Are you sick and tired of spending hours clipping coupons, only to find most of them are for insignificant savings or items you’ll never need or use? Savvy shoppers know how to rake in the savings without picking up a pair of scissors. Check out these nine ways to save on groceries, no coupon required:
1. Shop Midweek
Shoppers find more items on sale when they shop midweek. Plus, the most popular sale items, such as detergent and cereal, are far less likely to be sold out Wednesday than on Friday or Saturday. Some stores even offer extra mid-week sales to entice shoppers on slower days.
2. Buy In-season Fruits and Veg
You may love to eat grapefruit in November, but you’ll find you save a bundle buy purchasing fruits and vegetables while they’re in their peak growing seasons. For example, squash, peppers and cucumbers are best bought in the autumn months, while grapefruit and asparagus are typically summer items.
3. Shop on Mark-down Days
As the meat and produce managers at your local grocery store when they reduce prices on perishable foods in order to sell more before they expire or before a new shipment arrives. Then just plan your shopping trips on those days.
4. Download Deals
In just a few minutes, you can download electronic coupons from grocery stores and coupon sites. For example, Kroger allows customers to load coupons to their Kroger Plus cards, and websites such as Smartsource and Redplum provide electronic versions of most coupons.
5. Savings Apps
Try apps such as Favado, which not only lists all current sales on your favorite items, but also alerts you if another store offers a lower price; or Coupon Sherpa, which displays all current coupons right on your phone.
6. Stock Up During Sales
Canned items, such as canned fruits and vegetables, tomato sauce and beans, can be stored for up to a year, so stock up on canned foods whenever they go on sale.
7. Buy Store Brands
Most food items are now available in store brands. Usually, the store-brand version costs less than the name brand after a coupon is applied. The best part, you’ll rarely notice any difference apart from the label.
8. Don’t Impulse Buy
It may seem a no-brainer, but stores spend money on fancy displays knowing full well that shoppers have a hard time resisting. Stay away from the aisle end caps and big displays, and while you’re at it, make a shopping list and stick to it.
9. Never Shop Hungry
It’s no secret that you’re less likely to resist unneeded foods – or you might just buy too much – when you’re hungry. In fact, plenty of surveys suggest that shoppers will buy 20-percent more if they visit the store on an empty stomach.