Put Down the Scissors – How to Save Money on Groceries Without Clipping Coupons
Clipping coupons is one way to save at the grocery store – but it is no the only way. If spending hours clipping and sorting coupons does not appeal to you, there are plenty of other alternatives.
Shop Around for the Best Store
You probably already shop around for groceries, but have you shopped for the best store? Try picking out a basket of 10-20 staples grocery items and price them at each of the local grocery stores. You might be surprised at the money you can save with this simple exercise.
You can still stock up on special sales and loss leaders, but knowing which store has the best everyday prices can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Don’t forget about discount and off-price grocery stores; they can save you even more on the items you use every day.
Simply switching to generic versions of the grocery items you use most often could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Many generic products are made with the same ingredients as their name-brand equivalents. All they lack is the fancy packaging, the extensive marketing campaigns and the higher prices.
You may need to experiment and try several different store brands, but you should be able to find suitable alternatives to just about everything on your shopping list. Once you know which generics are worth the money, you can stock up and save even more.
Stock Up and Save
Every grocery store chain runs weekly specials on items designed to lure you into the store. Management is hoping you will spend lots more once you get there, but you do not have to fall for that trap.
When you see a great sale on a staple item, clear out some space in your pantry and stock up. Staples like pasta, cereal and peanut butter can last for months, so feel free to buy as much as you want. You can save even more by filling your freezer when meat goes on sale.
Shop By Unit Price
When you shop, you will see a variety of prices, including the unit price. The unit price shows the price per ounce, pound and other popular measures, and it can be very useful for saving money.
Shopping by unit price makes it easy to compare the relative value of various sizes and brands. In the past you may have needed a calculator to find the best value; shopping by unit price makes it much easier.
Check Out the Less Desirable Shelf Spaces
Grocery stores tend to stock their most popular – and most expensive – items at eye level. You can save a lot of money by checking out the less desirable real estate. Look at the top and bottom shelves for bargains and products you might have missed. If you are shopping with kids, you might want to skip the lower shelves in the cereal aisle; that is where stores stock their high-sugar offerings.
You do not have to scrimp or go without to save money at the grocery store. If you plan ahead and compare prices carefully, you can save hundreds of dollars and still provide quality meals for yourself and your family.