According the the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of groceries for a family of four is $727 to $1,303 a month, not including meals out. Groceries are one of the most costly expenses in most of our budgets. We all know that coupons can save you a great deal of money at the grocery store, but let’s face it, most of us aren’t cut out for the coupon game.
Does this sound familiar? All the coupons you’ve ever clipped are laying somewhere around your home, if they are even clipped at all. When you do finally remember to bring them with you to the store, they’re either expired or they hardly make a dent in your final total! We all fantasize of being that person with a binder full of neatly organized coupons, and watching our totals drop into the teens at checkout. However, couponing isn’t the only way to get that total to drop.
How to Save Money at the Grocery Store
Here are 5 ways to save money on groceries without clipping a single coupon.
- Buy what’s on sale
This is the best tip for shoppers, and also the most obvious. Almost everything goes on sale at some point in time, and many products are on a regular sales cycle. Figure out the sales cycle for items you buy regularly, and buy enough to last you till the next sale.
- Buy what’s in season
This doesn’t just apply to produce. Pay attention to your recipes, and what fruits and other non perishables are required. Focus on recipes that include foods that are in season, and you will pay a lot less.
- Sign up for your grocery store loyalty program
Almost all grocery stores have some sort of loyalty program. Some loyalty cards give members access to special sales prices, and even coupons. These cards are free and can be issued on the spot. Some programs also give bonuses, such as discounts on gas after you spend a certain amount.
- Don’t be afraid to try store brands
Store brand or generic brand canned vegetables, canned fruit, pastries, cat food, paper products, and many other items are often name brand products sold under a different name! Generic brands tend to be cheaper than the name brand, and you won’t even notice a difference on most products.
- Skip the seasonal merchandise
While it might be convenient to grab last minute Halloween decorations while you’re doing your shopping, avoid it at all costs! Avoid seasonal items until after the holiday or season has passed. Stores mark down their merchandise by 50 to 90 percent, if you are willing to wait!
How do you save money at the grocery store?