When anyone talks about saving money on their grocery budget, coupons normally come to mind. However, not everyone wants to or has time to use coupons! Thankfully, there are plenty of other ways to save money without using a single coupon. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Planning your meals in advance is a very easy way to reduce your monthly grocery bill. The process of meal planning only takes about thirty minutes per week. You can even do your menu planning once a month if you would like. Sit down with paper, pen and the weekly grocery store ads. The first thing you should do is to see what protein is on sale. Try to use whatever meat is on sale (or in your freezer – I like to buy beef in bulk) to base your meals around. (Read tips on How to Save Money on Meat here). Then look to see what produce is on sale for your side dishes. Knowing what your family will be eating in advance will prevent you from running to the grocery store for last minute items – which can really bust your budget. You can read more about my approach to menu planning here.
Buy What is in Season
Buying fruits and vegetables that are not in season can dramatically raise your grocery bill. Make it a point to only purchase produce that is in season to save money. Another tip is to shop farmer’s markets and pick your own farms when possible. Often you will score much better prices on produce at these places versus your local grocery store. ALDI and Trader Joe’s offer great prices on produce as well.
Buy in Bulk
Sometimes buying in bulk can save you a nice chunk of change. When buying food items in bulk make sure your family will use them by the expiration date. Toilet paper, diapers, personal hygiene items, meat (read more about buying beef in bulk here), cereal and other snack foods are excellent items to stock up on. Only buy fruit and vegetables in bulk if you plan on canning, dehydrating or freezing it, as produce tends to go bad fast. You can learn more about freezing fruit and freezing vegetables in these posts. It’s important to know the unit price of the products you are purchasing in bulk – because bulk items are not always cheaper!
Shop at ALDI
Leave your coupon guilt at the door and shop at ALDI. You’ll find excellent prices on produce, dairy, snack foods, crackers, chips, juice and much more! I love buying paper products at ALDI as well (zipper bags, paper plates etc…). ALDI does a great job of running their business in such away that they are able to pass the savings along to the consumer. Don’t forget to take a quarter with you in order to get a cart (you get it back) and your reusable shopping bags – and be amazed at both the quality and the savings!
What suggestions do you have for saving without coupons?