8 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store Without Coupons

Grocery shopping can be a hassle, and having to take time to cut coupons can make it even worse. Here’s how you can shop without coupons and still save money.

1. Pick the right store.

Try comparing stores by shopping for identical items and figure out which store has the best value. Keep in mind the distance you travel to each store, because that can add up too.

2. Stock up on sale items.

When there’s a sale, buy anything you can freeze or that has a long shelf life. If it’s an item that goes on sale often, buy enough to last you until the next sale. Compare your store’s weekly ads and plan ahead.

3. Take advantage of loyalty programs.

Some stores require a loyalty card to get sale prices, so definitely sign up for one. It only takes a few minutes and you may even get other discounts as you use it.

4. Check the unit price.

Occasionally, buying in bulk will save you money. However – at a lot of grocery stores, the smaller quantity packages actually cost less per ounce.

5. Don’t buy prepared foods.

You may think having to wash and cut fruit and vegetables is an inconvenience, but it’s also a great way to save money. You may enjoy the ease of using already prepared food, but you’ll pay for that benefit. Buy the ingredients uncut, and create your meals. You’ll pleasantly be surprised to see how much you can save.

6. Don’t waste anything.

Make sure you’re not buying anything you haven’t already planned on eating. If you buy on impulse, you may end up buying something that will eventually just get thrown away. Map out meals and snacks and don’t get anything you don’t really need.

7. Cook the right amount.

Don’t make more food than you need. If you follow the recipe on a package, you may cook too much food, especially if you’re only cooking for 1 or 2 people. Sometimes leftovers are good to have, but a lot of times they end up in the trash can. Make sure you figure out the correct serving size and adjust your purchases accordingly.

8. Shop less.

This one is easy. The more you shop, the more impulse buys you’ll make. Look at your store’s sale schedule and shop only as often as you have to.

 Article Source: John Pettit for CUInsight.com

5 Tips to Help Lower Your Grocery Bill

Food is probably your biggest expense aside from housing. After all, you have to eat. So is there any way you can really cut back on this category? The easy answer is to stop going out to eat and spend more time cooking at home, but what if you’ve already done that and still can’t afford to be spending what you’re spending on food? The answer lies in your grocery bill.

Just because you’re cooking your own food doesn’t necessarily mean you’re saving money. Groceries can cost a lot too, depending on where you live or which supermarket you shop at. However, if you become a smarter shopper, you can definitely find ways to lower your grocery bill without having to buy less. Here are five ways you can do just that:

Plan Out Your Week

Before you step foot into a grocery store, the most important thing to do is to plan out the week ahead. How many days will you be eating at home? How many meals do you plan to eat out? Do you need to bring lunch with you to work? Understanding your schedule for the days ahead will help you decide how much food you need to buy. If you buy too much, you’ll end up with waste. If you buy too little, you’ll probably order out and not save any money at all.

Make a Trip to Multiple Stores

Most people limit their grocery shopping to one store, but make the effort to hit multiple stores if you can find a little extra time in your week. Different stores have different sales, so you’ll end up saving more if you do some research and buy items where they’re cheaper. Many specialty or ethnic food markets will have items you can normally find at your grocery store for much less too. Lastly, if you have a farmer’s market in your town, it’s worth checking out when in season – as prices can be cheaper and the produce is fresher.

Buy Dry Products Online and in Bulk

Thanks to the age of the internet, you can now get almost anything online – including food. You might be able to use online services like FreshDirect or Amazon Fresh, which will deliver your groceries straight to your door. When it comes to dry products, like pasta and canned goods – it is often cheaper to order online. On sites like Amazon and Walmart, you can buy these in bulk at lower prices, especially if they’re on sale. And as a bonus, you don’t have to go to the store to lug them home. So stock up now!

Go for the Generic Brand

Name brand isn’t always better. In fact, most of the time it’s exactly the same as the generic brand. Many generic and name brand products are produced right in the same factory, it’s just that the packaging and stickers on them are different. Next time you’re shopping, reach for the store brand instead and see if you can really tell the difference. Sometimes you can, but other times you’ll find a new way to save.

Shop the Weekly Circular

Almost all supermarkets come out with a new circular every week with sales and deals. Many even post it on their website. Before you start shopping, make sure you look through it to see what you should be buying for the week. Many circulars also include coupons, which can give you even more additional savings.

Trying out these 5 tips by becoming a smarter grocery shopper, is sure to help you lower your grocery bill. Happy shopping and saving!

Article Source: Connie Mei for moneyning.com

Are Meal Delivery Services Worth the Money?

With almost $5 billion in sales in one year alone, it’s safe to say meal delivery services are catching on. If you haven’t sampled the savory selections from companies like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Home Chef already, you’ve probably seen more than a few of their sponsored ads pop up in your social media feeds. You may even know someone who uses the services for themselves. While these chef-designed, pre-packaged meals can be a phenomenal way to try new recipes, are they a solid choice for stretching your grocery budget?

According to a recent Morning Consult poll, 59% of survey respondents listed high costs as their main concerns. But with projections suggesting the meal-delivery industry could become a multi-billion dollar market by 2022, it seems like plenty of consumers are still willing to jump on the meal delivery bandwagon. The widespread appeal appears to be based on a variety of factors other than monetary savings.

Costs can be measured in more than money.

Meal delivery services enjoy the highest popularity among millennials and individuals earning more than $100,000 a year, particularly those living in cities. These results point to the fact that busy people appear to value time savings and food quality as much as, if not more than, financial savings.

Time Cost

There’s no denying that it takes time to plan your meals, create a grocery list, and actually shop for the food. By creating recipes and sending all the ingredients right to your door, companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh can save you the time you’d normally spend on planning and shopping. The busier you are, the more value this service becomes.

Quality of Ingredients
If saving money on your groceries is your main goal, it’s easy to reduce costs by buying lower-quality food. Unfortunately, this strategy usually leaves you with an abundance of processed foods that lack nutrition and flavor. The most popular meal prep services rely on culinary chefs to design meals that combine high-quality ingredients to create a meal that’s healthy and delicious.

Financial Expense

With the most popular 2-person meal plans starting at $60 per week for 3 meal kits, the cost averages $10 per meal. While you can certainly spend less shopping for yourself, these options are considerably less expensive than the average meal at a restaurant. So, if your busy schedule leaves you dining out on a regular basis, meal delivery services may provide financial savings after all.

What kind of savings do these services actually deliver?

There’s no denying the growing demand for meal delivery services. The fact that retail giants like Amazon and Walmart are looking to be part of the meal kit market, only serves to confirm its rising popularity.

As you try to decide whether one of these services is the right solution for you, the value depends on your expectations. If you’re looking to spend less than you would by planning your own meals and shopping for yourself, you’ll probably be disappointed. But if you view these services as a time-saving bridge between home-cooked meals and going out to eat at restaurants, the value is much easier to see.

What are your thoughts on meal delivery services if you’ve tried them, and the value they provide? Comment using the word bubble at the top of this blog post. We’d love to hear your feedback!