There are more ways than just couponing to save at the grocery store. While using coupons effectively can certainly reduce your monthly grocery bill, and stockpiling can save you a ton, there are some basic things you can do without ever even cutting a coupon! (but who would want to never use a coupon? )

  • Don't go shopping when you are hungry..time and time again you have heard this, but it is true. Every time I go shopping hungry, inevitably I will "treat" myself to a snack or two that was not on my list.

  • Convenience foods, or foods that are packaged to make your life easier, costs more than food you have to prepare yourself. For example, those cute little packages of baby carrots, sold in bundle of 5 smaller packs, cost 3 times as much as one bag of baby carrots! Yes, it is easier, but there is a hefty price that comes along with easy. Same thing goes for those pre-cut and washed containers of celery or fruit in the produce section.
  • Retrain your brain, and move your eyes up and down, grocery stores put all their most expensive, most profitable items at eye level. Test this out by comparing products (not brands) the next time you are at a store. Look eye level for sour cream, find one, then look up one shelf, and down one shelf....see if you don't see a different price for the same product.

  • Forget brand loyalty. Unless you have allergies, or a medical reason, I say don't worry about being loyal to a brand. I switch brands all the time depending on which one is having the sale that matches up with my coupons, making my OOP the lowest!
  • Shop Amazon - Best Selling Products - Updated Every Hour 
  • Shop late at night, or very early in the morning if possible. I ALWAYS find great meat, produce and bakery deals during these times. Main stream hours are when the bulk of people shop, and when the bulk of department managers work. Right before the meat managers go home, you can usually find the "about to expire" or go past its "sell by date" products at least marked down to 1/2 price. This is how I have been able to fill my second freezer with meat for pennies on the dollar.
  • Don't go shopping without a list. When you just "run in" to grab a few groceries you will shop impulsively and spend 2 times more than you planned on. Besides, you should be stockpiling and this would help avoid those "run to the store" moments :-)

  • Think outside of the box for some of your grocery items. For example, you can usually save about 25% or more at drug stores (like CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid) on your milk and dairy products. They may not have 20 varieties to chose from, but sour cream is sour cream isn't it?
  • Walgreens
  • Take advantage of technology to save. There are several apps out there for your Android or i-phone that will allow you to load a digital coupon directly to your phone without ever having to pick up a pair of scissors. 

  • Grow a garden and learn how to do some canning! I had a very productive garden last year and we are still eating well from the bounty! I was able to can spaghetti sauce, pickles, green beans, beats, carrots, salsa. I even froze some corn on the cob! The best part about a garden, is you know its fresh and healthy food because you grew it!
  • Do some homework before you head to the store. Use my favorite deal finding site A Full Cup to find out what the hot deals are and where to find them. 

No matter what you do to save, it all helps!!

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