You can save money even if you leave your coupons at home, saving on grocery shopping without coupons may take a little work and a little extra effort but it is worth it. Here are 40 ways to save money while shopping for groceries (without coupons) that you might not know about!
1. Look for items that are close to the expiration date that you know that your family can use quickly such as milk, meats, crackers, frozen foods, and more. These almost expired items will either be marked down for quick sales or you can request that the items be reduced for you.
2. Many grocery stores have their own coupons and sales independent of national coupons. If you have forgotten the store coupon booklet, keep a running list in your head of all items that you need a coupon for and ask at the checkout if the cashier has the booklet. Most do keep the coupon booklet at the checkout counter. This may not work with every cashier but I have never been told no!
3. Grab the sales paper on the way into the store and head for the sales items. Make a meal plan with sales items and save lots of cash!
4. Stay away from processed foods and buy fresh foods. Processed foods such as cheesesticks and pizza rolls have went up in price as of late.
5. Look for grocery carts sitting around the store as they place items that are either out of date, reduced, or the box smashed.
6. Ask where the bakery reduced items are located and load up on fresh breads, garlic bread, cakes, cupcakes, and more!
7. See a good sale on a huge bag of potatoes but know you can’t use them all? Share with a friend or trade half of the bag for her tomatoes.
8. If you have a small family and can’t use large containers of items that will go bad quickly, buy the cheaper priced large containers and split it up between neighbors. If everyone does this, you will get something else you could use too! Such as large containers of sour cream or cottage cheese.
9. Buy the larger sized packages of meat and then go home and freeze smaller portions in individual freezer bags. You will save money doing this.
10. If you see an item on sale for pennies, buy all you can afford to buy while it is on sale. Sure you don’t need 49 sponges but it will save on buying one for full price when you do need it!
11. Buy off brand foods. Many do taste the same as brand name.
12. Follow your list and do not buy anything on impulse. Sure that brownie chunk ice cream looks delicious but costs $6.77!!
13. Don’t walk around without a plan. Go into the store with a plan of what you need and only buy that.
14. Try not to bring children with you and if you have to bring them, stay out of cereal and candy aisles.
15. Go plain. The more toppings and extras in foods, the more you pay for it. Buy plain yogurt and dress it up with your own fruit at home.
16. Buy ingredients to make your own food at home rather than buying convenience foods such as frozen pizzas. It is much more fun to buy the pizza crust (or make your own) and top it the way you want.
17. Don’t buy anything but food at the grocery store unless there is a fantastic sale! You can find better deals on toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, laundry detergent, and other non-food items by shopping at the dollar store.
18. Going along with the tip above, never buy food at a convenience store! You will pay 3 times more for a frozen pizza or cereal there.
19. Look at the top and bottom of shelves for cheaper foods. Anything in your line of sight (middle of the shelf) will cost you more.
20. Shop before you get to the checkout line. Those items (candies, magazines, and more) are the most expensive and there to lure you in to spending even more money than you planned on.
21. Keep tabs on how much you are spending. Keep a running list of the cost so you aren’t surprised with a $200 shopping trip receipt!
22. Eat before you go grocery shopping or you will be loading the cart with lots of stuff just because you are hungry.
23. Try one new food each week but no more. You don’t want a lot of stuff that no one will eat! (The frozen stuffed potatoes in my freezer can attest to this!)
24. Don’t buy more than your family can eat even if it is on sale. Milk won’t last long so only buy what your family will use or drink.
25. If you are on a food budget of $50, don’t buy large containers costing over $10 each. You need that money for food your family will eat this week.
26. Don’t let the store lure you with deals that aren’t really sale prices. Saving a dime on ice cream toppings isn’t a deal if you can’t afford the ice cream this week, plus a dime savings isn’t worth buying it. Wait for a better sale.
27. Know the regular costs of food so you can see when a good deal is happening.
28. Know before you go. Always look through the cabinets so you know what you are out of and what you have enough of that week.
29. Get to know the cashiers and store workers. They will let you know of savings throughout the store.
30. If the store is out of sale item, get a raincheck.
31. Comparison shop with sales advertisements and some stores will reduce their prices to match other stores. Sometimes you need the sales paper to price match but at times you won’t. This only works if the item is exactly the same.
32. Buy non-character foods. Never buy cereals or soups just because Dora the Explorer adorns the front. This will cost you greatly.
33. Shop outside the inner aisles. Not only is the more healthy but also where the freshest foods are.
34. If you see a damaged item, tell the manager and see if he can give you a deal on it. Cheerios in a dented box? $1.00 off possibly.
35. Buy the milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cheeses in the back of the case as they are the freshest ones and will last your family longer. Never pull the first milk in a row off as it will have the least time before curdling.
36. Looking for cooking apples or bananas? Ask for a discount on bruised produce!
37. Like green bananas? Ask for a discount if all of the bananas are very green.
38. When the cashier is weighing produce, make sure all other items are off of the scale or your price may go up!
39. Look for tags hanging on aisles…at times, there are tags for getting something for free when you buy an item. Buy juice boxes and get graham crackers free or buy a dozen cokes and get a pound of hamburger meat free.
40. Buy tea before sodas. Much cheaper and lasts a lot longer!