How to Save Without Coupons
1. Shop your grocery store’s loss leaders.
A loss leader is an item sold at a loss to attract customers. Stores hope you go in to get the loss leaders and also buy the rest of your list, at full price, while you’re in the store.
You can save a ton of money buy participating in the first half of their strategy (buying the loss leaders), but skipping the second half (buying anything at full price).
This means you go to the full-service grocery and drug stores, like Safeway, Fred Meyer, and Walgreens to stock-up on the 1-3 loss leaders, like cereal for 99¢ a box, apples for 88¢ a pound, and toothpaste for 75¢ a tube, then get back into the car and get the rest of your shopping list at WinCo, Walmart, or Aldi, buying as much generic as possible.
2. Shop bulk.
Hit your store’s bulk section for most, if not all, of your cooking and baking staples: flour, sugar, oats, chocolate chips, rice, noodles, and especially SPICES. The spice section alone will save you a ton of money. Not only is the price per ounce significantly cheaper than the jarred, you can buy in the quantity that you need and the product is almost always fresher.
WinCo has, by far, the best bulk section in the Pacific Northwest. No other store compares to their selection and prices. The have a respectable organic and gluten-free selection as well.
3. Troll for clearance.
Swing through your store’s dairy and meat section for clearance stickers. You can regularly save 20-50% on food nearing the “best by” or “sell by” date, including yogurt (so.much.yogurt), milk, orange juice, specialty cheese, ground beef, steak, chicken, and more.
4. Use what you buy.
I’ve read that the typical American household throws away more than 25% of the food they purchase. That means a family with a $500 a month grocery budget is throwing away $125 every single month.
One simple way to keep your food waste under control is to make a meal plan. This can be as simple as a list of 7 dinners you’re going to make this week or as thorough as a month-long calendar of all meals.
If you’re looking for a simple way to get meals planned in your house, check out this amazing meal planning service — the Eat at Home Cook Menu Plan.
Tiffany does all the planning and organization for you. All you have to do is print off the color-coded plan and go shopping!
Every week, you have access to three plans: Traditional, Slow Cooker, and Whole Foods. Just choose the plan that best suites you lifestyle, time, and budget.
5. Know your “buy” price.
Use our Ultimate Price Point Guide to know how much you should be paying for everything on your grocery list. What is a good deal for chicken breast, cereal, milk, storage bags, and canned pumpkin? This list will point you in the right direction.
In addition to our Price Point Guide, start keeping track of your personal “buy” prices. Maybe you purchase items not on the list, or maybe you have a way to get some things for even less than our list. Note those prices so you know when to stock-up on a deal or pass.
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