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Got Coupons? How to Save Without ‘Em

Using coupons is a great way to save money when shopping, but what should you do if you don’t have any coupons? Can you still save big at the supermarket or grocery store?

Of course you can! Here are some tips to help you save on your shopping without using a single coupon:

  • Spend time on research — Is Whole Foods cheaper or Trader Joe’s? Would you spend more shopping at Wal-Mart or Target? Can you spend less at Sam’s Club or Costco? Spend time doing research, tallying up the prices and the total amounts spent at each of the supermarkets that carry the items you need. Keep a receipt from each visit to the stores, and compare them side by side to see which has the items you regularly buy at a more affordable price. It will help you to know which stores are the best for your regular shopping!
  • Consider shopping at dollar stores -- Some items are MUCH cheaper at dollar stores, such as shampoos, toothbrushes, cotton balls–pretty much anything that falls under the label of “personal care”. Buying the same items at Wal-Mart or Target will run you a much higher bill, and the quality isn’t that much better.
  • Buy on sale -- Even if you’re not a huge fan of whatever is on sale, buy a bit extra for when you do need it. It doesn’t matter if it’s meat products, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, or dried goods–buy it! You’ll save a lot of money in the long run, and you’ll fill your house with everything you need.
  • Buy in bulk -- Not everything is cheaper in bulk, but there are a few items that are much more affordable in larger sizes. Fish, meat, and poultry, for example, is usually much cheaper at Costco or Sam’s Club than at Wal-Mart. Rice, beans, dried goods, and canned items are almost always cheaper in a larger size. Find out which items are cheaper in bulk, and stock up on them every month!
  • Avoid prepared foods -- While it may be easier to buy that bag of ready-made salad or that package of sliced chicken breasts, these food items are almost always going to be more expensive. If you want to save, buy everything raw and in its natural form, and do the prep work yourself. It will be much more affordable, and it won’t take that much more time to prepare.
  • Ask about “expiring” foods — All supermarkets and grocery stores want to get rid of food items that are close to their “sell by” date, as they are not legally allowed to sell them once the date has passed. They will often offer these foods at a much cheaper price, but they may not display them in the front of the store. Ask the manager or the grocer about any foods that are close to their expiration date, and you may get a good deal of food on the cheap. Just be prepared to use it NOW, or else face a fridge/freezer full of rotting food.
  • Check the price of units – Most grocery stores will display the “price per unit”, and it’s worth looking at the label. Some large packages actually cost more than the smaller packs, or you’ll find that the price per unit is much lower for one brand than for another.
  • Shop on holidays — Sales are a holiday tradition at every supermarket and store, so prepare yourself to do some extra shopping around the holidays. Depending on the holiday and the meals prepared on those special days, you should have no problem finding A LOT of discounted items!

Follow these tips, and you’ll save big without ever needing to use a coupon.

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