Trying to save on groceries when you are a tight budget can be difficult. For many years when my kids were little and I decided to stay home couponing was my thing. I got things for free, stores would pay me to “buy” items and my grocery budget was in check under $50 every week for a family of 5.
Well 5 years later it has not been as much as a priority for me. Don’t get me wrong I still use them here and there but researching, printing, clipping and going from store to store became to much work for me. It really does not take that much time when you know how to play the couponing game but it got harder as my kids got older.
I have played around with how to save on groceries without heavy couponing for a few months now. And yes I am spending a little more money each week but I am not burnt out from chasing deals and it feels great to just hit up one or two stores each week.
Here are my favorite tips to save on groceries without using a single coupon:
I Still Shop The Sales
Each week when my circulars come out I browse through them. I make a list just based on what’s on sale that week and stick to it as best as I can.
Score BOGO Items
BOGO is an instant savings of 50%. When a product goes BOGO at my grocery store I stock up for the next few weeks so I know I get the best savings.
I have always used a menu plan but I have really cracked down on it this past year. I only buy the sale items for the week and plan my menu accordingly.
Shop Once A Week
As I menu plan I go through my pantry and see if I ran out of a staple for that week. I know if I go back to the store a second time during the week I am bound to wind up with more in my shopping cart.
Set A Weekly Cash Budget
I always did this, even when I used coupons. For our family of 5 I try to stay under $125 each week. That includes groceries, toiletries and cleaning items. Most weeks I come in way under so I take that cash and apply it to the next week.
I do miss all the freebies from time to time, I mean who doesn’t like the word free? So, I may go back to heavier couponing once all my kids are in full time school. But for now these tips help me feel like I am still in control of my money and still saving where I can.
What are your favorite ways to save on groceries?