This is how I Save Hundreds in Groceries Without clipping a Single Coupon

I don’t know about you but I love a good deal. Saving money makes me so happy and makes my body tingle. But as a working woman with lots going on, I don’t have time to cut coupons. While I’m in awe of them, I just don’t have the time to become an extreme couponer. But It’s also not in the budget to have a huge grocery bill each month.

For my family of four I spend about $500 – $600 each month on groceries. Just a year ago – it was much less. That was before strawberry prices went up so much that a fruit salad was not considered a luxury.

Considering, I’m no stranger to purchasing pricey items regularly like salmon, pullups, and Pediasure, people are usually impressed by this figure. They’re even more impressed once they find out that I save so much without spending hours going through the Sunday paper-cutting coupons. Since I normally get questions from family and friends, I figured I’d create a post discussing my methods. No, it’s nothing fancy, but here’s what works for me and helps me save tons when grocery shopping.

How to save money on groceries without cutting coupons.
How to save money on groceries without cutting coupons.

Shop on Tuesdays

I know it’s inconvenient for many, but Tuesday is the best day to go shopping for the most savings. It’s the day when many retailers include additional markdowns because some items didn’t sell as well as they thought during the weekend rush or it’s approaching the “sell by date”. Don’t worry, if you don’t plan to eat it right away. Just throw it in the freezer and you can usually get more life out of the product and a deeper discount.

Shop by category

Instead of buying one bottle of soap today and then paper towels next week, buy them at the same time. Doing so can allow you to benefit from coupons focusing on specific items. For example, Target sometimes has deals where you’d get a $15 gift card after spending $50 on household items.

Go to a no-frills store

 I love my Wegmans for their quality items and great pricing. However, I find myself spending more money than I would like there because of all the options. Shopping at expansive stores gives me “all the pretty things” syndrome and I end up buying things I don’t need to just because it’s there. So instead, I try to shop at basic grocery stores like Aldi so I can stick to just necessities. Great prices and no extras are always a win when it comes to the budget.

Get the rain checks

Sometimes when an item is advertised at a sale price, the stores run out of inventory quickly. However, if you ask them about the sale item you can usually get a “rain check” and they’ll honor the price when the item is back in stock. Even if it’s an item I don’t need right away but normally purchase, I always get the rain check so I can take advantage of the savings later.

Eat before shopping

This one goes without saying, but you always end up spending more when you are starving. At least eat a snack before you go to the grocery store to stop yourself from shopping with your stomach.

Skip the Water

I’m not saying to stop drinking water completely; just stop buying it. Though it’s generally inexpensive constantly buying water jugs and disposable water bottles can take up a big part of your grocery budget after several months. Instead, invest in a water filter. I’m a big fan of this faucet filter and this water jug.

Bring your own bags

Unless you live in a state in which plastic bags are illegal, you can save some money for each recyclable bag you bring to the grocery store. The Target in NJ takes $.05 of your total purchase for every recyclable bag you provide for your groceries. (And yes, they still do this at Target in Jersey even though plastic bags are no illegal.)

Go just before closing time

 If you’re lucky, the less time you have to shop the less money you will spend. Going grocery shopping with only 30 minutes to spare might be exactly what you need to keep you focused while shopping with purpose. Plus, closing time is the best time of day to get sales on the prepared foods nearing the “sell by” date.

Stop buying juice

You don’t notice it, but juice is expensive! There was a point in time when we were buying two big $6.00 jugs of apple juice per week. Now, we just drink water and infuse it with different fruits as needed. It resulted in huge savings!

Use Ibotta

Ibotta is a free app offering cashback for regular purchases. Simply go shopping, check the app for savings then scan the barcode of the product you bought and take a picture of the receipt. The money is instantly deposited into your Ibotta account and made available for withdrawal to Paypal. If you don’t have an Ibotta account, you can sign up for free here.

Shop at CVS

Generally, CVS is crazy expensive. However, when they have sales they’re usually unbeatable. The long CVS receipts usually include tons of coupons catered to your shopping habits. You’re even likely to get coupons for 15 percent off a single item. Not to mention, the extra bucks which is like “CVS money” is invaluable.” Just yesterday, I was able to redeem $7.00 in extrabucks making my son’s normally $13.00 pediasure a steal at only $6.00.

Sign up for Extracare

Speaking of CVS, they do offer great coupons online if you sign up for a free account. Before every shopping trip I login to my account and click “send to card” next to every coupon imaginable. They include CVS only and manufacturer coupons. When I go to the store and have them scan my member card I’m always pleasantly surprised by the coupons that can be applied to my purchase. Tons of savings without physically cutting coupons sounds like a win-win to me.

Check Facebook yardsale groups

When most people think of yardsales, they think of people selling old clothes and junk. Well Facebook yardsale groups have all that and more. Those groups are filled with resident couponers who most likely stock piled items for pennies on the dollar and pass those savings on to you. While they don’t usually sell food items. It’s not uncommon to see laundry detergent, diapers, toilet paper and more being sold for much less than you would get them in the grocery store.

Join the Buy Nothing Facebook Page

Similarly to Facebook yardsale groups, people are getting rid of food. The difference is that everything is free on Buy Nothing Groups. It’s usually people who bought the jumbo box of cookies from Costco because their kids liked it only to find out their kids suddenly hate it and now stuck with unusual cookies

Shred your meat

Meat tends to be one of the most expensive grocery items we purchase. To curb spending on meat and manage portion control, I generally shred my chicken in meals rather than serve a whole piece of chicken each. I found you’re less likely to eat much if two pieces of chicken are shredded within the whole meal rather than giving one piece of chicken for each serving. And of course, eating less meat means spending less on meat.

Befriend the store clerks

Just from being considerate and friendly to the store clerks, I’ve been able to save a ton of money on shopping trips. Because I shop at some places consistently some clerks have learned my shopping habits and are quick to point out when items go on sale or are restocked etc. One store clerk even tells me when I’m most likely to get the most items on clearance.

Send fan mail

Big fan of a specific item?  Email the manufacturer or the brand. Explain how much you love their product and they might send you a coupon for being a loyal “customer.”

Check your blood work

Craving something from time to time is normal but if you are ALWAYS craving something it can throw off your grocery budget. It can also mean something is thrown off internally. Sometimes, cravings are a result of deficiencies. If you notice that you are ALWAYS thirsty or craving carbs frequently, it could be time to speak with a professional. It might always help to start on a vitamin regimen with the help of a professional.

Are you a couponer or do you look for other ways to save money on your grocery purchases?

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One Comment

  1. I don’t know if I can give up my juice…..but I have cut back a lot. Also tuesdays that’s interesting I shop on Fridays but may need to switch it up. I know that shopping from home saves me a ton of money I don’t buy anything I don’t need.

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