Tips For Non Couponers

Discussion in Shopping Discussion started by felielizab • Jun 17, 2015.

  1. felielizab

    felielizabMember

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    What are some tips to save money when grocery shopping that you would give to someone who is not big on coupons?

    With a family of four and not being big into couponing myself, here are a few tips on how I save money on my grocery bill.

    1) Always plan ahead. Meal planning is a big thing in my house. It cuts out all the stress of having to think up on a whim of what to cook for dinner when we all get home after work, school, soccer games, tutoring, and etc.. Knowing what I am going to be making ahead of time also allows me to hone in and buy only particular items that we need for the week meaning I am not spending money on miscellaneous items.

    2) Inventory. Some family members and friends laugh at me when I tell them that I have to take an "inventory" of my pantry and refrigerator before grocery shopping. But I do, with a spreadsheet and all. I take into account all the things we have vs the things that we need. This allows me to focus on the things that I should buy and gives me a visual of what we already have and don't need to spend extra money on.

    3) Leave the kids (and spouse!) at home. Everybody in my house knows that I go grocery shopping alone. Part of the reason why is because I like to get in the store and out as fast as I can. The main reason is because I've found that I spend double the amount of money I normally would if my family goes with me. Little hands throw in extra snacks or my husband will suddenly need to get five bags of chips. What I usually tell them to do before I leave for shopping is to write down the types of snacks they think they might want. Then I can allot some money for those types of things without it affecting my budget too much.

    So those are just a few of mine. What are some of your ways for saving money when it comes to groceries?
     
  2. GemmaRowlands

    GemmaRowlandsActive Member

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    I would definitely agree that shopping on your own is the way to go. It means that nobody else is sneaking things into the trolley, or talking you into buying things that you don't need, or distracting you and making you forget about things that you DO need. Having a plan when shopping is completely essential, as it gives you the best chance of being successful in getting what you were looking for in the first place.
     
  3. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    I agree with your pointers. Thanks for posting :) I would also add on there; NEVER go shopping on an empty stomach. I've heard it said often that it makes you spend way more than you planned and I absolutely agree with that. So I always ensure I'm alright for food before I do my shopping. This way I can resist a lot of stuff, especially naughty foods that I tend to crave when I'm starving.
     
  4. felielizab

    felielizabMember

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    Yes, that is an excellent tip! I made the mistake of going shopping on an empty stomach on Saturday. Brownies were not on my shopping list but somehow made it into my cart and are now on my kitchen counter at home, waiting to be eaten! :p
     
  5. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    That'd be me, felielizab LOL I always go for the fried, sweet and naughty foods if I go shopping on an empty stomach. So if it can be helped, I avoid it. I also end up with cupboards full of very naughty snacks!
     
  6. Andrea Phillips

    Andrea PhillipsActive Member

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    I have never used coupons. I like your organization and suggestions. The point about not shopping when hungry is all too real! It definitely takes focus while you are shopping, to stay on track and not overspend. Another point is that you are also being bombarded by promotions and all, so focusing and sticking to your list, takes a strong effort.
     
  7. mythman

    mythmanActive Member

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    I second Lushlala's tip. That's another convenience of living in a city where so much 'retail'-space is rented by RESTAURANTS---you CAN'T be hungry if you've got extra money and you're on your way to the store ... you're headed to the store, remember you haven't eaten for a few hours, and so stop by a place right on the way to catch a bite!

    I also read somewhere that--if you're not too picky about 'how fresh it is' or 'how it looks,' and have an average/above-average strength digestive-system (i.e. that can 'handle' less-than-ideal)--lots of deli- & bread-products are sold at discounts at the end of the day.

    And WalMart (where I buy all my groceries ... as well as some of my clothes, some home-entertainment-systems, and other stuff) has their Savings-Catcher program. (Although I know they also have "an app" you can put on your mobile device that'll do it 'in store'), There's a code on your receipt, a code you enter on

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    ; they then can compare your receipt's prices to those listed on other stores (in your area)'s circulars, and they'll give you credit for the difference (credit you can either apply to a gift-card or add to your debit-card).
     
  8. felielizab

    felielizabMember

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    @mythman@mythman I buy the majority of my groceries from Walmart and I have been using the Savings Catcher app every time I go. So far, I have gotten back over $70. That's not too bad and it takes so little effort to scan your receipts. Great tip!
     
    #8Jun 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2015
  9. Briannagodess

    BriannagodessActive Member

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    Those are nice tips! I always write a list of the things we need before going to the grocery. Though the tip about going alone I just cannot do that yet as my son just cannot be away from me lol.

    Another tip that I would add is do not buy snacks in bulk. We made this mistake before and the snacks ended up expired. My son got tired of its taste easily. Now, we buy snacks in little packages so he has variety. This way nothing goes to waste.
     
  10. gata montes

    gata montesActive Member

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    I've never used coupons either and apart from your excellent tips felielizab - as well as those mentioned by others - the only other tip I think might be worth a mention - although I don't do this myself as I grow my own produce - is to make use of the times when fruits and vegetables are in season - especially as considerable savings can be made by buying seasonal produce - as not only is it way cheaper - but as its in plentiful supply and all is easily frozen or made into salsas, soups and sauces - as well as into jams, syrups or jellies and even dried too - it really can help stretch the budget.
     
  11. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    Planning your menu for the week is a good way to know what you need to purchase at the store. I also take inventory of the refrig and cabinet to make sure I have what I need to cook and will not purchase more of something I already have on the shelfs.
     
  12. mythman

    mythmanActive Member

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    Aren't many snacks designed to last longer?

    I've got some saltine-crackers I bought a few months ago ... shouldn't they still be good for years-to-come? Maybe (see

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    ,

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    ?...)

    Foods that spoil faster (particularly apples & bananas ... maybe canned vegetables too) are the main reason I go to the store twice-a-week instead of once-a-month!
     
  13. Briannagodess

    BriannagodessActive Member

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    The snacks we bought have milk in them so maybe that is why they expired fast. My son is only a year old so we only buy biscuits or cookies. Most of the time these have milk and eggs in them. This might be why they expired unlike other snacks.
     
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