Friday, October 9, 2009

Save on Groceries without coupons

In today's frugal friday post, I want to review how you can save money on your groceries even if you don't use coupons. If you were at my talk at Divine Savior the other day, this will be a good review for you.

Coupons aren't for everyone, or at least not everyone is interested in taking the time to clip, sort and use coupons. I'm here to tell you that you can still save a lot of money at the grocery store. Just follow these tips below and you WILL see the results on your receipt and budget.

1. Use cash. I didn't believe it until I tried it, but you will stick to your allotted budget much better if you have the cash. I once heard that people spend approximately 20% more at the store when they put it on credit. You are more likely to toss in those impulsive items when you don't have to consider the money involved. Get cash from the bank and put it in an envelope. Do not let yourself spend more than that.

2. Meal Planning. You simply can not save a lot of money on groceries unless you meal plan. It also has the added benefit of decreasing your stress related to "what is for dinner tonight"? I used to stress about that every day until I made something in a hurry and just called for takeout. Meal planning before shopping will also give you time to ensure you have all the ingredients in the house therefore preventing the dreaded last minute run to the store for 'only one item'.

3. Shop the sales flyer. The front page of the weekly sales flyer (and sometimes the back too) is typically the "loss leaders" featured by the store. These are the cheap items that get you into the store and therefore spending your money there on the other items that aren't on sale. The stores often take a loss on these items, but figure they will make it up on other sales. Use this flyer and sale items to make your meal plan and grocery list. If you can be flexible on your meals you can save a lot of money this way.

4. Shop weekly. This will ensure that you will have a varried menu and be able to take advantage of the various sales. It will also help with #5.

5. Stockpile. Stockpiling is the process of buying extra of an item when it is on sale so you do not have to pay full price of this item next time you need it. Grocery store items tend to cycle on sale every 10-12 weeks. If your family eats a lot of chicken and it is on sale this week, try to buy 12 weeks worth of chicken if you have the room to store it. This is how my family shops.

Stockpiling has given me a great deal of relief from the burden of buying groceries. There are no more last minute runs to the store. I go once a week, that is all. I buy when food is at its lowest price and plan my meals at least a week ahead of time. I do allow for flexibility in my menu, which I use as a guide. Life happens and plans do change, but at least I do have a plan.

How do you save money at the store? Leave a comment and let us know.

For more tips on saving money, check out

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Stockpiling is a lifesaver for us. We keep our pantry stocked of the regular ingredients of our fave meals.

    Also, it is a good idea to take inventory of what you have. I started out not doing this and ended up having to toss things that got pushed to the back and forgotten about--no so frugal, huh?


    Stop by and visit me sometime over at Free 2 Be Frugal!