With the price of groceries rising higher and higher, everyone is looking for ways to save. If you don’t have the time to do extreme couponing every week, use these simple tips to cut a chunk out of your grocery bill.
5. Do not be brand loyal.
Instead, buy off-brand when you can. Did you know many of the big brands also manufacture the off-brand? They know they will never get the cheapo consumers (like me!), so they make money with whatever product you choose. Examples of companies that create both the name brand and off-brand include Sara Lee (baked goods), Reynolds (wraps, storage containers), and McCormick (seasonings, extracts, sauces, gravies). Of course, there are some things that don’t taste quite the same (Kraft Mac n’ Cheese has my heart). But, be willing to at least give the off-brand a chance. See this Consumer Reports article for more on the value of off-brands – most actually DO taste the same and are fractions of the cost.
4. Price match.
Many stores will price match. If I’m shopping at Walmart, I always bring the flyers (and a pen!) for other stores since they price match everything. This can lead to great savings on dry goods and staples like milk, eggs and bread. Just show the cashier the insert before he/she rings it up. Helps avoid visiting multiple stores and can easily be done on the spot.
3. Actually look at the sales flyers and use matching coupons for extra savings.
You don’t even need to buy a paper – all store sales flyers are available online! Stock up when there’s a sale on something you use frequently. (For example, we have a deep freezer so the other day I bought 15 packs of frozen veggies for $1 a piece – normally $2.29 – since we use them for nearly every dinner). Additionally, look for bonus coupons online. For example, sign up for mPerks at Meijer, and instantly get $5 off your order when using it for the first time.
2. Buy produce when it’s in season.
Something I will never take off my grocery list is fresh produce. Buy produce when it’s in season and develop your meal plan with those items. Use this website to see what’s in season in your state when. When freezable items are on sale (i.e. blueberries in Michigan right now), purchase them by the lug and freeze them to use throughout the year.
1. Bring your own reusable bags.
Because A.) It’s better for the environment and B.) Most stores (many small chains included) will knock 5 cents off for each bag. Every little bit helps! Store them in a place where you won’t forget them – my spot is next to my daughter’s carseat on the floor of my car. Before baby, I’d keep them on my front seat’s floor.
Bonus tip: Use bargain blogs. I love them, as they do all the work for me! Subscribe via email and look through each email prior to leaving for the store. See some of my favorite money-saving blogs here.
What are your favorite ways to save at the grocery store?