Tuesday, 31 January 2012

10 Best Ways To Save Money On Groceries Without Couponing

We are all busy people, right?
 Not all of us are inclined to spend our free time finding coupons, clipping coupons, organizing coupons and carrying them around with us at all times.
It just isn't praticall to commit to that kind of time & dedication for many people.
So how can you save money on groceries if you don't coupon?
There are several things you can do to save money on what you spend on food each week.
You probably use a lot of these strategies already, but maybe you might find one new idea to use!

1. Don't Shop This Week.
That's right! Don't shop this week. I bet if you take a look around your kitchen and freezer, you will find that you have more than enough to create a week's worth of meals without going to the grocery store this week. Challenge yourself to use what you already have to menu plan for the week. Or at the very least, just shop for fresh fruit and veggies and other perishables you might run out of. I find we use our groceries better with very little waste when I shop every 2 weeks instead of every week.

2. Menu Plan.
As I mentioned yesterday, menu planning makes the best use of your grocery dollars by giving you a plan to follow that help you avoid quick runs to the grocery store at the last minute to grab things for meals or a trip to the drive-thru. You can read more about how I menu plan here.
3. Read the Flyers.
I know so many people who don't check the flyers! The weekly sales flyers are delivered to my doorstep each week and I always make a list of the best deals that week so I can make my grocery dollars go further. Take some time to read the flyers. The best deals are always on the front pages, so even if you do a quick scan of the front page, you may see a deal that works for you.
4. Shop The Sales.
Shop the sales and stock up! When I say stock up, I don't mean stock up with an extra can or two. I mean really stock up....like for 6 months to a year. If it's something that can last for a long time...stock up if you have the room and the budget for it. For instance, I make soup a lot, so when I recently saw a great sale  on chicken and beef broth, I purchased 20 cartons of each. { I typically use 3-4 cartons per soup.} Buy cases of things when they are on sale. February is National Canned Food Month, so some of the grocery stores are offering great prices on cases during this time.

5. Stock Your Pantry.
This goes along with reading the weekly sales flyers and stocking up on sales. Stock up your pantry with things you use all the time, so you are cooking from your pantry with things that were purchased on sale and at the best price. I have a pantry in my kitchen, but I also have a large shelf in my basement to store overflow from my pantry. My pantry is so well stocked now that there are several weeks that I don't need to buy any pantry items. And if you live a distance from a grocery store....this will save you on gas and time as well!

6. Discover the Discount Bin.
I shop at  a grocery store that marks down perishables about to expire on a daily basis .In fact, it's one of the reasons I shop there. One day in August, I shopped there after I dropped the kids off at school and here are the deals I came home with:
  **Please note all the bright pink stickers say 50% off**
{except for the meat, which is 30% off}

What did I do with everything?
The tortellini went into the freezer for meals and soups.
The green beans went into the freezer for meals and soups.
The red peppers {Canadian} were diced and put into the freezer for soups, casseroles, pizzas and stir frys.
I also do the same thing with green and yellow peppers, mushrooms and onions.
The blueberries were the best deal.... less than a $1 a pound and they were Canadian blueberries.
Do you know what you pay for a small little bag of blueberries from the freezer section of the grocery store... a lot more!
To prepare the berries, I  picked out the bad ones, washed them, scooped them into freezer bags and then filled my freezer with these yummy berries.
I also do this with raspberries,strawberries and cranberries when they are marked down.
I used some of the blueberries to make a delicious blueberry and peach cobbler for dessert that night too!

I used the pork, some of the red peppers and the green beans to make a delicious stir fry for dinner that night.
And I don't like cutting up cantaloupe and honeydew....even though I know that buying the whole fruit and cutting it up yourself  saves money.
So when I see these ready to eat fruit trays marked down, I scoop them up for desserts and school lunches.
$4.99 for this cut up fruit....yes please!
This brings me to another way to save money on groceries.

7. Make Friends with Your Freezer.
Your freezer can be so useful! Not just for buying frozen foods, but for also taking fresh foods and preparing them for the freezer yourself. And often it takes so little time!

8. Buy in bulk.
 Recently it was Chinese New Year, so a lot of Asian foods were on sale. So I picked up an 8 kg of thai jasmine rice for a great price...it's one of our favourites. This saves so much instead of buying little bags of rice over and over again at a higher price.
9. Do 'Big Cooks' or "Batch Cooking'.
Use your freezer to create your own convenience foods. Make double batches of soup so you have some to freezer for another time. When you cook rice, cook double the amount you need and put the extra in the freezer for another meal. There are a ton of blogs and websites that have terrific ideas and recipes for freezer meals. Take some time and find some recipes that your family likes.
10. Plant a fruit tree or join a "Fruit Rescue".
The previous owner of our home planted an apple tree and we get so many yummy apples from that one little tree. They aren't very big, but they sure are good and the perfect size for the kids lunches.
And again, I make good use of my freezer and use our fresh apples to make 'apple pie kits'.
I just add cinnamon and sugar with the sliced apples and freeze in freezer bags,  and I have a 'kit' ready to go into the pie or apple crisp.
My city also has a 'fruit rescue' organization that I belong to.
Residents of the city who have fruit trees or bushes and are not able to harvest the fruit call the 'fruit rescue' who then organizes volunteers to harvest the fruit. A third of the fruit goes to the homeowner, a third to the food bank, and a third goes to the harvesters.
This is a great way to do a good service to your community and take home free fruit.
How about you?
 What are some strategies that you use to save money on groceries without couponing?
Make sure you come back tomorrow when I share some helpful ideas for revolutionizing your laundry!

Don't forget to check out these other helpful posts:

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