It is possible to save at the grocery store without extreme couponing. You can fill your cupboards and refrigerator without giving away your hard-earned money. You can keep money in your pocket while putting complete healthy meals on the table for your family. Follow my 5 easy steps to save on groceries and you will be well on your way!
1. Create a shopping list and stick to it
I have created shopping lists Amanda but it still doesn’t work, you say. Well, that is because you aren’t doing it right. I’m not saying you are doing it wrong…well, but I am. Sorry!
First things first! Take a survey of what you now have and do not have. Write on your shopping list those things you definitely need. You only have two rolls of toilet paper left? Write it down!
Now, create a meal plan for the week. I focus on dinners because breakfast, lunch and snack are all basically the same at my house. However, do still write these down. When deciding on dinners take a look at what you already have. Maybe you have a pound of ground beef and spaghetti noodles. That tells me you can have spaghetti one night. Just write on sauce and garlic bread on your shopping list.
Then take a look at your store’s sales ad in conjunction with what you now have. The store has bacon and tomatoes on sale? Have BLT’s! They have chicken on sale? Grill it, bake it, or fry it and serve it with the rice and beans you still have in your cupboard! Get creative! You have a container of quick oats and cocoa powder? Make no bake cookies instead of buying cookies.
Are you getting the hang of this?! Isn’t it fun?! It’s a little prep but totally worth it!
2. Use coupons
Hear me out…DO NOT BUY AN ITEM JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A COUPON!
Go through your grocery list and only choose coupons for items you have on your list. There is no need to get all crazy with couponing either. Some easy ways to get coupons are: store sales ad, download coupons to store rewards card from the store’s website or app and/or print coupons from coupons.com (There’s an app for that too!). With coupons.com you can download coupons to your store reward card as well, and upload your receipt to the app for money back!
There are times too while shopping that you get lucky and the store has coupons right on the shelf. If the coupon is for what I’m buying today I use it. If it is for something I may need later I will grab it for my next trip.
3. Do not buy prepackaged food
If you can possibly help it do not buy prepackaged food. Again, this is a little prep but so worth it! Instead of paying $4 or $5 for the container of salad lettuce I pay less than a dollar for a head of green leafy lettuce, clean it, tear it, and store it in a gallon size freezer bag. Instead of buying a freezer lasagna buy the ingredients and make your own. You get way more for your buck, you can take it to work the next day for lunch and it’s a lot healthier.
Bottom line, prepackaged is more expensive!
4. Stock up
Here’s the deal…only stock up if the item is on sale for at least 50% off and it’s something you actually use. Typically items go on sale every 6-8 weeks so buy enough of that item to last at the very least 6-8 weeks.
5. Use rebate apps
Ibotta is my ultimate favorite! You can earn bonuses and make money when friends sign up. Your friend’s purchases go toward your bonuses as well. It’s as easy as finding the items in the app that you purchased and uploading (take a picture) your receipt. There are some stores where you don’t even have to upload the receipt, just have the cashier scan your phone. I do this at Best Buy. If you’re military you will be happy to know they even have the Commissary and the Exchange on this app!
The rebates to your account are instant also! With both Ibotta and Checkout51 your earnings do have to reach $20 to cash out however. Checkout51 will send you a check and Ibotta will either send you a check, deposit it to your PayPal or Venmo account, or you can choose a gift card from stores like Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart, or Best Buy just to name a few.
Keep your receipts for at least a week (that’s 7 days!) because if the milk you bought today is not on the app today it may show up 3 days later and you want that rebate!
Now, go start saving!
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