The grocery budget is often our second highest bill, behind our mortgage. We are always looking for ways to slash that budget, and couponing is a tempting skill to get into. But couponing isn’t always for everyone. Read on for ways to save money without relying on coupons!
Time equals money! Couponing is not a quick skill to pick up. Shadowing experts, following blogs, subscribing to newspapers for coupons- it takes time and effort. Which is a lot of brainwork to dedicate to this. If you have the time, or you enjoy this kind of thinking, couponing is for you! But for me, it’s too much. Couponing is often a part time job. And I’d rather just be working that part time job!
Coupons are almost always for name-brand items. People often think that name brand is better, but in reality, most of generic food is the same product as the name-brand! Costco diapers are made by Huggies company. Kirkland batteries are made by Duracel! Why wouldn’t you buy the generic for less cost? Stick with generic items and you’ll save more money in the long run- without coupons.
Coupons are rarely for produce or fresh products. If you have room in your cabinets or you freezer, definitely stock up on sales! But coupons are often for processed food that isn’t purchased often. So you’re saving a little money, spending some energy on couponing and buying something that you wouldn’t have bought in the first place. Which leads to…
Don’t Be Tempted
Coupons are often for items that you wouldn’t normally buy. It gives you an opportunity to purchase something you’ve never tried before, which can be fun but not necessary. If you can find a use for it, or you can donate it to a good cause, buy it! Otherwise, buy on your list not what you have a coupon for.
Buy What’s On Sale
If the store is having a sale, that’s what you stock up on. Each week stores will have a “loss-leader”, which is an item they are willing to lose money on just to get shoppers into the store. They are usually in the front of the store, displayed prominently, and are in the front and back pages of the store’s weekly ad. Check out the ad, circle what’s on sale, and plan your meals around the store’s sale. The best part is the sales are usually the most expensive stuff like meat and dairy!
Some shoppers swear by shopping monthly, but most find success shopping once a week. And not breaking that habit. Shopping weekly will help you keep food fresh, forces you to plan ahead, and think through your meals. Get into a habit of not running to the store anytime you are out of one thing. You never leave the store with one item, and those shopping trips add up quickly.
Who says you need coupons to save money? Don’t you believe them!