Save on Groceries Without Coupons & Vouchers

by wrylilt

Food and other necessities are expensive - how can you save without cutting coupons?

In these times of inflation, when the price of groceries can double in a year while your paycheck stays the same, it's important to find out ways to save money on food.

There are lots of guides out there that tell you the obvious - from clipping coupons to buying cheap brands. But those things don't always work, so here are some new ideas to try.

Enjoy your next shopping trip!...

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You May Legally Repin This Image

Save on Petrol

So - should you clip coupons & search for the best deal by going to lots of stores or should you just shop at your local store?
  • Most major food stores do checks on each other to make sure that there items aren't priced too far above their competition. It's in their best interest to have lower prices than the competition because people (like you) do notice if there's too much of a difference.
  • Sure, if there's a great deal on something at a certain store, do your shopping there. But remember - if you're saving $5 on potatoes, chances are you might be paying more for the pasta and sauce than your usual shop. Which means in the end you might come out even or pay more when it comes to the total of the shopping.
  • With the price of petrol these days, its cheaper to shop at the one place. If you drive to several different shops, chances are that you'll end up spending the $10 you saved on petrol.

Divide & Freeze

See something just too good to miss but don't think you can use it fast enough? As long as it's freezeable, buy away. Things like meat or bread can be divided into meal size portions then frozen for reasonable lengths of time.

Buy Smaller Portions

You've got the choice of 600g of butter for $3 or 300g of butter for $2.50. Of course you'll be more inclined to buy the 600g won't you? However, chances are you just lost yourself 50 cents. How?

If you only ended up eating 300g of butter from the 600g, here's the maths:

Ate 300g worth - you paid $3.00 for 300g (since you threw out the rest).

If you'd bought the 300g block you would have paid $2.50.

You just wasted 50 cents.

In the end you might just save money by buying in smaller portions. Some dips and spreads are also available in portion packs - meaning that you only open a pack when you're ready to eat it and can generally eat one pack in one day.

Throw the Junk in the Trunk

When you go shopping, chances are you tell yourself that you don't need too much junk food. One packet of chips and a chocolate bar will do you just fine...

However this is a great way to waste money. Why? Because when you've finished your chips and chocolate bar, chances are you'll grab some more when you go past the local convenience store or when you stop for petrol.

Often the prices of junk food can be as much as twice what you'd pay for them in a larger store or pack - so go ahead, splurge when you're doing your big shop. Buy those 3 chocolate bars for $5 - chances are you could pay $5 each for them next time you're just that bit peckish.

Shop Online and Have It Delivered

If you live in a well populated area, chances are that the local store has a delivery service. If they don't, you can buy through a lot of online sites such as:

Amway, Amazon or Efooddepot.

This way you'll be a lot less tempted to do two things:

1. Grab temptation snacks and food you don't need.

2. Get to the checkout and realize you don't really need something, but are too lazy to put it back - on the net you just click a button to remove something you don't want.

The money you spend for shipping or delivery will often be less than you'd end up wasting on food you don't actually need - unless you claim to be one of those people who never gives in to temptation!

Plan Your Meals

You don't need to write down in detail every single meal you plan to eat for the week - that's close to impossible.

However you can buy extra for meals you know you'll eat. This way you'll be less tempted to buy junk because you have all the ingredients ready for several of your fave meals.

For example two of the staples in our house are spaghetti bolognaise and potato bake - so I always have a 3kg bag of potatoes (makes two), cream, French onion soup, dry pasta and pasta sauce. I buy mince and freeze it in separate containers in the freezer.

Buy Rejects and Wholesale

When brands discontinue or change, often they're left with hundreds of cartons full of perfectly good food which they can't use. You can often buy these cheap in dollar stores or even on sites like groceryrun - or just buy from wholesale stores when it comes to staples that have a year or two to expire.

Updated: 06/03/2012, wrylilt
 
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Sydney on 09/10/2014

When do we expect groceries to take a run online? We've had travel, we've had insurance, shopping has made the shift the last couple of years... but doing groceries online still seems to be lacking in popularity...

Guest on 06/27/2012

wrylilt, You've made really good points here. I especially value that you balance shopping at different stores against the increase in gas (petrol) costs. Another good reminder is not buying in bulk if the food ends up being thrown out. And also your point is well taken about saving on "junk food" at the store if the consumer ends up paying a higher price at a convenience store.

Sherri on 05/06/2012

These are wonderful, common sense tips that everyone can and ought to be using. My biggest challenge is resisting buying in bulk at cheap prices, especially fresh produce. It's too easy to waste food if you don't make a commitment to using (or, as you say, freezing) everything before it goes bad. This is especially challenging when you are cooking only for yourself. Sometimes I literally have to smack my own hand to keep from picking up a good buy. :)

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