Coupons are a great way to save money at the grocery store — who doesn’t love lower prices, right? But using coupons does require some work — collecting the coupons, planning your trip, and then remembering to actually use them.
If you don’t have the time or energy to devote to using coupons, never fear. You can still save a ton of money by using these savings strategies:
1. Stock-up on sale items.
Take a cue from couponers — when items your family regularly uses go on terrific store sales, stock-up. Even without using a coupon, you’re typically going to pay less on a name-brand item on a grocery store’s loss leader sale than buying generic. When you find a great deal, buy 1-2 month’s worth, depending on how low the price is.
Not sure when you should stock-up? Get your FREE Price Point Guide by email HERE.
2. Buy in bulk.
Grains, baking ingredients, herbs & spices, even some pet food can be found for typically less than their packaged counterparts and are oftentimes fresher, especially if you have a WinCo nearby. WinCo has a giant bulk section with almost everything on your list, including organic, dairy-free, and gluten-free staples.
3. Check for markdowns and clearance deals, especially in produce, meat, and dairy.
Flash freeze fruit on a tray then store in the freezer in a bag or container for smoothies, pies, cobblers. Incorporate clearanced meat into this week’s menu or freeze it in meal sized portions. Some dairy, like yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese can be enjoyed well past the printed date.
Butter freezes beautifully and thawed milk works well in baking and cooking. You can also make your own yogurt and other dairy products from close-to-expired milk.
4. Buy less meat.
Pound for pound, meat is one of the most expensive foods (other than coffee). Start by decreasing the amount of meat in a recipe and try even moving to serving a meatless dinner once a week, like a vegetable lasagna, an egg casserole, Mexican dish with black beans, or a quinoa dish.
Here are some of our favorite vegetarian recipes:
- Butternut Squash Carbonara
- Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad
- Quinoa Patties
- Rice Bowls with Spicy Curry Sauce
- Vegetarian Frittata
5. Shop strategically.
Start your menu planning by shopping your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer first, then fill in the gaps with sale and markdown items you find in the store.
Looking for more ways to lower your grocery budget? Check out our comprehensive online course, Smart Grocery Savings.
It’s a self-paced course packed with valuable information to help you change the way your spend, NOT the way you eat.
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