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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

10 Best Ways To Save Money On Groceries Without Couponing

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We are all busy people, right?
 Not all of us are inclined to spend our free time finding coupons, clipping coupons, organizing coupons and carrying them around with us at all times.
It just isn't praticall to commit to that kind of time & dedication for many people.
So how can you save money on groceries if you don't coupon?
There are several things you can do to save money on what you spend on food each week.
You probably use a lot of these strategies already, but maybe you might find one new idea to use!



1. Don't Shop This Week.
That's right! Don't shop this week. I bet if you take a look around your kitchen and freezer, you will find that you have more than enough to create a week's worth of meals without going to the grocery store this week. Challenge yourself to use what you already have to menu plan for the week. Or at the very least, just shop for fresh fruit and veggies and other perishables you might run out of. I find we use our groceries better with very little waste when I shop every 2 weeks instead of every week.

2. Menu Plan.
As I mentioned yesterday, menu planning makes the best use of your grocery dollars by giving you a plan to follow that help you avoid quick runs to the grocery store at the last minute to grab things for meals or a trip to the drive-thru. You can read more about how I menu plan here.
3. Read the Flyers.
I know so many people who don't check the flyers! The weekly sales flyers are delivered to my doorstep each week and I always make a list of the best deals that week so I can make my grocery dollars go further. Take some time to read the flyers. The best deals are always on the front pages, so even if you do a quick scan of the front page, you may see a deal that works for you.
4. Shop The Sales.
Shop the sales and stock up! When I say stock up, I don't mean stock up with an extra can or two. I mean really stock up....like for 6 months to a year. If it's something that can last for a long time...stock up if you have the room and the budget for it. For instance, I make soup a lot, so when I recently saw a great sale  on chicken and beef broth, I purchased 20 cartons of each. { I typically use 3-4 cartons per soup.} Buy cases of things when they are on sale. February is National Canned Food Month, so some of the grocery stores are offering great prices on cases during this time.

5. Stock Your Pantry.
This goes along with reading the weekly sales flyers and stocking up on sales. Stock up your pantry with things you use all the time, so you are cooking from your pantry with things that were purchased on sale and at the best price. I have a pantry in my kitchen, but I also have a large shelf in my basement to store overflow from my pantry. My pantry is so well stocked now that there are several weeks that I don't need to buy any pantry items. And if you live a distance from a grocery store....this will save you on gas and time as well!

6. Discover the Discount Bin.
I shop at  a grocery store that marks down perishables about to expire on a daily basis .In fact, it's one of the reasons I shop there. One day in August, I shopped there after I dropped the kids off at school and here are the deals I came home with:
  **Please note all the bright pink stickers say 50% off**
{except for the meat, which is 30% off}

What did I do with everything?
The tortellini went into the freezer for meals and soups.
The green beans went into the freezer for meals and soups.
The red peppers {Canadian} were diced and put into the freezer for soups, casseroles, pizzas and stir frys.
I also do the same thing with green and yellow peppers, mushrooms and onions.
The blueberries were the best deal.... less than a $1 a pound and they were Canadian blueberries.
Do you know what you pay for a small little bag of blueberries from the freezer section of the grocery store... a lot more!
To prepare the berries, I  picked out the bad ones, washed them, scooped them into freezer bags and then filled my freezer with these yummy berries.
I also do this with raspberries,strawberries and cranberries when they are marked down.
I used some of the blueberries to make a delicious blueberry and peach cobbler for dessert that night too!

I used the pork, some of the red peppers and the green beans to make a delicious stir fry for dinner that night.
And I don't like cutting up cantaloupe and honeydew....even though I know that buying the whole fruit and cutting it up yourself  saves money.
So when I see these ready to eat fruit trays marked down, I scoop them up for desserts and school lunches.
$4.99 for this cut up fruit....yes please!
This brings me to another way to save money on groceries.

