Some people love to find and use coupons at the grocery store. It’s a good way to save money. You could buy a $1.50 Sunday newspaper and end up saving $40 on groceries and other items you need just by cutting and using a bunch of coupons.
Other folks aren’t too crazy about coupons. They consider them a hassle and don’t like how much time they have to spend at the checkout counter in order to take advantage of them. Fortunately for them, there are quite a few additional ways to save money at the grocery store. Here are seven of them:
- Buy what’s in season. This can apply to non-perishables, but it’s really geared mostly toward produce. Buy and eat (or buy and freeze) fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season because they’ll be more expensive when they’re not in season. By the way, oranges might be in season during your coldest months.
- Buy what’s on sale. Pretty much every item goes on sale at some point. Stock up on items when they’re on sale and hopefully they will carry you over until the next sale on that item.
- Buy store brands. I know people who won’t do this because they believe store brands are inferior, but when they take a taste test, they can’t tell the difference. That’s because some of these foods are the exact same products sold in different packaging under different brand names at higher prices.
- Ask about markdowns. With some foods such as baked and dairy items, some stores will mark them down at certain times of the day. Ask about those scheduled markdowns and purchase those items after that time.
- Try a different store. Every once in a while, check out a discount grocery store you have not visited before or haven’t been to in a while. It’s very likely you will see some prices that compare favorably with prices you’re used to paying at your regular store.
- Utilize store loyalty programs. Get the free card your store offers for this and use it every time you shop there. If you can save $5-10 each time you buy groceries, you’ll probably end up saving about $500 a year.
- Use what you buy. This seems so simple, but if you’re a typical consumer, you probably throw away hundreds of dollars’ worth of food every year. Make a point to only buy groceries that you are confident you’ll use, then make sure you consume them before returning to the store.
Are you a coupon clipper? If not, have you used any of the methods above to save money at the grocery store? What other strategies do you use to save money when you go shopping? I’d love to hear about them.