Hate clipping coupons? Save Money on Your Food Bill – No Scissors Needed
For all of the people, who hate coupons, I do have a few ideas for you! You can save money on your groceries without clipping a single coupon!
An e-coupon is just a fancy word for an electronic coupon. Use e- coupons, which are retrieved via smartphone. Swipe your card at checkout and those coupons come right off your bill. I also like SavingStar which has a large database of e-Coupons. Your savings go into a fund that you can cash out in $5 increments. This is a great way to start a separate fund for Christmas shopping or for a special splurge.
2. BOGO Sales
Most grocery stores run different buy one get one free deals on a weekly basis and odds are that a couple of those BOGO items occasionally show up on your grocery list. The BOGO sale items are typically pantry staples like breakfast cereal, peanut butter, pickles, tea, butter and water that you may buy on a weekly basis. The trick to saving a bundle is to NOT just pick up enough for this week, but to buy enough cereal when it’s half price to last say the next two months, or less depending on the item’s shelf life.
3. Menu Planning
Shopping sale cycles will save the biggest chunk of change, but menu planning can save you 10% to 15% more on your budget, and can greatly reduce your food waste as well. Start by taking an inventory of the things you already have in your pantry and freezer and set aside half an hour each week to plan that week’s meals around the things you already have on hand or that are currently on sale. If you need some meal inspiration use a free online service like Recipe.com where you can type in the ingredients you have and get a list of recipes in return.
You save money with menu planning because you’re shopping at home first, you’re not buying things you don’t need and you’re reducing waste, but the best payoff in my opinion is the much lower stress level that comes with always knowing in advance what you’re having for dinner.
4. Shop Alone
Try to leave the kids at home when grocery shopping, unless they have become highly trained bargain shoppers with a vested interest in saving money. Take turns watching the kids with a friend so each of you can grocery shop, focus on saving money and get everything you need in one trip.
5. Find alternatives for the most expensive items on your list
The next time you go to the grocery, hang on to your receipt and circle the most expensive items. Then, consider lower-cost alternatives for those items to rack up real savings on future shopping trips. Name-brand items, which tend to be more expensive, usually are placed at eye-level. So when you’re shopping, look down (or up) for cheaper items, including generics. Yes, I’m loyal to a few brands. But for most items, especially canned goods, I’ll scan the bottom shelf to find them several cents to several dollars cheaper than their strategically placed name-brand equivalents.