7 Clever Ways to Save Money on Groceries (Without Using Coupons)

Taking care of a family can be costly at times, but there are ways you can reduce your expenses. Food and grocery shopping is an essential part of your budget. But you can save money on groceries, and use that extra money for something else. Here are 7 tips to help you save money grocery shopping.

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Save Money Grocery Shopping without clipping coupons
How to Save Money on Groceries Without Clipping Coupons

1.) Carefully examine produce before you pick out what you will purchase.

  • If you are buying items that will ripen more after you bring them home, think about when you will use them. If a recipe you want to use avocado in is in a meal you have planned in a few days, get one that is not at its peak ripeness yet, so that it won’t be old by the time you use it.
  • You also don’t want to buy items that are already old, have bad spots, are starting to mold, etc.
  • Observe how other items of the same kind look. For example, if you want to get a container of strawberries and most of the containers with strawberries have mold, you may want to buy your strawberries someplace else/substitute frozen/get a different fruit instead, etc. In particular, I would be leery of fruit that’s molding without warning/when it doesn’t look old yet. Chances are if this is the case, even the ones without mold will get moldy soon..without warning.

Produce in good condition = food lasting longer = you save money on groceries.

2.) Check best by dates, and look for items that have later dates.

Some items I always check dates on are bread, bags of washed salad, etc. Depending on how the store restocks items, you can check the same items behind, next to, or on another level shelf to see if you can find a later best by date.

The stores might not like me doing this, but I will always opt for a loaf of bread with a use by date that’s in a week from now instead one that’s tomorrow.

Remember, use by/best by dates are just a guide. They aren’t a guarantee of how long the food will last, but chances are food with later dates will last longer.

Later best by date = food lasting longer = saving money.

3.) Meal plan!

  • Meal planning means you know what meals you are going to make before you go shopping. (The meals you plan should last you until the next shopping trip after your current trip.)
  • By meal planning you will know exactly what you need to put on your shopping list, so you won’t be buying things you don’t need for your meals (with the exception of staple items/food you want to stock up on, etc.)

Meal planning = shopping wisely for items you will actually use = saving money grocery shopping.

I am a natural procrastinator, but I came up with a meal plan method that works well enough for me to NOT put it off- I share how I meal plan successfully in this post here.

If you wonder if meal planning really is worth the effort, I share the top 4 reasons to start meal planning in this post.

Get started meal planning with our FREE Printable Flavorful Meal Plan Guide here.

4.) Store fresh food in a way that will make it last the longest.

By storing your food the best way, you will find it lasts longer. Some items can be left out, refrigerated, and frozen. Other foods do better in a dry, cool, and/or dark atmosphere.

Did you only need 1/2 an onion for the salad you made? Chop up the rest and freeze it for the next recipe you need cooked onion for! A lot of frozen items don’t even need to be thawed before they’re cooked.

Did you buy 3 loaves of bread, but you’re only gonna use one this week? Pop the other 2 in the freezer until the day / night before you need them, then let them thaw at room temperature. I used to be afraid of freezing bread- for some reason I thought it would taste freezer burnt, but that’s never happened. I don’t notice any difference in taste personally.

Just make sure you prep foods/cover them properly no matter how they are stored.

Food well stored = food lasting longer = you save money on groceries.

5.) Don’t assume buying ‘in bulk’ is cheaper.

Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes this is the best way to go, but I have seen way too many times where the larger can of tomatoes, vegetables, etc. costs more per unit than the regular size one. Or in other words, you’re sometimes better off just getting 2 small cans price-wise.

Be sure to read the details on the price tags, and do your math! Some foods save you money buying in bulk, but others will cost you more!

What about membership stores? (Sam’s Club, BJ’s, etc.) Like just about any other store, there will be items worth buying per amount/price, but others will cost you more.

I’ve noticed, at least at the stores near me, that brand name items are generally cheaper at those stores per unit than elsewhere. Some of the generic items (for everything you don’t absolutely need those brand names for) I can save money getting elsewhere, such as at Aldi.

Buying in quantities that give you the most bang for your buck = saving money on groceries.

6.) Make sure you’re not overcharged at the checkout.

Make a mental, physical, or electronic note of pricing on items you purchase. Then make sure you get charged the displayed price and nothing more. Check your receipt after you go through the check out.

Sometimes you get rung up for more than you should. If this is the case, you can be refunded the overcharged amount from the customer service dept. I would highly recommend checking your local/state/county laws and see if there’s any laws in place that require stores pay a penalty for overcharging you.

In the county where I live there is a super refund law where stores are penalized if they charge you a higher price at the register than the displayed price next to the item. Where I live, stores have to pay you back 10 times the amount they overcharged you (a minimum of $1 and a max of $10) plus the amount you deserve to be refunded for. I just got a super refund the other day for $10, plus the $1.86 I was initially overcharged for. The catch? You have to know about this, shop in an area where this penalty applies, and specifically request the super refund when you talk to customer service.

Now this is just a local law where I live, but there is at least one other state that has a similar penalty law that I know of. Make sure you check your local laws to see if there are any pricing penalties/super refund laws in place.

But even if there’s not, if you make sure you aren’t overcharged the advertised price and get your money back if it does happen, this is still going to save you money. Pay special attention to items that have a recently lowered or clearance price. These are more likely to be candidates for items stores will accidentally overcharge you for.

Not being overcharged for your groceries = you save money on groceries.

7.) Shop at more than one store and compare sales / prices.

When I go shopping every 2 weeks, I always go to about 3 stores. My 3 stops are usually Dollar Tree, Aldi, then either Wal-Mart or Tops, in that order.

This saves me money, because each store has items that are cheapest at that store, versus if I just got everything from one place. Also, I can’t usually find everything on my list at the first 2 places (although most of my items will be at Aldi, not all of them are.)

Before I go shopping and finalize my planned meals and list, I will usually check the local ads for sales.

Just because something is on sale at one place doesn’t mean it’s going to be the cheapest store to get the item. This is especially the case for fresh produce that is in season, which may be on sale at multiple stores, and some stores will offer better prices. So pay attention, look around, and compare prices!

Shopping around and comparing prices = the best price for you! = you save money on groceries.

Those are 7 clever ways to save money on groceries (without using coupons.) Although if you do use coupons (wisely,) I bet you can save even more! I know not everyone uses them, though, which is why this post shares ways to save that anyone can apply.

P.S. Don’t miss out on our FREE Printable Meal Planning Guide here, so you can plan budget-friendly flavorful meals, the easy way!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

It can be easy to spend way more than you intended when you go grocery shopping, but there are things you can do to spend less. Here are 7 clever ways to save money on groceries without using coupons. via @housegonesane Saving money tips | frugal living #savemoney #savingmoney

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