For many people there are time constraints that don't allow you always take the time to search out the best deals, let alone match them with available coupons. It can be frustrating to hear about massive grocery store savings using all those coupons when you can hardly find the time to brush your hair in the morning before work. But don't despair, there are many other ways to cut costs on your grocery bill even if you're not clipping coupons like a fiend.
1. Shop Around
Take a few weeks to try out different stores which are conveniently located to you. Then compare the prices they offer for the products you regularly buy. Ultimately you want to shop at a store that consistently offers the lowest prices for the items you need most often.
2. Sign up for Bonus Cards
Most grocery stores today offer bonus cards and they are usually FREE to sign up. Scanning a store bonus card at check out will allow you to take advantage of that stores particular deals, ultimately getting you the best prices they have to offer. Additionally, many store also offer rewards for using your bonus card. For every dollar you spend points are usually allotted to your card. Some stores allow you to redeem points for discounts like a percentage off your next bill, others offer free products and some offer gas discounts as well.
3. Read Your Stores Circular
Every week major supermarkets advertise their weekly specials on their websites and in flyers which are usually found in your mail box. Your stores weekly circular is the best source of information for what deals your store is offering that week. Knowing what the best prices in the store are before your enter will help expedite your trip and help you make a plan, thus avoiding being suckered into over spending on other items.
4. Plan a Menu
Take into consideration what products are on sale in a particular week and plan a weekly menu around those sale items. For instance, if chicken and ground beef are on sale this week, consider having chicken fingers with two sides, burgers, tacos, chicken pot pies, marinated chicken breast with veggies, and chicken curry with rice this week. You can always leave one night open for left overs or just a spaghetti dinner. Also, don't be afraid to ask your meat department for assistance. If chicken breast are on sale this week, but a recipe you want to make calls for ground chicken, ask one of the meat department employees to simply ground up a package of breasts for you, it will still be the same price!
5. Shop Your Pantry
Considering the weekly menu you just created, shop your pantry for items you already have on hand. You don't want to go to the store and spend money on items you already have, especially if those items aren't on sale this week.
6. Make a List
Make a list of all the things you need to purchase and stick to it. Viewing your shopping list as a task to complete rather than a leisure activity can help prevent impulse buys and also save you time.
7. Set a Budget & Leave Plastic at Home
Set yourself a weekly grocery budget (this will vary depending on your family size and needs) and stick to it. An easy way to help yourself do this is to leave your plastic (aka credit card) at home and only take with you cash equivalent to your budget. It is psychologically more difficult to fork over cash than it is a credit card and thus you are more likely to stay on budget.
8. Don't Shop Hungry
Try to plan shopping trips after meals or grab yourself a snack before you go. Shopping hungry is the number one culprit of impulse buys!