Learning how to save money on groceries doesn’t have to involve an endless search for sales at the grocery store, carrying huge binders full of grocery coupons everywhere you go, or unsuccessful shopping trips that yield items you don’t really need. If you don’t have countless hours to worry about your grocery excursions, here are five ways get the most out of your grocery coupons.
1. Clip Grocery Coupons Selectively
Resist the urge to clip and keep every single coupon you find. First, clipping and organizing your grocery coupons can be a drain on your time. If you have hundreds of coupons in your collection, maintaining them can feel like a part-time job.
Secondly, if you clip and use coupons for things you wouldn’t normally buy, you’re not really saving money! The best savings come from avoiding unnecessary purchases. If you buy something you don’t really need for $4 just to get a 50 cent discount from a coupon, you’re still out $3.50.
Avoid the cluttered collection of daily grocery coupons and a bursting pantry full of things you’ll never eat. If you’re trying to put together some healthy snack ideas for the week, look out for coupons that’ll help you achieve that. Do your best to focus your efforts on the things you would normally buy and things you are genuinely interested in trying.
2. Speaking of Organization
Your clipped grocery coupons will only help you save money if they make it to the grocery store. If you only have a few, keeping them in your wallet might be the best solution. However, if you’ve accumulated more than will comfortably fit in your wallet, you might want to keep them in their own separate file. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a one-dollar plastic organizer will usually fit the bill.
To make sure you remember to bring them with you, tuck the organizer in with your reusable bags (a helpful way to remember to carry both with you!) or keep them in the glove box of your car. If you’re especially organized, once you finish putting away your groceries after a trip to the store, put your bags and coupon organizer into your trunk so you’ll be sure to always have them on hand.
3. Strategic Deployment of Grocery Coupons to Maximize Value
Most manufacturers release coupons as a way to promote specific items. Maybe they’ve introduced a new line of products, have a seasonal rotation of items, or are testing out new flavors or fragrances. To go along with these promotions, you’ll often find the same items on sale at the grocery store around the same time.
To really boost your savings, combine your grocery coupons with in-store sales. For example, saving 50 cents on a $4.00 item is great. Saving 50 cents on the same thing while it’s on sale for $2.49 is even better! To use this strategy effectively, you’ll need to hold on to your clippings and check for sales online or in the mail regularly.
There won’t always be a sale to match up, so keep an eye on the expiration dates of your coupons and be sure to use the ones for products you’re going to buy anyway. This will help to ensure they aren’t wasted. Getting into a routine of clipping new grocery coupons, checking for ones that are expired, and browsing the ads every week will help you make sure you’re taking advantage of as many savings opportunities as possible.
One last thing to check is your credit cards. Many will offer cashback bonuses for grocery store spending throughout the year. If you don’t like using credit, simply make the payment from your bank to the credit card company as soon as you get home. The money you earn in cashback rewards will be worth the few minutes it takes to pay the bill!
4. Enroll in Loyalty Programs
Many grocery stores have loyalty programs that will give you extra discounts at the register or will give you rewards points that you can redeem for store credit. These stores also have apps you can use for clipping mobile grocery coupons. For example, you may receive an in-app offer to spend a certain amount on one category of items to receive a discount on your next purchase. They may ask you to spend a certain amount over a specified period of time to get a reward on your next checkout, or they may offer coupons that can be clipped and automatically applied during checkout if you’ve purchased the item. Just make sure that whatever the savings opportunity is, you’re not buying anything you don’t need or wouldn’t normally buy.
If you’re trying to determine how to save money on groceries most efficiently, try combining several of these strategies at once. For instance, let’s say you have a coupon for shampoo and toothpaste, and your grocery store is currently offering both on sale. You’ve checked the app, and you have a mobile grocery coupon to save $1 if you spend $10 on health and beauty products. Now you know the time is right to make the purchase!
5. More Digital Option
Frequently check online grocery coupon sites such as Grocery Coupon Network. These can be great sources of savings beyond the Sunday paper. You can clip and print coupons right from home, get coupon codes to use during online checkouts, and in some cases, save coupons directly to your store’s loyalty cards.
To make saving even easier, Grocery Coupon Network also offers coupon matchups for many popular grocery stores like Albertson’s, Kroger, Meijer, Walgreens, Walmart, and many more. That means you don’t have to take the time to read through every sales ad while cross-checking what’s in your coupon stash. Instead, you can see a list of every sale item that has a corresponding coupon or special offer with just a few clicks. Saving money on groceries has never been easier!
There are also several digital apps that will give you rewards after you’ve done your shopping. For example, Ibotta and Checkout51 have you scan your receipt and will give you money back for your purchases depending on what the current promotions are. Once you’ve accumulated enough, you can cash out and get real money to spend!
Lastly, don’t forget to follow your favorite brands and frequently shopped stores on social media. You’ll often be able to score exclusive deals and big savings that won’t be announced or shared anywhere else.
Saving Big at the Grocery Store with Grocery Coupons
Groceries are definitely something none of us can live without, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to spend less and save more. When you learn how to save money on groceries by being smart about clipping and organizing your grocery coupons, using them at the right time, and choosing only the groceries you already buy or want to try, you’ll be amazed at the extra cash in your pocket every month!
Have any additional tips to save money with grocery coupons? Share below!