This week we welcome Kate Sorensen, a busy working mother of two and the editor of Coupon Cravings. Needless to say, she knows how to shop on a budget, and she’s here to share her best tips for getting a deal at the grocery store — without coupons.
The most frequent thing I hear when people find out what I do over at Coupon Cravings is “I would love to clip coupons and save more money, but I just don’t have the time.” And, that is a true statement for devoted coupon clippers, too. Which is why it’s important to know how to without clipping coupons too.
Below are my five favorite ways to shop smart and save money at the store without clipping coupons.
Watch the Ads. Take a few minutes to know what’s on sale at your local store for the week and plan your menu around the sale prices. If you know beef ribs are on sale for only $2.99 a pound from the regular $4.99 per pound and your family loves them, make ribs a part of your menu.
Remain Flexible. Speaking of the meat counter, staying flexible with your shopping list can help. If you haven’t had a chance to review the ads that week and planned on making chicken fajitas and chicken is $4 a pound, changing to ground beef tacos for only $2 a pound might be worth it.
Price Match. My favorite way to shop smart and save more money at the store without clipping coupons is by price matching. Every store has different price matching policies and it would behoove you to know your local grocer’s policy, as you can save loads of money by price matching. I am fortunate to have a discount grocery store in my area and the produce is crazy inexpensive. Rather than running around town to save a few dollars, I price match on a lot of those items. For example, I might save $3 to $4 on a 5-pound bag of clementines or $2 on a bag of onions or potatoes. That feels good and the money saved adds up quickly at the register. Make sure to keep an eye on the size and quantities of what you’re hoping to price match. The items should be equal in size (and brand depending on the price matching policy).
Know the Sales Cycle. Certain products tend to rotate on sales cycles. For example, if your favorite brand of potato chips or ice cream is on sale now at a low price, stock up as the same sale may not come around again for four to six weeks.
Use your Resources. If a pork loin is ten pounds, have the butcher package the loin into three packages so you don’t feel like you need to make it all at one time. Another good tip is to look around at the meat counter. If someone else really only wants half of the pork loin, give them a nudge to see if they’d be interested in taking half and you take half. This can save you upwards of $5 to $10 on your shopping trip for that week.
Using these tips can help you save an easy 20% off your grocery bill without even picking up the scissors.