending. We just see numbers on the register, we swipe a card, and we get to take our stuff home. But with cash, you more clearly see money leaving your possession in exchange for what you purchase. So if you want to save money on groceries, bring cash! You can even get the equivalent of your grocery budget in cash and put it in an envelope to bring with you (budgeting with envelopes is called the “envelope system”).
5. Get After-Purchase Rebates
A saving method similar to coupons is after-purchase rebates. Using apps like iBotta, Fetch Rewards, and Checkout 51, you can save money even after you’ve paid for your groceries! With most rebate apps like this, you browse the app for rebates for things you bought, scan the barcodes on what you got, and then take a picture of your receipt. Some apps even skip the scanning part, making it a two-step process! This is much faster than finding coupons, and often these apps have rebates for brands that don’t typically offer coupons.
6. Learn Your Local Prices
Another great way to save money on food is just to learn your local prices. Different stores will have different prices on things you usually buy. You may discover that Aldi has a better price on ketchup than Kroger, but that Kroger has a better price on flour than Walmart. If those price differences are big enough for enough items, it can be worth doing your grocery shopping in more than one store!
7. Buy Frugal Foods
Yet another way to cut down your grocery costs is simply to buy more frugal foods. Instead of steak or ground beef, get chicken. Try making more bean dishes, or having a vegetarian night. And if you buy a lot of pre-made meals, cut down on those. Cooking from scratch is not only healthier but also cheaper.
What helps you save money on groceries without using coupons?