Beyond the Coupon: Additional Ways to Save at the Grocery Store

Retail, Shopping CartBy Kelly Hodges
Let’s face it, not everyone is going to buy into using coupons.  In order to reap the significant savings that coupons can offer one has to make an investment of their own time and effort, and not everyone is going to be willing or able to do this.   And while the coupon is a great way to cut spending on your grocery bill, it is just one of many strategies that can be used.

For those of you who cannot see yourself sitting down with a scissors and Sunday paper (and even for those of you that do), here are some additional ways to snip away at your weekly grocery bill.

    • Stay out of the store!
      You can’t spend money on groceries if you’re not in the store.  Plan a larger shopping trip once per week instead of just running in for a “few things” every couple days.  The more times you shop the more things will end up in your cart.  Grocery stores are designed to tempt you around every corner…if you decrease the number of times you step foot in the door you are guaranteed to decrease your spending as well.
  • Have a meal plan.  The only way you can stay out of the store is if you already have what you need at home.  Taking just a few minutes at the beginning of the week to plan out your meals will save you tons of time and money in the end.  It will save you from having to run to the store at 5pm when you’re tired and hungry (or from the even more budget-busting call to the local restaurant delivery guy).  This doesn’t mean you can’t alter the meal plan if things change, but it ensures that you’ll have enough food to get you by until the next week’s trip to the store.  Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need as well as the other food and household essentials so you’ll know exactly what you need when you get to the store.
  • Stick to the list.  Yes that double chocolate fudge layer cake looks delicious, but if it’s not on the list it should not end up in the cart.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t treat yourself, but if you’re really trying to stick to a budget and save money on groceries, then don’t let the temptations get the best of you.  Having a list keeps you from roaming aimlessly down each aisle and will therefore get you out of the store quicker as well.
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry.  Makes it easier to stick to the list.
  • If you have kids, don’t bring them.   Makes it MUCH easier to stick to the list.
  • Stock up if it’s on sale.   If pizza is your favorite food, and you eat at least 2 a week, then you know that you will always be in need of pizza.  If the pizzas you buy are usually $5.00, but this week they’re on sale for $3.00, why not buy a few extra?  I’m not saying to fill 3 grocery carts with all the pizza on the shelves, but to buy a few extra if your storage situation will allow it.  Let’s say you buy 8 pizzas at $3.00, then for the next 3-4 weeks you won’t have to buy any pizzas, and you’ve saved yourself $16 in the process.  No you can’t retire early, but if you take advantage of these sales over time the savings will begin to add up…
Happy Shopping, and enjoy your weekend.


Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of her employer or any other person or entity.

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