With a family of four kids and two adults, that grocery bills adds up FAST. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to sit down and clip coupons every weekend.
Fortunately, I’ve found some great money-saving tips that help us cut our grocery budget significantly. And best of all, they’re so simple, you’ll have no trouble incorporating them into your shopping routine.
1. Look for Manager’s Specials
Ever seen a sticker on a bag of salad or a loaf of bread that says “Manager’s Special?” Don’t be afraid of it! These finds can be a serious gold mine for frugal shoppers. I can’t tell you how much money I save by picking up meat, produce and bakery items that are a day old or close to their “sell-by” date
I buy most of my meat this way. Just remember, “Manager’s Specials” will have a shorter shelf-life, so be sure to use them up first. I usually take it home and either have it for dinner in the next day or two or freeze it for later. And it saves me up to 50%!
2. Buy Only What You’ll Use
Stop throwing food away! One of the biggest budget-suckers is buying more food than you can eat before it goes bad. Be honest with yourself about how much you really need and scale back when shopping. That bag of baby spinach might be on sale two for $5, but can you really finish both before the week is up?
Try planning as many meals as you can that use up what you already have on hand in your fridge and pantry before you hit the grocery again. This little trick saves our family an average of $200 per month!
3. Do a Little Prep Work
Save more by prepping more. Wash and chop your fruits and veggies to make them easier to grab for snacks and recipes. Divide and freeze portions of meat for later use. You can even make a lot of the convenience foods you buy, like frozen waffles, at home for pennies.
4. Buy in Bulk—But Do It Wisely
Just because something comes in a larger package does not mean it is a better deal than the smaller one. This is especially true if you like to coupon.
Pay attention to unit prices when you shop. Many stores make it easy on you and provide the unit price along with the total price right on the sticker, like price per ounce or price per unit.
Compare these with the pricing on smaller packages to determine if you’re really getting a good deal or not.
Some things are always a better deal in bulk. Spices, for instance, are just pennies per unit when you buy them in bulk.
5. Shop with the Night Owls
A lot of stores do their markdowns on products at night. Hot dinner items like rotisserie chickens and fresh baked goods are often marked down to half-price or even less after the dinnertime rush. And—bonus!—tomorrow night’s dinner is already made!
6. Compare Prices
I may not have time to clip coupons anymore, but I do have time to browse ads. Did you know many stores will price-match their products?
I usually take my Aldi’s ad with me to my preferred grocery store and get my produce at Aldi’s prices.
7. Stock Up!
If you catch a good sale — especially on canned goods and non-perishables — stock up! Even some produce, like berries and grapes, and some dairy, like milk and butter, can be frozen for later use. We do this A LOT, and it makes a big difference in the budget!
With these simple, totally doable money-saving tips, you can retire from coupon-clipping for good and still make a big impact on the grocery budget. A little thinking outside the (cereal) box can do wonders for your wallet.