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How To Save Money On Groceries Without Extreme Couponing

When I encourage other people to save money on their grocery bills, I frequently hear “I don’t have the time to coupon." While couponing does take an investment of time but it doesn’t need to be a huge investment. It’s possible to save money with coupons with a half an hour of time a week. But I digress, this is a post on how to save money on groceries without extreme couponing. (I’ll follow up with another post later on how to use coupons without spending a lot of time).

Meal Planning

Most frugal people advocate the use of meal plans. And for good reason, meal planning is the biggest way to cut down costs when grocery shopping. Having a simple plan in place assures that you don’t overspend on impulsive fast food or random trips to the grocery store for “just one thing." Does that ever work anyways?

Loss Leaders

Each week, grocery stores publish sale ads. Within these ads are “loss leaders”, which are products that are significantly reduced to entice you into the store. Plan your meals around these loss leaders and avoid anything not on sale to cut costs.

Meat Market

The day I found my meat market, the heavens opened up and the angels started singing. Or at least my bank account did. I can’t stand the taste of store bought meat anymore. I spend a nice chunk of change each time I go, but I don’t have to buy meat for at least a month afterwards. Look to see if there’s a meat market in your area, often, the more you buy, the bigger the discount. Go with a family member or a friend and split the costs to save even more money.

Buy In Bulk

If you know you’re going to frequently use a certain product, buying in bulk will often save you money.

You can go the traditional route and shop at Sam’s Club or Costco. I know Sam’s Club allows you to pick out your items online and pick up them up in the store, saving you time as well.

If you prefer to shop online, Amazon has a great Subscribe and Save program. Which allows you to save money on bulk purchases and have them shipped directly to your house.

My favorite option is to purchase directly from bulk food stores in my area. Often they are run by families and/or farmers.

Farmer’s Market/CSA

Buying fresh produce from a grocery store can be very expensive. Purchasing from a farmer’s market cuts out the middle man (and toxins!) and allows you to purchase fresh produce at a low cost.

A CSA is a share in a farm. Well, a share in the produce. You purchase the share upfront and every set time you receive a box (or bags) or fresh produce/eggs/meat. This allows you to try new produce at a significantly lower cost.

What are your favorite ways to save money on groceries without extreme couponing?

This post was originally posted on Adventures In Frugal Land.

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