If the concept of couponing is overwhelming to you, know that there are other ways you can save money at the grocery store. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Check your Local Ads
One of the best ways to save money at the store is to go through your local grocery ads to see whats on sale. Jordan Page, a writer for thestir.cafemom.com states, “Each week stores will put food on sale to get you into their store. Sometimes they are even willing to lose money on those items (“loss-leaders”). Look at the front and back pages of your store’s weekly ad for the best deals. Circle what you need, and plan your meals around those items. The best part? The best deals are usually produce, dairy, and meat.” These are typically higher priced items. Additionally, coupons aren’t usually printed for them so it’s good to take advantage of these savings when they come along.
Your Freezer is your Friend
Another of Page’s helpful tips is one that will help you eliminate waste. She recommends using your freezer to your full advantage. She states, “If it’s on sale (and you’ll actually eat it), buy extra and freeze it! Cheese, veggies, fruit, sour cream, any and all meats, bread … you name it. If you can’t use it up before it goes bad, freeze it for another day. (Tip: If it doesn’t taste as good once thawed, add it to a dish like soup or casserole and you’ll never know the difference!)”
Limit Trips to the Store
Planning ahead is crucial. It’s important to price things out and plan for your week so you can limit the number of trips to the store. Your goal should be to only shop one time during the week. We, as humans, tend to impulse buy and make excessive purchases based on our hunger. When you limit your shopping to once a week, you can avoid these common grocery store traps.
Selective Coupon Clipping
Coupons can be a great resource for saving money. However, they are most frequently created for name brand products. Any savvy shopper knows that the store brand is often cheaper than name brand even with coupons. The key to being effective at saving money is to clip coupons for ONLY the things you already buy. Make your weekly list and check your supply to see if you have any applicable coupons. If not, it’s okay! Remember your time is money. Spending time clipping coupons you’ll never use doesn’t make any sense. It’s okay to be selective!
Coupons aren’t the only way to save money on groceries. A well thought out plan and a good list can help you reduce your number of shopping trips while also helping you save. Be purposeful in your preparations and help your grocery budget stretch farther.