While the new Extreme Couponing show on TLC is very entertaining, they’re not exactly showing a typical couponing trip to the grocery store. Using coupons strategically saved my family over $11,500 last year so I’m obviously a firm believer, but I also understand that couponing isn’t for everyone. Here are some quick and easy savings tips that will help you to save on your grocery budget without clipping any coupons!
Shop With a List
Know what you’re buying before you get to the store! The only time you should add anything once you get there is if you happen to find a great deal on something that you normally use – say hamburger has been marked down or your favorite hairspray is on clearance.
Most grocery and toiletry items can be purchased cheaper elsewhere by following the weekly sales (and cheap to free if you match coupons), but meat, bread and fresh produce are almost always a better deal at warehouse club stores.
Buy in Bulk & Freeze
Purchase larger family packs of meat when they’re on sale, divide them into meal sized portions and freeze. Better yet, put marinade in the freezer bags with the meat to save time later because the meat will marinate as it thaws. We also buy things like milk, shredded cheese, lunchmeat and yeast in bulk when the price is right and store them in the freezer.
Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Less expensive cuts of meat like shoulder roasts and spare ribs can save you both time and money because they’re terrific in the slow cooker.
Keep Track of What You Use
Monitor what and how much your family actually uses so you don’t end up buying extra and letting it go to waste. Don’t buy the larger bag of carrots because it’s cheaper per pound if you typically only use half as much.
Shop the Perimeter of the Store
Grocery stores are generally arranged so that the most purchased items like bread, milk and meat are located along the outer walls with more expensive items along the interior aisles so that you must pass them to get to the things you need.
Plan Your Menus
Simply planning your weekly menus ahead of time and basing them on your grocery store’s weekly sales can save you a tremendous amount, both on your budget and in decreased waste. Because you know in advance what’s on the menu, you’ll only buy the things you need.
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