Cutting coupons out of the paper is so yesterday. Instead of spending hours digging through the paper trying to find the best deals and potentially receiving a hurtful paper cut, why not take advantage of a few guidelines that not only help you save money, but that also guarantee you’ll find the best deals when shopping for groceries.
Throughout this article, you will learn simple yet effective methods to cut back and save on your groceries – without having to resort to coupon clipping.
Never shop on an empty stomach
Didn’t your mother always tell you, “Don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry or else you’ll buy everything!”. In many ways, your mother knew exactly what she was talking about.
Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach creates impulse purchases. The candy rack at the end of the checkout isle becomes an unavoidable zone of spending waste.
Point to take away: Go grocery shopping after you’ve already eaten. When you aren’t hungry, then you won’t make impulse buys and only focus on what you actually need.
Create a list and stick to it
Many people show up to the grocery store with the intent to buy only a few needed items, but end up filling up their carts as each new item seems to satisfy an urge for trial.
When you create a list, then you boil down your grocery shopping to the essentials. To take your list to the next level, plan out your meals for the entire week. When a plan is created on a weekly basis, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’ll need for each serving; this will help you avoid unnecessary purchases and keep your grocery bill to the bare minimum.
Go off the beaten track
Most people are accustomed to shopping at major grocery food store chains. Although grocery stores do offer very competitive pricing and a wide variety of items, nothing compares to the local food markets held by farmers.
These farmers markets, which can be found at many flea markets, offer an excellent selection of food for rock bottom prices. Farmers markets may be a little further out of the way, but you’ll sleep soundly knowing you found great deals, fresh product and helped spur business within your local economy.
Try the scratch and dent
Many stores that offer food products that have been scratched, dented or damaged have begun to pop up all over the country. Most of the time, these scratch and dent stores mostly stock canned food items.
Your first reaction may be that these products are inferior, but in reality, the cans still offer you the same great with only cosmetic damage. These cans of food are sometimes well over 50 percent off the retail price!
Stock up on the “essentials” at scratch and dent food stores; then use a mixture of farmers markets and chain stores to finish out your grocery shopping.
Try an online grocery store
It may be still in its infancy, but grocery shopping online has quickly caught on amongst many tech savvy individuals. When ordering food online, you will be able to compare prices from the comfort of your home and avoid those costly impulse purchases often experienced at the physical grocery stores.
The great addition to ordering food online is the ability to find an almost unlimited range of food that isn’t carried by local grocery stores. Vegetarian, vegan, cultural and many other variances of food can be found online – opening your options if you have different food preferences than the average consumer.
Take advantage of two-for-one deals
One of the main draws of grocery stores are the two-for-one deals right out in front as you walk in. These deals are there to entice you to enter the grocery store in hopes you continue to purchase additional items.
Don’t let everything else distract you from going only after these deals. Avoid temptation to continue to explore the grocery store – stick with these deals and you’ll make out like a bandit!
Buy from bulk retailers
Bulk retailers sell groceries at wholesale prices. For many families, there may not be any reason to buy in such high bulk, but others have found great deals when planning far into the future.
The trick to buying from wholesale grocery stores is to go after only the essentials; try to stick to canned goods that will last over the months in comparison to bulk fruit that will certainly go to waste.
Change your eating habits
In comparison to other countries of the world, most of the Western world eats entirely too much. Consider cutting back on your eating habits or aim to eat more healthy – when you cut out junk food, you’ll notice a massive amount of savings as you crave less sugars and stick to healthier items.
Additionally, when you change your eating habits, you’ll be able to seek smaller portions which costs much less than their larger counter parts. Instead of an 8oz steak, try a 4oz steak instead; this creates two meals instead of just one.
Don’t go for brand names
Brand names basically boil down to marketing. Most of the time, the brand name items are no better than their regular counterparts. All of the extra packaging, commercials, sales and branding is what creates the higher prices on these items; the quality will often be the same.
For many of your essential items, try out a generic brand. Generic brands are priced at a much more reduced price that can save you hundreds of dollars each year, a much better alternative than coupon clipping.
You are what you eat
There are dozens of alternatives to using coupons that will not only save you time, but plenty of money. Most of the tips and tricks explained in this article require a little extra effort to seek out new deals, try out different products and to make a few changes within your life.
By following these methods, you will be able to save hundreds of dollars off your grocery bills each year. What would be better: Cutting coupons all day. or making a few changes to gain the same benefits? You know the answer.