Thrifty Thursday: On Saving Money at the Store, Without Coupons
Always amazed at the extreme couponers on TV who are able to stock up on a month’s worth of groceries for what seems like a measly few bucks, but simply don’t have the time to seek out the savings yourself?
Here are a few ways you can knock several dollars off of you receipt without clipping coupons.
Select the Right Store
Shop where it makes the most sense. Take some time to compare prices on the same products across various stores. Then, when you’ve determined which is generally going to save you the most money for the type of shopping you’re doing, make the effort to choose that one.
For example, beauty products and non-grocery items are typically far more costly at the grocery store. Hold off on buying these items until you can visit a general retailer.
Stock Up When Your Most-Purchased Items Go On Sale
If you’re consistently buying a certain product week-to-week and month-to-month, go ahead and stock up when that particular product is on sale since you know you’ll be buying it at regular price in the future anyway.
Find Alternatives to Expensive Items
Take a little time once you get home to highlight the most pricey items on your receipt. Then, consider whether or not you could be saving on these items by finding alternatives – such as buying generic.
Skip Convenience Foods
While they might save you some time in the kitchen, pre-packaged frozen meals typically have a major mark-up. Consider setting aside a day each month to prepare your own frozen meals. This won’t only save you major money, but you have complete control of what’s going in them.
Check Unit Prices
You’ve probably spent a good chunk of time at the store staring down the standard box of cereal and its opponent, the family sized option, trying to determine whether the extra $1.50 is worth it. Take a moment to do a little math. Every price label on the shelf should have a cost per unit (for example, 10 cents per ounce.) If the larger quantity has a lower unit price, then you’re getting a deal.
Look Up, Look Down
Frequently, the pricier name brand items are placed at eye level to entice the consumer. Before you grab your selection and toss it in the cart, have a look at the shelves above and below what you’re purchasing, where the generic and more affordable versions will be housed.
If you’re looking to buy a product that is about to expire, has a “Sell By” date that’s just around the corner, or is slightly damaged, don’t hesitate to ask an employee if they can discount the item.
Buy in Bulk
It may not be wise to buy everything in bulk – especially products that easily expire, like produce – but there are some instances in which it makes sense and will save you money. Cereal, dried beans and pasta, paper products, and office supplies are just a few examples.