Have you ever wondered if you can actually save money on groceries without coupons?
I live in a small town and I don’t receive any coupons through the newspaper and my grocery budget has ranged from $120-$170 a month over the past 10 years. (Started with just my husband and me and now our third child is one.)
So yes, we are proof that it is possible to save money on groceries without coupons! Not only is our grocery budget pretty stinkin’ low, but I’m still able to feed my family a fairly healthy diet consisting of minimally processed foods.
Often our budgets are tight and we don’t know what else we can cut out to make the numbers work. A great place to start is the grocery budget. Yes, even if you don’t have access to coupons.
I want to share a few tips and tricks with you that I’ve used the past decade. I was fortunate to grow up with a mom who rocked her grocery budget and learn from her. For even more ideas, check out this popular post on how to drastically lower your grocery budget.
Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Coupons
Shop the Ads
This is huge! Don’t menu plan or head to the store without knowing what is on sale where.
We don’t get the newspaper but, thankfully, now days you are able to find almost every ad online. Checkout the websites for both national and local stores to view them.
Take a few minutes to look over the ads and write down what’s on sale at each store.
Watch for Markdowns
Grocery shop in the morning, when possible, and keep your eyes open for markdowns. Get to recognize the stickers that symbolize a discount in price.
I’ve gotten steak, chicken, other meat, bread, kale, spinach, arugula, other produce, chips and so much more for super cheap this way.
The meat, and often time bread products, can go in the freezer to prolong their life but you have to be willing to adjust to your menu to take advantage of the produce with a shorter shelf life. It’s worth taking those few minutes in the store to tweak the menu, though.
If your week is too crazy to hit up multiple stores, don’t forget that in most places you can price match at Wal-Mart.
Know What to Buy Where
Don’t assume that just because something is on sale it’s the best price. You need to be aware of what the standard prices are at other grocery stores and online before you decide to stock up. Produce sales at several of our local stores tend to be higher than non-sale prices at Aldi.
Which brings me to the next point:
I LOVE Aldi! Many of their regular prices are good deals and their weekly produce sales tend to be exceptional. The produce on sale is what I tend to grab lots of and build my menu around. Aldi is also a great store to watch for markdowns.
(Don’t forget to bring a quarter for your cart and grocery bags but it’s well worth it.)
Give store brands a try. Some might not be a contender with your favorite name brands but you might be surprised.
Again, don’t assume store brand is the lowest price. With a sale a name brand might actually come out ahead.
Skip Packaged Products
Cook from scratch! You’ll save so much money mixing up your own taco seasoning versus buying the little packet from the store (and it’s better for you too). Try your hand at making yogurt, bread, popsicles, mac & cheese, and so forth instead of grabbing the box.
Put your smart phone to use and save a little each shopping trip!
Download the Ibotta grocery rebate app to earn money! Use my referral link and you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus! (My referral code is rxlutjp if you need it.) Checkout the rebates they offer before you head to the stores and when you are done, add the info to the app.
These are a few of the ways I’ve save on groceries over the last 10 years – no coupons involved. That’s thousands of dollars I’ve saved our family by being intentional about how I shop. You can to! Don’t worry about trying to overhaul your shopping in one week, instead take baby steps and each week continue to make little changes until you get to the ideal budget for your family.
Do you use coupons?
What are your favorite ways to save on groceries?