I came across an interesting article on a site and thought I would highlight some of the items on it. It is an article on how to save at the store without using coupons. There are times when we do have to buy things without a coupon. So if our mind set is to save as much as possible it is helpful to know some ways to save on things that may not have a coupon. I try very hard not to buy anything unless it has a coupon or on sale, but let's face it that is not always an option.
Here are some of my favorite ideas from that article...
Never shop without a list
Making a list and sticking to it is probably one of the most effective ways to save money at the grocery store. By creating a list before you go, you can avoid non-essential items that drive your bill up.
Never go to the store hungry
This is just common sense. I’ve gone to the store starving, and of course I walk in and smell the deli cooking an amazing smelling chicken. I seem to make my way over for a sample, then I get a pound. Oh and don’t forget the chips and salsa, and then I walk by the ice cream. I grab a candy bar on the way out. You get the picture, by not going to the store hungry I save myself from unnecessary expense. I didn’t need the chips, they weren’t on my list but I got them anyway. Eat something before you shop!!
Avoid impulse buying
Grocery stores are smart. They place things in the checkout area that we don’t need and are rarely on a list, but people seem to buy them. Those little impulses add up quick. I’m not saying never get a candy bar, but plan on getting just one, instead of two or three!!!
Loose your brand loyalty
Why buy tide, when all, cheer or the store brand are cheaper? They all clean!! One may do a slightly, and I stress slightly better job, but they all have essentially the same active ingredients. When you always buy the same product regardless of price or sales, you are throwing away your money.
Eat what is on sale
This tip is good for everyone, list makers or not. By eating what’s on sale that week you could easily save over twenty dollars. Let’s say chicken is buy one get one free at the store, but ground beef is normal price. I’ll be eating chicken that week! By catching the chicken on sale, I saved a good amount of money, simply by being aware.
Avoid $25 shopping sprees
I absolutely hate ‘running’ to the corner store and having to pick up milk, chips and tomato paste because we are out, then grabbing some eggs to tide us over, maybe a two-liter or two and a snack. That little trip to the convenient store was $25! Avoid those! By planning your meals and making lists of what you need, these little side trips will be reduced!
Value sizes aren’t always a value
I applaud marketing executives on the ‘value’ size. By simply calling it the ‘value’ size, millions of people have become convinced that it’s a better deal! Plainly put, value sizes are not always a value. Sometimes the smaller size goes on sale, and by the unit price it’s cheaper. Make sure to always check to see which size is the best unit price.
Pay attention to marketing strategies
Along with the value size pay attention to what is at eye level. Items that are at eye level generally cost more. Always check all sizes and prices. Also beware of the end caps. Although each store is different, most stores will place displays of food at the end caps, and these spots are used for quick, easy buys that are generally more expensive.
Buy two instead of four
Have you ever seen the signs in the stores “Four for $8”? Most people don’t know that you don’t have to buy 4. You could buy one for $2, or two for $4. In other words, you don’t have to purchase four items to get the sale price! Check to see if your store employs this pricing model!
Who isn’t in a hurry these days! Instead of stopping at McDonalds and spending $15-20 on a family of four, why not run to the grocery store! You would be surprised what you can get for $15-20 that is extremely cheap and ready to eat! Some ideas I’ve thought of are a rotisserie chicken and a couple cans or veggies. Deli sandwiches and chips, spaghetti, even premade hamburger patties. Lots of grocery stories also have salad bars that are cheap.
Keep your eyes open! Learn how much things generally cost. By being aware at your stores and paying attention when you shop, you can really reduce your grocery bill.
I hope that you are able to implement some of these ideas into your shopping habits. Many of them I am already doing, and will be working on adding the rest into my shopping habits.
Thanks to weusecoupons.com for the great article!