Hate Coupons? Ways to Save on Groceries Without Clipping Coupons

Updated April 23, 2024 by Kyle James

I got three kids at home who eat more than I do. The result is a grocery bill which can be ridiculously high if we don’t shop smart and look for savings. It’s with this in mind that I present some brilliantly simple ways to save money at the grocery store, especially for those who’d rather not spend their evening with a pair of scissors clipping coupons. I hope they help you save, I know they really help us on a monthly basis.

Brilliant Ways to Save at the Grocery Store Without Clipping Coupons

Gotta Have a List

I remember my single days when I would go to the grocery and come home with maraschino cherries, beef jerky, olives, tooth picks, bag of potatoes, and a box of corn flakes.

I would get home and realize that I still have ZERO ingredients for a “real” meal and just pick up the phone and order a pizza.

Just make a dam list during the week as you run out of things.

Then if you want to plan some meals, just make sure you have the ingredients, if you don’t, barter with your neighbors.

See Also: The 14 Cheapest Grocery Stores in Your Town (Hopefully)

Shop Store Brands

The quality of most store brands has really been increasing the last few years, this is especially true with the Costco Kirkland brand.

In most cases you’ll never know the difference.

I actually like the store brand cottage cheese better than the name brand from our local Winco grocery store.

Yes I like cottage cheese, and no, I am not 85 years old.

Don’t Shop When Hungry

Self explanatory.

If you’re hungry you may very well come home with the following: pre-made Jell-O cups, Jell-O pudding pops, the large red vines bag, Drumsticks, 3 frozen Sara Lee pies, and Entenmann’s doughnuts.

If you have 4 of these currently in your kitchen take a pic and send it to me, I’ll send you a prize.

Plan One Large-Ass Trip

Save money on gas and time by not going every day or two.

By reducing the frequency of trips to the grocery store you also reduce the amount of temptation created.

If you don’t want to bust your grocery budget then stay out of the store.

You can’t spend if you ain’t there. You’ll never spend money on groceries if you never eat. OK, I’ll stop now.

See Also: Costco Employees Tell Me The Single Best Day to Shop

Shop Alone

Call at least a week ahead of time and rent out the entire grocery store.

No, but seriously, try and shop by your lonesome as you’ll be less distracted and less tempted to buy those white Oreo cookies your “dependents” have been “asking”….I mean begging for.

Use Manufacturer Coupons

Before you yell at me for mentioning the word “coupons”, I do have one tip that I just got to share.

The key to clipping coupons is to ONLY clip coupons on things you would have bought anyways.

Too often people get caught up clipping every coupon they can find even if they’ll probably never use it. TOTAL waste of time.

If you start buying processed food and junk food just because you happen to have a coupon, you’re doing yourself a disservice, both financially and health-wise.

Walk Quickly by the Free Samples

You do realize why those people are there giving out free samples, right?

They are NOT there to help you save money and they are NOT there to help you make good buying choices.

There sole reason for existing is to get you to buy crap you don’t need.

Companies know when they get you to touch, smell, lick, and ingest their products they have won. Many will make the impulse purchase.

Running In For Milk and Eggs? Try This

DO NOT grab a cart or basket.

Carry your milk and eggs in your hands. That way you won’t be tempted to throw impulse purchases into your cart.

You can’t buy what you can’t carry.

A related tip, try not to shop with cargo pants or parachute pants from the 1990’s. M.C. Hammer could have easily stuffed a cart full of groceries into his drawers.

Do NOT Be Brand Loyal

When you get caught up in specific brands you tend to neglect pricing.

I realize some brands are non-negotiable.

For example, somebody that likes Best Foods mayo is not going to buy Miracle Whip just to save .50 cents.

But when brand is not a big deal, always opt for the best value, even if that means buying generic.

You never know, you may actually like the cheaper brand better.

See Also: The 9 Alternative Brands That Are Cheaper But Just as Good

Double Check your Receipt

Make sure your items were scanned correctly and make sure all your coupons were accounted for if you used any.

I have lost count of the number of times that sale items did NOT ring up correctly.

After you’re handed your receipt, step to the side so the cashier can start with the next customer, and examine your receipt.

If you notice an error kindly ask the cashier for clarification.

If the store is completely swamped, and your cashier is frantically trying to keep up, try the customer service desk at the front of the store.

It’s your money so make sure you get what you deserve.

See Also: 5 Ways to Make Money From Your Grocery Receipt

Bonus: Use a Rebates App

I’m a huge fan of the free Ibotta app. Essentially the app gives you money back on purchases (via instant rebates) that you’d be making anyways.

The cool part is you’ll even get money back on generic things like eggs, milk, and a loaf of bread.

See Also: Ibotta Review: Insider Tips on Using the App to Save Money

Ask the Reader: Any tips I may have missed? Looking forward to your comments.

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Chris Waits.


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John @ Frugal Rules

Great tips! We just implemented #5, to a certain extent, last year. As opposed to going once a week we now go once every 10-11 days. It has saved us a good chunk of money plus it has helped out a ton in terms of cutting down on food waste.


#5 and #8 have been especially helpful to me. You don’t spend money if you aren’t in the store.

Great tips. We do all of these. I love only having to shop twice a month. It saves so much time. It works great with our meal planning too.

Carol Y

In addition to freezing, we also portion out larger amounts using a vacuum sealer. Freezing in meal-sized portions helps eliminate waste.

Buying what’s in season reduces expenses too. You won’t be paying too much for out of season produce grown far away or for meat (like turkey or certain seafood).

Also, if you have the time to cook at least once a week, try cooking from scratch enough food for at least two meals to freeze or have later in the week. Scratch cooking is usually cheaper than buying and reheating prepared foods.