Everyone wants to save money on their grocery bill. Cutting your grocery budget is one of the quickest ways to see instant savings. Because everyone can find ways to save on their groceries, I want to share 10 easy ways to cut your grocery bill – without using coupons!
Let’s face it. We all know coupons can save us a lot of money, but sometimes, time doesn’t allow us to use coupons. I’ve been a huge coupon shopper for years but my coupon use has changed a lot over the years. I still use coupons but I have trips where I use them less and less – but still manage to save a lot!
All of the strategies I’m going to share below take little time or effort but still result in big savings. As a bonus, if you DO use coupons in addition to these strategies, you will boost your savings even more!
Here you have 10 easy ways to cut your grocery bill without using coupons.
1. Buy produce in season.
Here is one of the simplest ways to save on your grocery bill. Look for the seasonal deals on produce – and eat those. Yes, we are fortunate to have fresh produce of all varieties available to us year round. Still, when buying fresh produce, you will find the best deals on seasonal produce. Eat lots of zucchini in the summer and apples in the fall. Then, watch for deals on frozen and canned produce for variety.
2. Limit your purchases of juice and other drinks (ie soda, wine, etc).
Aim to drink only water with at least one meal a day. All of these extra drinks add up – both in money and calories! Start by cutting back on the amounts you consume and then the frequency, if you are able. In our house, we don’t drink juice regularly. We save the extra calories and the expense by not drinking something we don’t really need. Yes, an occasional glass of Diet Coke is nice but we save by cutting back on how often we purchase other drinks. (Milk is the exception to this rule for our family.)
3. Look for “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” deals.
If you aren’t interesting in using coupons but want to see savings in your grocery bill, look for “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” deals. Most grocery stores have a couple of these deals every week. By seeking out these deals, you are actually saving 50% on the purchase of these items. Anytime you can avoid paying full price, do so!
4. Shop mark-down aisles.
Some grocery stores are better for this than others. Our Kroger always has markdowns! I make it a point to stop by the bread aisle, meat aisle and then their special mark-down aisle on each trip. You’ll never know what you may find! In the past couple months, I’ve been thrilled find pita pockets for $0.25 and a package of Olay facial wipes (60 count) for only $0.19! Meijer has a shelf with marked down produce and I find a lot of good deals there in the summer. Start looking for mark-downs at your grocery store but remember, it’s not a great deal if you won’t use it!
5. Bake foods from scratch instead of buying them.
Yes, there is a time trade-off here but I often find that the money saved is worth my time. I bake my own delicious bread (for less than $0.50 a loaf). I make homemade yogurt in our slow cooker ($1 or less for 8 cups of yogurt). I bake our cookies and treats from scratch, too. The more you bake and cook from scratch, the more you can save. I have a whole list of things I want to try making from scratch (saved on Pinterest, too) and am slowly figuring out which ones save our family the most.
6. Buy fewer convenience foods.
This is similar to the above but worth mentioning on its own. Convenience foods are a convenience. There is a time and place for those. I know because I buy them on occasion and am okay serving my family those processed foods. That said, when you buy convenience foods you are paying more for the convenience of it. If you are going to buy convenience foods, buy the big bags and divide them into smaller portions yourself. Here are some more ideas to get you started thinking.
- Grate your own cheese.
- Peel and chop your own carrots.
- Cut your own lettuce.
- Buy big bags of chips and divide them into small bags for lunches.
- Buy one big container of yogurt and divide it into small containers for lunches. The same works for applesauce.
7. Buy cheaper cuts of meat.
Hamburger is cheaper than steak. Chicken is cheaper than hamburger. Pork is cheaper than chicken. And so on and so on. How can you substitute cheaper cuts of meat in your menu? By learning how to cook chicken on the bone in my slow cooker (instead of using boneless skinless chicken breasts), I now save at least $1/lb on chicken. Plus, it’s easy and oh, so tender. Those savings add up quickly. Another way to save is by using less meat than a recipe calls for. For example, if your recipe calls for 1.5 pounds of hamburger, try using only 1 pound instead. This is very easy to do in casserole and crock-pot dishes without noticing the difference. Bonus points for eating at least one meatless meal a week!
8. Stockpile when things you regularly use are on sale.
Anyone who has read my blog before knows I’m a firm believer in realistic stockpiling. A stockpile saves our family thousands of dollars every year. The concept is simple. Buy what your family uses when you see it at it’s lowest price – and buy enough to last you until the next sale. This principle applies to food as well as household products and toiletries. Learn more about how to build a basic stockpile, and then focus on building a stockpile that saves your family money.
9. Plan your meals around what’s on sale.
This is another great way to save to save without coupons! If chicken is on sale this week, eat chicken meals. If you find a great deal on pasta, try some new pasta dishes. I so this every week, planning our meals around the meat and produce sales. The rest of items I try to fill in from our stockpile. It is a different mindset of menu planning because most of us are used to eating what we want, whenever we want it. By planning your meals around sale ingredients, you will quickly see the savings accumulate. To get started doing this, start by making a list of your family’s favorite meals that use different meats / protein elements.
10. Use coupon apps to earn free money on items you’re already purchasing.
My last tip for saving money on your grocery bill is to start using free coupon rebate apps. The premise of these rebates is simple. After you shop, scan through your receipts to see what matches up with the items listed on the app. You will earn anywhere from $0.25 to $2 for purchases you have already made! If you are just getting started, try Ibotta. Ibotta has the most offers and I am able to redeem something with them almost every week. The other coupon apps I currently use include Checkout 51 (smart phone not necessary), Shrink (on lots of natural and organic products), and Mobisave (which pays within hours at any amount). Ibotta is my hands down favorite and you can read more about why here.
There you have it. These are 10 easy ways to cut your grocery bill without using coupons! What other ideas would you add to this list?
Want to know even more? If so, check out Crystal Paine’s Grocery Ebook! It is the best grocery guide around (and a cheap one too!) that describes my process exactly. Seriously, I could have written this book! It is that similar to what I do. If you want to find the best deals to build your stockpile on a budget, read Crystal’s ebook and watch the savings stack up!