7. Make Friends with Your Freezer.
Your freezer can be so useful! Not just for buying frozen foods, but for also taking fresh foods and preparing them for the freezer yourself. And often it takes so little time!

8. Buy in bulk.
 Recently it was Chinese New Year, so a lot of Asian foods were on sale. So I picked up an 8 kg of thai jasmine rice for a great price...it's one of our favourites. This saves so much instead of buying little bags of rice over and over again at a higher price.
9. Do 'Big Cooks' or "Batch Cooking'.
Use your freezer to create your own convenience foods. Make double batches of soup so you have some to freezer for another time. When you cook rice, cook double the amount you need and put the extra in the freezer for another meal. There are a ton of blogs and websites that have terrific ideas and recipes for freezer meals. Take some time and find some recipes that your family likes.
10. Plant a fruit tree or join a "Fruit Rescue".
The previous owner of our home planted an apple tree and we get so many yummy apples from that one little tree. They aren't very big, but they sure are good and the perfect size for the kids lunches.
And again, I make good use of my freezer and use our fresh apples to make 'apple pie kits'.
I just add cinnamon and sugar with the sliced apples and freeze in freezer bags,  and I have a 'kit' ready to go into the pie or apple crisp.
My city also has a 'fruit rescue' organization that I belong to.
Residents of the city who have fruit trees or bushes and are not able to harvest the fruit call the 'fruit rescue' who then organizes volunteers to harvest the fruit. A third of the fruit goes to the homeowner, a third to the food bank, and a third goes to the harvesters.
This is a great way to do a good service to your community and take home free fruit.
***
How about you?
 What are some strategies that you use to save money on groceries without couponing?
Make sure you come back tomorrow when I share some helpful ideas for revolutionizing your laundry!

Don't forget to check out these other helpful posts:

And have a peek at these boards on Pinterest:

47 comments:

sarita edgerton said...

I am a couponer but I do look for great deals on meat and then portion them out into appropriate sizes for my family. I cut up onions like you do bell peppers and when I can get potatoes on sale, then I dice them or grate them for use in soup or hash browns.

Sherri said...

My husband will use coupons but for me they are a pain. I know, I know I could save but I hate to clip them and file them into an organizer only to hunt them back out at the store.

I plan my meals for the week and plan around whats on sale. It works for us. My husband knows which store has the best regular prices for our normal purchases too.

Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista said...

I am very good friends with my freezer already, but the apple pie kit is genius! Thanks for the idea.

Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) said...

Great tips and I use many of them, but the one we find that saves us the most is stocking up on pantry and freezer items. Like you we buy many at a time. Kraft Peanutbutter can go for over $5 for 1kg at regular prices and we buy 12 at a time when they go on sale for $2 (we eat pb daily and make pb cookies.) Same thing for our favourite pasta sauce that sells for $2.29-$2.99 depending on the store. We buy 30 or more jars at a time when they are $1. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. I love knowing that when I open my cupboard I paid full price for very little. My husband always picks up my sister's families favourite items in multiples too. The apple idea is one I will be taking away today.

Lisa said...

pretty good advice.. thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

Great tips! I have gotten much better at cooking bigger portions and freezing the rests, as well as freezing produce. I do this with sweet corn in the summer!

Margo said...

This is great advice! I started a new board on Pinterest because of it!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

You've got some great ideas, Angie! I have to say I've been pretty good since we moved at looking at the flyers, but that is also because the supermarkets here are all new to me. I do make a list when I am going food shopping and will base some of it off what is on sale. Mostly though I keep a running list of things as we run out or run low.

Pamela said...

Awesome post Angie!!!!!
I wish you lived closer to me!
Fantastic tips..loved it all.
I do try to shop every two weeks.
Pamela xo

Sarah said...

Great ideas, Angie. I especially like #1 - Don't Shop This Week. I am now working through my fridge, freezer, cold room and cupboards and using things that should not be kept forever! I bet I can eat for a month and I am not exaggerating.

