How to Save Money on Food (Without Coupons!!)
Many people think it’s hard to save money on food without coupons, but with the right tips and tricks, it’s totally doable. Coupons are just one way to save on groceries. In this blog post, we will cover five ways to save on food without coupons or deals!
Have you ever asked yourself the question “How do I save money on food without coupons?” Well, in this blog post we will discuss a few simple ways to save money on food that doesn’t require any coupons. These tips are perfect for anyone who is trying to live a more frugal lifestyle and doesn’t want to rely solely on coupons for groceries!
We all know how expensive food can be; it’s no secret that the grocery bill is one of the largest expenses many families face each month. When I first started using the Cash Envelope Method and tracking my spending, I was shocked at how much money I was actually spending on food each month!!
How to Save Money on Food without Coupons
Cutting your grocery bill is one of the easiest ways to start saving money, paying off debt, and managing your budget better. Oftentimes, we can easily spend money on groceries without really thinking about it. That’s a lot of money going out the door! With these simple tips, you can save quite a bit of money on your budget at the grocery store!
There are a number of ways to save money on food without coupons and with a little planning, you can eat well and still cut your grocery bill.
So how do I save food without coupons? Let’s find out together:
#1 Plan out your meals for the week
First of all, you’re going to save more money when you have a plan for your meals. Planning out your meals for the week is the best way to save money on food without coupons because it takes the guesswork out of what you need at the grocery store.
Meal planning for the week will give you a good idea of what you need to buy at the store for the week.
Planning your meals for the week will also help save money by preventing impulse purchases. Putting together a list of what you need to buy keeps you from buying things that are not on your shopping list. You can use apps like Meal Planner or Grocery IQ to plan out and stick to your grocery budget!
#2 Cook with what you have
It’s a good idea to shop your pantry before making your grocery list. Cook with what you have on hand and try to avoid buying ingredients that will expire before they are used.
Access what foods in your pantry will expire soon and plan a meal around them. For example, if you have eggs that are about to expire, plan to make an egg sandwich with some toast or muffins and just purchase the ingredients you need to complete the meal.
The website: ShelfCooking.com has so many great ideas about how to use the food already sitting in your pantry or freezer. Jordan Page says: “Shelf cooking is a style of cooking I coined the name for that describes making meals starting with what you have on hand — in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. You buy only a few ingredients from the store to supplement what you already have, not the other way around.”
#3 Make a list before going grocery shopping
Having your list in hand when you go to the grocery store will help save money on food without coupons. Making a list before going shopping prevents impulse purchases that are not on your list, which can add up and make it difficult for you to stick with your budget.
The best way to save money when buying groceries is by sticking with your allocated grocery budget. Doing so decreases the likelihood that you will overspend and buy items you do not need. It’s a good idea to calculate how much food is in your shopping cart before you check out to avoid overspending.
#4 Buy Store Brands or Generic Brands instead of Name Brand Items
One way to save money on food without coupons is by switching from name brand items to store or generic brands, which might be produced and sold by the same company as that of their more expensive counterparts!
Many store-brand goods (though not all) may actually come from the same factory where its counterpart pricey product comes out of – this means they’re made with similar ingredients or possibly even identical ingredients as well!
#5 Shop at the grocery store’s perimeter for fresh produce and lean proteins
Shopping for fresh foods around the store’s perimeter is not only healthier but also cheaper. The freshest fruits and vegetables are found at the end of an aisle, while unhealthy snacks can be found in between them. In addition to fresh produce, lean proteins like eggs or ground beef are also located around the store’s perimeter near dairy products.
Convenience foods (often sold in the store’s middle aisles) are more expensive while also being less healthy. I have been buying generic brands for years and very rarely do I notice a difference in the quality of the products – but I have found a few products that weren’t as good as the name brands. Just test it and see! A lot of stores guarantee the quality of their store brands – so it can’t hurt to try!
#6 Shop at grocery stores that offer discounts or coupons
Some of my favorite grocery stores to shop at aren’t the prettiest – but they do save me the most money! Shopping at salvage grocery stores or scratch and dent stores is a great way to save money on groceries.
