Save Money on Groceries Without Clipping
Our parents clipped coupons from the Sunday paper. I do not get the news paper. Now coupons are everywhere. I am sure they are still in the local paper but they also come in in the mail, they are online across too many sites to name, each store has their own app with associated coupons. It is honestly too much to keep up with for me. Beyond that, I do not usually want to buy the product they are giving at a discount. It does not save me money to save 40 cents on something I never planned to buy in the first place. I think extreme couponing looks amazing! BUT it also looks exhausting and I have zero desire to set up racks upon racks in my garage to store excess shampoo.
I have found other ways to save money on groceries and to use my grocery purchase to save me money.
First, I plan my meals in advance so I know what I need to make that happen. I plan what I need for the kids lunches and I plan to make meals that will result in 2-3 nights of leftovers for the week. It just makes life so much easier on work nights when I need to be helping with homework!
Second, I put the items I need into 2 categories the first is Walmart/Target and the second is Grocery store. The items that go on the Walmart list are the cupboard items. The kinds of things the big box stores can stock up on and let sit on the shelf for awhile. Things like cereal, fruit snacks, crackers, jams, peanut butter etc. I also put things on this list that are perishable but keep for a long enough time that the big box stores can stock them well like juice, bread, and butter.
Big Box stores can save me a lot of money when buying groceries. Walmart even has a savings catcher app that will catch and credit you the difference if they find items you purchased selling for less at a competitor. It really works. All you have to do is snap a picture of your receipt. The savings add up for you to use whenever you want.
Things like fruit snacks and bags of chips are sold at a premium at grocery stores. I am going to use fruit snacks as an example but this concept applies broadly. At Walmart, I can buy Ninja Turtle fruit snacks fro $2.oo just about any day. At the grocery store on sale if I buy 2 boxes I can get them at $2.50 a piece. If they are not on sale they are $3.00-3.50. At the higher end grocery store around the corner from my house $4.00.
Once a week I do a run through at Walmart with the list of items I know I can usually get there cheaper. I use the savings catcher app to catch anything that was on sale at another store nearby saving the time of searching all the circulars.
Then I go to the grocery store each weekend. I can be in and out of the grocery store because I really only need the stuff from their ample produce section, dairy, and meat. I occasionally find myself wandering down a center freezer aisle but for the most part, I only need the perimeter of the store, which also saves me a lot of time when I have kids in toe. At the grocery store, I buy milk, produce, cheeses, ice creams, and meat. These things are just better at the grocery store. The milk turnover is more rapid so it is fresher. The produce section offers the variety, fresher product, and organic options. The meat section is also larger and fresher. In addition to the selection of these items, they are “loss leaders” for grocery stores. This means that they are the items that grocery stores use to advertise in their circulars for great prices to draw in the customer that they plan to sell dozens of other items to make up for the decreased profit on the meat and produce. I am not that customer I will not let them make up their money by buying their over priced fruit snacks. I will buy the chicken on sale (even stock up), pick up their good produce, get some fresh milk and be on my way!
As an added bonus I go to a grocery store that gives gas points for their gas station. That means I get to save more money at the back end of the purchase when I go to get gas.
It may seem like a hassle to go to a big box store AND a grocery store but we all know that at some point we likely need to go to a big box store anyway for nongrocery items. We need a present for a birthday party, some socks, or detergent. Buying make up, paper towels, cleansers and the like at a grocery store is generally a total lose-lose situation because of the limited selection and premium price combination.
This strategy I have found saves me on average 25% on my grocery bill. this strategy does not require my clipping coupons, driving from grocery store to grocery store and helps me save some money on gasoline. I do not have to compromise on the brand or quality of products I choose, it affords me the best selection of products, and allows me to use some of my savings to cover the expense of organic produce items.
It’s worth a try right! You just might think it is fun. I have found it to be very rewarding. Let me know what you think especially if you have other great savings ideas.
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