This is a repost of an article I wrote in March 2017. These methods still apply. I’d love to hear how you save money on your grocery spending – even if you don’t use coupons! I like to shop at Aldi. It’s one way I save on my grocery spending when I’m short on time.
Here are 6 steps to take to cut down on your grocery spending. You might be surprised to see how many of them DON’T involve printing or clipping coupons.
1. Make a Meal Plan and stick to it.
Planning your meals is a great way to save money. If you plan out your week’s meals (this includes breakfasts, lunches and dinners) and shop for only those items, you won’t be tossing things in your grocery cart that you don’t need.
2. Make a list and stick to it.
Never shop without a list! Make a list of what you need for the week. Make a list with the items you need for your week’s meal plan. Stick to it! You can save a lot on every trip when you’re not putting things in your cart that are last minute impulses! I used to shop without a list and I would always end up getting items that I already had at home!
3. Set your Meal Plan and make your Grocery list based on sales.
Having a meal plan and shopping with a list are great ideas. But if you don’t make your meal plans based on what’s on sale, you’re going to be spending more than necessary. If your meal plan for the week includes pot roast, taco night and hamburgers but ground beef is at it’s highest price point that week then you’re spending way too much. If chicken is 30% off it’s normal price and packs of pork chops are BOGO, then you need to be making your meal plan around those items. Don’t worry, ground beef will go on sale another week!
4. Stockpile canned and dry goods.
When items that last a long time (rice, dry beans, canned goods, pasta, etc, etc) are on sale, I get more than just what I need for that week. When those are items are at their rock bottom prices, I get as many as I can get within the deal limits and/or number of coupons I have. Each week when you make your meal plan and your shopping list, “shop” from your stockpile first. Any ingredients you already have, you won’t have to buy at potentially their highest price that week. Also, keep and eye on the expiration dates. Be sure to include things that are close to their date into your meal plan.
5. Clip Coupons.
Ok, ok, I said MOST of these steps don’t involve clipping coupons. And, indeed, if you do steps 1-4 you will start saving money. But the way to maximize your dollar to the fullest extent is to use those coupons.
If you don’t like paper coupons, lots of stores have gone to digital coupons you can clip from you computer or phone and redeem using a store loyalty card (CVS, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie and others) or your phone number at checkout (Publix, Dollar General, Fred’s).
6. Use Cash Back Apps.
Even if you don’t want to clip coupons from the newspaper, saving money can be as simple as using your phone! Ibotta, Checkout51, Mobisave (and others) will give you cash back on the items after you purchase them. All you have to do is use the app to scan your receipt! Check out this page for more on each app and how to sign up!
Using any of the ideas above will save you a little. But the more ideas you use, the more you’ll save!