If you are looking to save money on groceries, you are not alone. We all know how expensive groceries can be. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a family of four with kids between the ages of 6 and 11 spends about $1000 a month on groceries. With that being said, chances are you could be doing a better job at planning your grocery store trips. You may think the only way to save at the store is to spend your Sunday clipping coupons but that is not the case.  There are plenty of simple tips you can use to help you maximize your grocery budget.

 Here are ten ways you can save money on groceries without clipping coupons

 

1. Always work the numbers

Buying in bulk is very popular.  Especially if you have a big family to shop for.  Although you can save money on certain things, there are definitely items that you could wind up actually paying more for.  For this reason, you should always figure out the unit price of whatever item you are buying.  You just take the bulk price and divide it by the number of units in the package.  If it works out to be less than what you would pay for one unit of that same item at the regular grocer, then you know you are getting a good deal.

2. Plan your meals out to save money on groceries

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This tip has been doled out time and time again but for good reason.  When we put together a meal plan of what we are going to eat throughout the week, there are no surprises.  When we don’t plan, that is when we wind up spending more money than we need to.  Wednesday afternoon rolls around and we are scratching our heads about what to cook.  More times than not, we may wind up hitting the drive thru or getting take out.  Now, if this was a once a month occurrence, not so bad.  But I think we can all admit it is happening more than that.  Getting prepared food in whatever form is always going to cost you more.  So if you want to truly save money on groceries, start planning your meals for the week!  Not to mention you will cut back on food waste too.  If you are not cooking, chances are there are some veggies in the crisper going soft.

3. Go with what is in season

When it comes to shopping for fruits and vegetables, an easy way to save some coin is to shop the ones that are in season.  Here is a great list to go off of.  If you don’t shop in season, you are probably paying more money for items you would otherwise score for less.

4. Learn the sale cycles

Getting your favorite items on sale sounds good doesn’t it?  Well if you figure out the sales cycle for them, that could be you.  Groceries tend to go on sale in predictable cycles. You will see most common grocery items at their lowest price around the same time every year.

5. Rethink dinner

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For many people, dinner means a big meal with all the fixings and a loaf of steaming hot bread just waiting to be buttered.  Oh and don’t forget the dessert.  Although this sounds cozy and nice, it is not necessary to have an elaborate dinner every night of the week.  It is perfectly fine to have an omelet for dinner or even soup and a sandwich.  Simple meals can still be filling and and yummy and they won’t break the bank.  Actually, eggs are one of those groceries that are so versatile and cheap.  You can go from hard boiled eggs for an egg salad sandwich to a lovely fritatta.

6. Use cash and save money on groceries

When you have a set amount of cash allocated for groceries, the chances of you overspending go out the window. When you head to the supermarket with a set amount of cash in hand, you know exactly how much you can spend and that you can’t go over that amount.  You will be better able to prioritize the necessities like actual food over sweets.  Who needs a box of klondike bars anyway?  We suggest taking out money every week as opposed to monthly that way you don’t wind up spending too much at the beginning of the month and eating ramen towards the end of it.

7. Do Your Shopping Online

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A great hack for saving money and time is to do your grocery shopping online.  Most large grocers offer online shopping with store pickup. You can shop for everything you need from the comfort of your home.  Choose the best time for you and they will load your groceries into the car for you.  What more can you ask for?  Not to mention, you will avoid  the impulse buying that often plagues us at the supermarket.

8. Use apps

There are so many apps that will help you save money on your groceries Ibotta, Makeena, Checkout 51 and SavingStar are just a few that will help you save money.  These apps are free to use and some even have sign-up bonuses.

9. Try going meatless a few times a week

Going meatless as often as once a week is not only going to save you some money but is also a win for your health.  Meat is very expensive and eating more plant based foods will only bring benefits to your overall well being. There are so many meatless recipes to choose from and you never know, you might just like the way you feel eating this way.

10. Avoid shopping with the kids

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If you can go grocery shopping alone, you will no doubt save some bucks.  We all know how it is going through the stores with our kids.  They need all the cereal and all the cookies.  Oh, and that toy in aisle 10.  Not to mention, they distract you often leading to you forgetting something like the chicken you need for that night’s dinner!