I don’t know about you.
But I don’t always have time to clip coupons.
And every article you read on how to save money on groceries says the same thing:
So let’s try something else today. Let’s talk about saving money without coupons.
1. Shop by the Unit Price
A unit price is exactly what it sounds—it’s the price of that item per unit. Per ounce, per pound, or per gallon.
And here’s the deal:
Unit pricing makes comparing products – from different brands or sizes – like comparing apples to apples.
This makes it easy to see which item saves the most money.
So how does this work?
Let’s say you’re deciding between two different sizes of yogurt.
The 32 oz size and the 6 oz size:
The unit price is in pink.
Which one is the better deal?
The 32-oz yogurt is only $0.05 per ounce compared to $0.12. It’s a better deal.
2. Start a Cash System
Can I be honest?
When I first heard that people who use cards waste 12%-18% more money than people who use cash, I was a little skeptical.
But guess what?
I tried it and saved $107 my first month.
I was hooked.
So here’s the deal:
Cash is king. And swiping a card doesn’t sink in as much as spending your hard earned dollars.
And when you start shopping, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to spend.
Once it runs out, that’s it.
So it’s like cash systems have a built-in accountability system that stops you from wasting money.
When I started my cash system, I used cash envelopes because they’re cheap and easy to use.
Then I switched to the SavvyCents Wallet because it’s durable and makes saving money a breeze.
3. Eye Level Means Expensive
Have you ever realized that the most expensive products tend to be at eye level?
There’s a reason for that.
Grocery stores have coined the phrase:
“Eye level is buy level.”
And according to the research, we tend to choose eye-level products.
So when it comes to learning how to save money on groceries, this easy tweak can make a massive difference.
Because here’s the thing:
Brands that sell the best are always placed front and center, right in your line of sight.
They pay big money to get put there because they know you’ll see them.
But instead of falling for those marketing tricks, pay attention to how much you bend down or stretch for something.
Just remind yourself to look above and below eye-level. It’s like a treasure hunt for the best deal.
4. Save While You Spend
Want to know one of the easiest ways to save money on everything you buy?
Use an app called Rakuten.
Here’s how it works:
You sign up for a free account and use the search bar to find the retailer you want to shop at.
As you make purchases, you’ll earn cash back.
But fair warning:
When you’re getting a good deal, it’s easy to overspend.
So my advice?
Only use Rakuten for things you know you need. It’s not a good deal if you don’t need it.
I’ve gotten over $1,000 in cash back since I started using them a few years ago.
It’s an awesome way to save money on big purchases, too. You won’t feel bad after shopping for Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays.
4. Learn the Sales Cycles
Are you ready to do a little detective work?
Start paying attention to when your favorite items go on sale.
And keep this in mind:
Sale cycles usually run every 6-8 weeks.
So if you see something you know you’ll need, then buy extra to get the best deal.
5. Use a FoodSaver
It happens to the best of us.
We buy food with good intentions.
…then it goes bad before we can eat it.
Ouch. Talk about money going down the drain.
Here’s the bottom line:
Nothing is worse for you – or your budget – than letting your precious food go to waste.
But the good news?
One of the easiest ways to learn how to save money on groceries comes down to this:
You should preserve your precious food with a FoodSaver.
Air is the enemy of freshness, and that’s the reason our food goes bad before we can eat it.
But the FoodSaver vacuum seals your food to keep it fresher up to 5 times longer.
Not bad, right?
6. Meatless Saves Money
Meat is what kills the budget.
But you don’t have to cut it out altogether.
Have Meatless Mondays or pick 2 or 3 days where you add more greens, rice, and pasta into your diet.
7. Learn to Love a List
Let’s be honest.
A list can make or break your spending.
So when you’re shopping for groceries on a budget, the smartest thing you can do is make a list and stick to it.
Here’s what you do:
Plan what you’ll make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the upcoming week.
Don’t forget snacks, either.
And when you start shopping, live by your list.
The best part?
This will save you time and money.
You know what you came for, and you’re not breaking the bank trying to get it.
And if you shop with your family, then let your family help plan the meals.
It’s easier to stick to the budget when you’re a team… and when you’re fine with saying no to candy and ice cream.
8. Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry
You’re not you when you’re hungry.
You say stuff you don’t mean. You buy stuff you don’t need.
And while people might forgive you for what you said when you were hangry…
…your grocery bill won’t let it go that easily.
So here’s the thing:
Go grocery shopping on a full stomach. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much money you’ll save.
Step away from the snacks.
10. Shop in Season
Fruits and vegetables can already be expensive.
The worst part?
They’re marked up double – sometimes triple – when they’re out of season.
So one of the first steps in learning how to save money on groceries comes down to smart shopping.
And here’s the thing:
Buying a grapefruit in September will cost you extra – and it might not even taste that great.
Try this instead:
Use this Seasonal Produce Guide to help you buy items when they’re actually in season.
It’ll be 10 times cheaper for your wallet.
11. Shop by Yourself
Does your family add unnecessary items to your shopping cart?
Word to the wise:
Leave them at home.
You want to bring people who encourage good spending habits, not cripple them.
12. Only Shop Once a Month
Last year, I picked up a book called America’s Cheapest Family.
It was a game-changer for my money.
Annette, Steve, and their 5 kids lived on an average income of $35,000 for 12 years.
In their book, they share exactly how they did it.
And one of my favorite tricks from that book was to limit your shopping trips.
Because several shopping trips = several chances to pick up unnecessary things.
Think about it:
When you’re on a diet, you want to stay away from donut shops.
The same thing applies when you’re saving money.
Each trip you make means more opportunities for spending mistakes. So limit your trips to the grocery store.
13. Use a Calculator
Your phone has a calculator on it – so use it when you’re shopping.
To win, you have to hold yourself accountable.
So add items in your calculator as you’re adding them to your cart.
14. Shop online and pick up at the store
Curbside grocery pickup.
It makes shopping easy because you don’t even have to do it.
You can pick out the exact items you want online, pay for it, then pick them up.
Here’s the thing:
Sometimes the best way to learn how to save money on groceries comes down to avoiding impulse buys.
So grocery pickup keeps you out of the store and keeps the money in your pocket.
Plus, you can use Rakuten while you’re shopping online to double your savings.
15. Rethink Your Meals
When you think about dinner, what comes to mind?
A generous cut of meat, two hot and steaming sides, a warm slice of bread, and dessert?
If that’s you, then it’s time to cut yourself some slack.
Those meals are delicious. But breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be simple.
You and your family will survive fine on cereal for breakfast, PB&J for lunch, and a salad for dinner.
Save the feasts for special occasions.
Nope, it’s not what you’re thinking.
Bring your own bags while you’re grocery shopping.
Many stores give discounts off your total when you bring reusable bags.
Average savings run you between 5-10 cents per bag. Five bags can help you save between 25-50 cents.
Every little bit counts, right?
17. Try Other Stores
Do you have a favorite grocery store?
Is it the closest to where you live? Do they have the best customer service?
Or maybe it’s just a habit?
Think about it:
Don’t let a comfortable routine cost you a fortune.
Find out where the best deals are and shop there.
Ask around. People who score great deals will gladly rave about their go-to spots.
18. Meal Plan
Meal planning is fun when you’re learning how to save money on groceries without coupons.
And let’s be honest:
It’s better for your wallet and your waistline.
So pick a day of the week to plan out your meals. You can find tons of easy recipes online.
You can start packing your lunch.
Save money on groceries and on eating out?
Talk about winning with money.