Chrisula said...

Thanks for all of the tips Angie, I never thought to buy produce (ie. the red peppers) and chop them up and freeze them for use later - brilliant idea!!! Thanks for sharing

Nancy said...

Thanks for all of the great tips. I actually made a list today and planned out a couple of meals and it helped in the grocery store. Thanks!

Jan@southernjunkin' said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

Jackie said...

Great tips and ideas. I do some of them already. Do you have any favourite recipes that you make that freeze well? I have been making a weekly menu now for about 2 to 3 months and it really does save a great deal at the grocery store but would like to have more amke ahead meals ready in the freezer for those busy weeknights. love you blog BTW!

Rustown Mom said...

All fab ideas - I wish I had the space in my pantry to buy more cans of stuff. Might have to work on that this week. I am shopping from my freezer this next month and slashing my budget. still using my coups for soap and toilet paper, but I also look at the reduced for quick sale stuff at the store and put it in my freezer for future meal planning. The peach/blueberry thing looks great!

Melanie said...

Great tips! I could do so much better at all of the ideas you've mentioned, I should work on that! I pulled chili out of the freezer sunday, thawed it a bit then warmed it on the stove, quick and easy! I need to utilize my freezer more that's for sure.

Marriage from Scratch said...

great post with excellent info!
I'd love it if you linked up this post with From Scratch Friday at Marriage from Scratch.


~Christina
Www.marriagefromscratch.blogspot.com

Carrie said...

Great post! Thanks for all the money saving ideas!

Tanya said...

Great ideas! Love the apple pie kits. I use my freezer a lot -- such a great tool. Also love the cookbook, Fix, Freeze, Feast. It's great for bulk cooking.

rainbowcreek said...

Those are all great ideas. I don't have the time or patience for couponing so I try to shop smart and stock my pantry too. I buy boneless chicken breast value packs on sale and pound them a little with my meat pounder so they are not so thick. Usually they are huge so I cut them in half, lay on a baking sheet to freeze them, then bag them up so I have individual frozen portions. Much less expensive than the frozen bags and the portions are all just the right size. We also make our own frozen waffles and pancakes in big batches, then freeze them for popping in the microwave or toaster oven. I got a Belgian waffle maker at thrift store for $5 and a dozen waffles is only a cup of milk and couple cups of flour, an egg and a little oil and baking powder. So much less than store bought! The kids like them so much better, they won't eat the Eggos anymore, and I use whole wheat flour so they are better for them.

Alecia @ ChickenScratch NY said...

Great list! I rarely use coupons, I try to buy fresh, non-processed food (ingredient shopping) and make my own. I'm pinning this!

Tmuffin.com said...

I used to coupon, and it was such a waste of time. I don't eat most foods that they offer coupons for!

I found the best way to save money on food is to buy local! If you go directly to a farm, they will often sell you fresh (and usually organic or close to it) meat or veggies at great prices. I'm currently buying all-natural ground beef for $4/lb from a local farm this way. Buying in bulk helps, too. My friends and I recently bought a cow together, and we are getting the meat for $3/lb. It feels great knowing we are getting almost organic, grass-fed beef that has been humanely treated for such a great price.

Rona said...

My deep freeze is my best friend. I keep an inventory list of what is in my freezer and adjust as I put meal on my menu and/or add to my freezer. I make a menu for the whole, and catch deals to stock up. We only shop every 2 weeks for perishables, fresh fruits, veggies, milk, etc. We also go to our local farmers market. I also buy onions, peppers, etc on sale chop, bag and freeze....also saves time when preparing a meal!

Also sales flyers are available on stores websites the day before you get them at your door(at least in my area)!

Christine @ Stonehouse Living said...

Hi Angie,
Such amazing tips...
I love the fruit rescue idea!!
Also buying the reduced fruit, I will have to pay more attention to that section. And I have never thought of mincing my red & green peppers for freezing.
Thanks for sharing!
All the Best,
Christine

Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com said...

