10 Ways to Save on Groceries Without Coupons

noclipThe number one reason most people don’t use coupons is that it is toooooo time-consuming. We agree. We also have heard people complain that coupons make them buy items they wouldn’t normally buy and rarely are coupons are available for fresh foods. But don’t despair. While we do occasionally use a few coupons – if we don’t let them expire first – there are lots of ways to save WITHOUT using them at all.

1. Buy Store Brands. This is our number one money-saving tactic. Of course there are some things on which you’re just not willing to switch brands. For us, that’s mayonnaise and paper towels. But if you’re too brand-loyal, you’re probably spending way more than you need to. The large majority of the store brands we’ve tried are clearly as good as — and sometimes better than — the brand-name alternative, so we buy them and save a ton of cash doing it. We’ve even become brand-loyal to some store brands! Go figure!

2. Buy on Clearance – Late in the evening. This is our next favorite way to save. Supermarkets MUST, by law, throw away food not sold by the “sell by” date. In fact, we generally check all the clearance areas first, before doing our other shopping. As we see things we could use, we also try to develop a game plan for doing so. We have turned bruised apples into applesauce, soft tomatoes into marinara sauce, and frozen browning bananas for smoothies. Try it! You’ll like it!! Don’t forget the in-store bakery as they often reduce the price on bread and baked goods at the end of each day.

3. Don’t Buy Personal-Care Products at the Grocery Store. Shampoo, toothpaste, cotton balls and other personal-care products are almost always cheaper at a drugstore or dollar store.

4. Visit the Local Butcher or Farmer’s Market. Locally raised meats and produce don’t have far to travel, so they are often less expensive than those found in the supermarket that bear the added cost of transport.

5. Check the Per-Unit Price. Manufacturers often keep the price the same but shrink the size of the package so unless you’re paying attention, you can pay too much. Always compare items based on the per-unit price on the shelf tag so that you get an accurate measure of what each item really costs. For example, a 12-ounce package of bacon at $3.95 is actually more expensive per ounce than a 16-ounce package at $4.95.

6. Stock up on sale. When the items you always buy go on sale, especially the particularly pricey ones, stock up. This is where MaxMyShopping can really help. Add the product to your profile and your MaxMyShopping one-click report will tell you IF the item is on sale, WHERE it is on sale, and IF there is a matching coupon, WHERE that coupon can be found. What could be easier? Remember to consider the shelf life on perishable items.

7. Stop Being Store-Loyal. In urban areas it is possible to pass 4 or 5 different supermarket chains within just a few blocks so why not make a quick stop and save? Sometimes the higher priced chain will offer a ridiculously low price on one or more items as a “loss-leader” meaning they are willing to lose a little money to lead you into the store hoping you’ll buy other higher priced items. There is no penalty for buying the one cheap item and moving on to the next store. But how do you know which store has the best sale price? Well, MaxMyShopping, of course.

8. Be Your Own Butcher. Any food that has been prepared in any way is going to be more expensive. Can’t you take the skin off those chicken breasts yourself? We save a lot just by slicing up our own chicken tenders.

9. Avoid Mid-shelf Purchases When Possible. In two words – LOOK DOWN. Name brands pay a high price to the grocery retailer to be placed at eye level and that extra cost is passed on to shoppers. So, look down (or up) for less expensive alternatives, especially in the canned goods aisle.

10. Stop paying full retail. How can you plan your shopping trip, save money, and buy only sale items without clipping a single coupon? MaxMyShopping… AGAIN! Once you sign up and build your shopping profile, log in, and click the MaxMyShopping button to compare sale prices on the products you always buy at the stores where you always shop. Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezee!!

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