Are you a coupon clipper? No? Lots of people like saving money, but don’t really buy the sort of products that have coupons, or don’t have time to waste searching and clipping. These tips are for you.
1) Don’t waste money on pre-chopped food.
Pre-chopped or single serving food is expensive! Want to save money? Buy a good knife and some plastic bags.
2) Pay attention to unit pricing.
Just because something is bigger or has a sticker on it that says “special value,” doesn’t mean it costs less per unit. If you hate doing math, use a calculator!
3) Try store brands. It might be the exact same food you’re used to eating.
The no name food you see in stores is often made by the exact same factories that produce the brand name stuff. For example, Walmart “Great Value” peanut butter is really just Peter Pan with a different label. Try the store brands. You might like them.
4) Compare prices in different areas of the store.
Deli meats, cheese and olives may be a better deal than similar products in other areas of the store — or they might not. It pays to walk around and compare, says Consumer Reports.
5) Try other stores.
The grocery store isn’t always the cheapest place to buy food. Sometimes drug stores have good deals on things like milk, and liquor is cheaper at warehouse stores. Discount stores like Aldi can have great deals. Farmer’s markets are fun and often inexpensive. Be careful not to blow your budget by driving all over the place to save $0.50 on organic turnips, however.
6) Make a list that fits within your budget.
Wandering around the grocery store when your hungry is a terrible idea, particularly if you don’t have a set budget or a list of items you need. Take a few moments to plan your trip. You’ll be done faster and you’ll have saved money.
7) Eliminate waste.
People waste a lot of food. The New York Times says we Americans toss about a quarter of what is available to eat. That’s not cool. The Guardian has a list of tips that will help you cut down on the food you waste.
Hate coupons, but love money? Share your coupon-free tips in the comments.
(Photo: flyingember )