Awesome tips!!! XO, Aimee

Gen said...

We do most of these tips (except meal planning, I'm just not organized enough on that front), but the problem is we are limited on space. We are very lucky to have a pantry in our small 1 bedroom apartment, and a small chest freezer, which we maximize the usage of. Interestingly, spur of the moment cooking works for us, we only use what we have and never go out to buy something that's missing. And now I really want to make a cobbler with the strawberries or blueberries we got cheap yesterday... hehe Great post.

Homemakersdaily.com said...

I'm not a couponer but I do want to save money. I know I need to check the flyers but I never do. Your article was a good reminder that that can save me money.

Another good idea was skipping a week. I definitely have enough stuff in my freezer and pantry to get through a week with just buying basics.

Six Sisters said...

We love your wonderful shopping ideas and tips!! This is wonderful!! Thanks so much for joining us on "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We loved having you and hope to see you back next Saturday with more great ideas! -The Sisters

Renonda said...

Great tips!

Amber said...

What great tips I'm going to share this on my blogs facebook page. I recently discoverd discounted meat, I never thought about discounted fruits and veggies but I do know which local store does that, what a great idea!

I'm going to check them out this weekend when I have time to do the freezing!

Jess said...

These are such good ideas! One question though, because I've been trying to figure out how to do this, but I am only cooking for two so I don't need very much. So would you recommend smaller bags for dethawing, or do you kind of just nick off a chunk when you need it?

-Jess
http://www.thatssewcrafty.blogspot.com

Tina @ Babycakes Blog said...

Thanks for all the great tips, I really did find a couple that I haven't thought of, and a couple that I have, but it was a good reminder. I love the fruit rescue! I don't think we have anything like that here, but it's a great concept.

Nelly said...

First of all, I would like to tell you that your website looks great. The pictures are good. I feel like taking the fruit lunch box to my home. I have nothing to say about the tips because all of them are great.
There is really no need to buy fruits and vegetables every week. Use the leftover food for lunch and dinners. If you give this lunch box to your kid, he will happily eat all the fruits without creating any nuisance. You'll be able to keep your kid happy and fit. On the other hand, you’ll save money which can be used for debt repayment,

Laura @Wylde Thyme said...

Great advice, and the apple pie kit is genius! I hope there are marked down apples the next time i'm at the market. I just walked away from some because I didn't know what to do with them. What a great tip, thank you!

Allan Morais said...

Indeed, we can save money without sacrificing the quality (and quantity) of grocery items that we buy. It is okay to splurge on food, but being frugal would help you manage your finances better. Yes, I can say that couponing is a practical way of stocking up. This way, you can buy in quantity for less. However, it is also important to check our supplies before we go shopping. This way, you avoid buying too much of something.

Allan Morais

compare2save said...
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Crystelle Boutique said...

All these tips are super handy-dandy!
Excessive couponing...: It just takes up too much time.......
But I am willing to save money using your tips...

Thanks Angie!

Crystelle
http://www.crystelleboutique.com/

Jaden Allred said...
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Spitfire said...

I heart Superstore for the same reason!

Abhishek Earich said...
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Derya Yinanc said...
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Glenton Malvyn said...
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Glenton Malvyn said...
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Tennille said...

Great ideas! I am a big batch cooker as well. I bake double or triple batches of muffins and freeze the majority. My giant cookie cut into bars freezes really well and is healthier than anything I can buy! I use as much out of my garden as i can as well.

Shiv Kapoor said...

With some careful calculation and the following ten tips on how to save on grocery shopping..

ologsinquito said...

These are very good tips. I like the fact they don't require coupons, many of which are for highly processed items I wouldn't buy anyway.

taco3bumper said...

I had difficulty with PINTEREST in getting to your site. They thought you were "spammy", glad I didn't listen to them! You have some excellent posts and I hope to be able to get back to you. I've book-marked you because I can't pin your site.

Jill

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