My favorite grocery store is the local salvage grocery store that I always check before shopping anywhere else. They have great deals and discounts, but they’re not very convenient to get to – so do research on stores nearby!
A lot of people don’t realize that discount salvage stores even exist in their area, but these local shops are a fantastic way to save money on groceries.
Many grocery stores have discount shopper cards that you can sign up for that give you cheaper sale prices when you shop.
It’s also a great idea to sign up for grocery store coupon emails. Many grocery stores offer a variety of coupons for different items, or even discounts on your next purchase when you spend $x amount in the store (basically free money!).
Supermarkets that are near universities often have student-focused deals and prices which means more savings!
When I’m not sure where to buy groceries, I’ll check out different apps on my phone to see where things are cheaper. There are lots of apps that help you find the sales in your area and they are easy to use when you are making your menu for the week and writing out that grocery list!
#7 Get creative with leftovers
Be conscientious not to waste leftovers. Get creative with leftovers by making a new dish or using them in another way, such as in an omelet or on top of a salad.
Some great ideas for using up leftovers are:
- Make a sandwich with leftover meat
- Add leftovers to scrambled eggs for breakfast
- Use up some of the vegetables in your fridge by making soup or stew
- Turn your leftovers into a casserole dish for dinner tonight and tomorrow night
- Make a pasta bake using all those noodles you have leftover from last week’s pasta night
- Put together an egg salad sandwich with a little mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper
- Use up the last of your milk by making pancakes or waffles
- Create a stir fry with any type of steamed vegetable leftovers you have on hand
- Turn leftover rice into fried rice, which is great for a quick lunch or supper
- Chop up leftover fruit for a healthy snack
- Pack up leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch
- Freeze any food that you won’t be able to eat before it goes bad (exclude dairy products)
#8 Buy food in bulk
If you’ve never paid much attention to the bulk food bins at your local grocer or health food market, start now. These sections typically offer a wide variety of foods in large quantities, such as rice or dried beans, and the prices are often lower than packaged goods.
By buying grains, beans, and nuts in bulk and taking them home to put in your own canister, you can save a lot of money. You can also save by purchasing dried goods such as pasta and cereal in bulk instead of boxes or packets, which tend to be more expensive per unit.
Wholesale warehouses like Costco or Sam’s Club are a great place to buy in bulk. They offer a lot of the same items you find at your local grocery store, but they’re usually packaged differently and can be cheaper than what you’d typically pay at an average supermarket.
However, it’s important to know your prices. Not everything at Costco will be cheaper per unit than what you would find in your local grocery store.
If you do buy in bulk, be sure to freeze or properly store the food you won’t use right away, and don’t buy more than what you need.
Another way to save on food is by buying in bulk when it’s on sale at your local grocery store or supermarket. For instance, if you notice canned spaghetti sauce is on sale for a great price, buy a few extra cans to store away for when the price goes back up.
#9 Cook from scratch
Cooking from scratch will help you save money on expensive convenience items like frozen dinners or pre-made salads.
Cooking from scratch will also be kinder to your waistline. Many convenience items are high in sugar and fat – not only do they cost more per serving but the empty calories add up quickly!
Foods that are easy to cook from scratch but cost less are:
- baked goods like muffins, cookies, or quick breads
- Oatmeal and other whole grains
#10 Cut back on meat – eat more vegetarian or vegan dishes
Another way to save money on food without coupons is to cut back on meat. You can save even more money by eating vegetarian dishes a few days a week.
Vegetarian and vegan meals tend to be cheaper because many of the ingredients are already in your pantry – potatoes, pasta, rice, beans etc.
Canned goods like tomatoes and corn will also cost less as these are usually a staple in vegetarian dishes.
If you’re not ready to commit to a vegetarian lifestyle, try eating meatless one or two days each week.
Shop wisely and remember that deals can change day-to-day; don’t ever shop without knowing whether there’s an ongoing promotion going on for whatever it is you need.
I’ve shared a few tips on how to save money on food without using coupons. Now it’s your turn to share with us: what other ideas do you have for saving? Let me know in the comments below!