Grocery Chopping: Cut Down Your Grocery Bill Without Using Coupons and $500 Giveaway

iStock_000000895077XSmallMillions of Americans and Canadians are experiencing what the emptiness feels like…the emptiness of their savings accounts, the emptiness of their wallets, and the emptiness of their kitchen cupboards. Many of us are struggling to make ends meet (as in what’s at the end of the receipt meeting what’s at the end of your checkbook), and sometimes we discover that money for enough groceries to feed a family just isn’t in the budget.

While eating less is certainly an option, it shouldn’t have to be, not when there is plenty of food to go around. The truth is that you can fill your cupboards to overflowing even on a tight budget, if you know the tricks.

What are these pantry filling tricks?

Dare to Compare

If you ask someone if they like to sit around and compare things; people, clothing styles, shiny cars, neighborhoods, they’ll tell you, “No, of course not, it isn’t nice to compare.” Still, if you really want to know that truth, the art of comparing things comes naturally to everyone–except the art of comparison shopping.

Comparison shopping can be easy if you know where to look, but most people assume that to compare prices between stores you have to write out a lengthy shopping list and take that list from store to store seeing which store offers those products cheapest. That may have been the old way to do things, but comparison shopping can now be done online. In order to please their internet savvy, on the go customers, many grocery stores, department stores, and home goods stores list all of their products and their costs online. That means that you can comparison shop for the best prices while you’re catching up on last episode of Grimm.

Learn to Match

Oh, the absolute beauty of price matching! Large store chains typically offer their shoppers the ability to bring in ads from competitors and buy those advertised products for those discounted prices right in their store. Consumer goods juggernaut, Wal-Mart, offers its consumers the chance to bring in ads and essentially use them as coupons at the register. This means that you can completely forgo comparison shopping and just get everything you need in one place–if you don’t mind the frantic pace you’ll have to set to beat other shoppers to the deals, or the overwhelming amount of products you’ll have to sift through to find the things that are on your list.

Off Brand

While many assume that off brands are usually the cheaply made underachievers to their brand named cousins, this is a fallacy. If you look at the label on off brand products, you’ll discover that they are usually made from the same materials, using the same processes–they just come in a less pretty box. Many stores offer their consumers off brand store brands so that they can have high quality goods without paying brand name prices. Why should you pay an extra $0.50 for packaging?

You can save tons of money over the course of the year by buying off brands, especially when stores offer deals such as buy one get one or buy 10 for $10. Don’t let pride make you go broke because there is no shame in buying Weis spaghetti sauce instead of Ragu.

Homemade Goodness

With websites like Pinterest and happy homemaker blogs gaining popularity, more and more people are looking to make and preserve their own goods at home. You’d be amazed to find the amount of things you can make! Buy the product ingredients in bulk (which may cost more initially, but will pay off once the products are made), purchase the containers needed (jars, plastic tubs, etc…), and make your own homemade goods.

Many people have discovered the joys and money saving brilliance of making their own: salsa, pickles, spaghetti sauce, jams and jellies, canned or frozen vegetables and fruits, soups, dish soup, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, baby wipes, household cleaning supplies, pet food, and MUCH more.

Can you really save money making your own stuff? Well, after purchasing the ingredients needed to make your own laundry detergent, you’ll see the price difference. For 40 loads of store bought detergent, you’ll pay $0.20 per load or more (depending on how fancy the detergent). For 40 loads of homemade detergent, you’ll pay $0.05 per load or $2 per BATCH of homemade detergent. Yeah, that will save you some money.

For the family looking to cut back on grocery costs, you now have the information you need to grocery CHOP without having to clip coupons. Saving money and saving time has never been easier.

What tactics, other than coupons, do you use to lower your grocery bill?

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Grocery Chopping: Cut Down Your Grocery Bill Without Using Coupons and $500 Giveaway — 34 Comments

  1. All good tips Dominique and we use many, if not all, of them. Buying off brand is a great way to save money and we make quite a bit of our meals from scratch. Not only does that mean we save money in general, but also that we know what’s going in our meals and thus healthier.

  2. Though it’s not always possible, in our house the same person (me!) is responsible for the bulk of the grocery shopping. If one person does most of the shopping, they’ll learn what’s really a good value and what isn’t. Often times an item “on sale” in one store is routinely priced lower in a different store nearby. And in our area it seems that different stores are best for different categories of groceries–produce, baked goods, meat, etc.

  3. I loved all those points and started doing them the last few weeks. I really did notice my bill come down as much as 50% in some instances. One thing that really helped me was auditing what I actually consumed and planning to freeze stuff more efficiently. The reason was every week I was throwing away a lot of food and figured I am throwing away money if you really think about it. So I started watching the quantities and doing what you are also suggesting – blammo! No more thrown away money 🙂 At least I try not to

  4. I wish Walmart had not stopped the price match of B1G1 free to their own pricing late last year. Much of the advantage of price matching got taken away.

    Been buying off brand for a long time for many products. Just as good and you do not have to contribute to the advertising budget for the name brand product.

  5. We buy in bulk when it makes sense price wise and stock up for a few months if possible. We also price match, and check the reduced rack for items that are marked down. Saving money on groceries is easy with simply meal planning, making a list, checking the flyer sales, staying away from convenience foods and cooking homemade meals. We also don’t eat meat 7 days a week. Great post.

  6. We typically buy brand name with coupons for a fraction of the price. Our grocery stores do a full double up to $0.99, paired with a sale we get a lot of things free. If we can’t find a coupon we try to buy generic. We don’t have a walmart nearby so we haven’t done much price matching.

  7. Great money saving ideas. I have started bringing my lunch to work and it’s saving me a lot of money. I am also learning to bake which is a big money saver on snacks. I love this post and a great giveaway; I’m going to share it on Dinks Finance next week.

  8. I check out the discounted produce, bread and fish. As long as I can use it that day, it is a bargain. Actually, with bananas I can keep them for several days before using – I use them for baking and they can be black for that. Some stores also sell fish heads and trimmings, which make a great soup stock.
    I make big batches, freeze some and eat leftovers. After the next day, I will add fresh food to increase the flavour and nutrition and change the taste. Easiest done with stir-fries, stews and soups. A recipe I developed years ago uses leftover grain and cooked veg in a casserole I call Mock Pizza –> grain on the bottom, then veg and tomato sauce with grated or thinly sliced cheese. My father adopted this recipe with great enthusiasm.
    Save bits and ends of veg and spices (carrot tops, onion and garlic peels and trims, parsley stems, peelings, etc – nothing diseased) in a bag in the freezer to use for soup stock. This is an almost free burst of flavour.
    Use citrus rinds to make cleansers or air fresheners (simmer in a pot of water on the stove; add herbs/spices like cloves, star anise, rosemary.
    Every week I go through the grocery flyers. I make a note for each store in a notebook of each item I like and the price. This gives me the best prices for the week and a running list of the best prices over time.
    I would love to have a root cellar to enable me to keep produce and dairy products longer.

  9. Wow! What great ideas that you shares! I am always looking to ” saving a buck”! I can spot any sale 5 miles away, in the genes I would say… Ty for the awesome tips!

  10. I shop sales and clearance racks. I also check out the price per unit and figure out which size is the best buy. I also switched to “generic” brands of certain items and have saved a lot there.

  11. Great points Dominique. I try to look for items that have been discontinued, as well. People forget that grocery items are often discontinued. The savings can be as much as 90 percent.

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