Coupons are fun for clipping, saving, stretching a dollar and are a hobby for people the world over. With technology coupons have taken on a new life. No longer are newspaper, junk mail and website coupons it. Deal and discount coupon sites like Groupon show how the world has gone gaga about discount sites and coupons.
Coupons aren’t the only way to save!
But coupons aren’t the only way to save money on groceries. There are hundreds of ways to save. I’ve researched 250 of the best, most essential ways to help you save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on groceries this year.
If you are not a big meat-eater, you can save money by reducing your meat intake to several meals each week. This would make you a person called a Flexitarian but also a richer person.
Why? Because meat is bloody expensive! That’s why! You’ll be saving some pretty big bucks over the course of one year if you skipped meat meals three or four times a week. Just imagine the savings!
You can also do tricky things at parties like refuse the Kabana because you are a ‘Flexitarian’ and you don’t eat meat on Saturdays. If you are a shy person, this would be an interesting conversation starter. You might even convert your fellow party-goer by explaining your reasons for going partly meatless. But also being a Flexitarian means you can give in and eat the Kabana anyway!
That would really prove the Flexitarian’s point, wouldn’t it?
As for consumers? They are much savvier these days. They read reviews before making purchases. They get on Facebook and ask their friends about products. It is a fact that many people entering physical stores know more about the products in store than the salespeople! That’s because they’ve done their research before entering and they know exactly what they want. They will also do research in-store on the spot on their mobile phones. The power of social media has resulted in a major shift in buyer behavior.
Get clipping coupons or shop online!
In terms of saving on groceries, it is now easier to shop around for groceries online. I’ve segmented my shopping to become cheaper, faster and more efficient. Instead of fighting parking at the mall to go to a supermarket, I visit my local butcher and greengrocer. This is a ten minute round trip and these guys are much cheaper. I get milk and bread delivered from Aussie Farmers. I purchase all toiletries and home laundry goods in bulk online every quarter. I’ve created my own physical and virtual hypermarket to suit my lifestyle and budget.
If you want to save stacks on groceries you must read this list. The savings you make from this list will be incredible. Whether you want to clip coupons or learn strategies for getting more focused at the shops, this list will do it for you.
Keep this list handy when meal planning or keep it on the fridge for some strategic ammunition before venturing out to spend on groceries.
250 tips for saving money on groceries including coupon clipping!
A way to save on meat
Switch to one or two vegetarian meals each week.
Always plan meals
Before grocery shopping definitely do some meal planning.
Always shop around
Shop around and know where to get these products cheaper. Share your discoveries.
An excellent option
If you weigh up your spend, time and schedule shopping online is an excellent option.
Apps versus prices
Don’t just shop at a supermarket because they have a fancy mobile app.
Ask a service person
Ask at the service desk about any discounts on offer to special customers like you.
Avoid buying soft drinks
Get used to drinking water. Give everyone in the house a water bottle. Chill them.
Avoid checkout tempters
Put blinkers on while waiting
Play on the Savings Room Facebook page while waiting!
Make a rule to reduce your use of disposable products this year by 50 percent and save.
Anything that is over-packaged or individually wrapped is costing you money.
Avoid gourmet recipes
Avoid gourmet recipes when budgeting. They often include expensive ingredients.
Avoid junk food specials
Keep walking straight past junk food specials. Your waistline and wallet will thank you.
Avoid middle aisles
Don’t venture into the middle of a supermarket. Save by not buying convenience items.
Avoid the sweet aisle
If you see an aisle named Confectionary keep walking to the fruit section!
Avoidance as a policy
Avoid going to the supermarket altogether. Only shop once stocks are depleted.
Stock up on milk and bread to avoid extra trips to the supermarket.
Buy baking products in bulk every season at discount supermarkets.
Always check out supermarket bargain bins. Use for cheap Christmas presents.
Be prepared to drive for discounts. Do bulk shopping trips for the month.
Become a Flexitarian
Eat vegetarian all week to save on meat. Have a big juicy steak once a week.
Become a label guru
Get good at reading labels on products.
Beware at Aldi
Watch buying extra items down the middle aisles. Compare with places like K-Mart.
Beware changing sizes
Beware of companies slightly reducing the size of their products E.g. Toothpaste.
Beware of loyalty cards
You might get $50 at the end of the year but pay much more in that supermarket.
Beware cheap coffee
It may take two teaspoons to get a decent strong cup. Buy espresso or quality coffee.
Beware packaging tricks
Beware of packaging tricks. E.g. the larger holes in sauce and condiment bottles.
Budget with gift cards
Buy supermarket gift cards. E.g. Buy four gift cards worth $100. Take only the gift card.
Budget, budget, budget
Always set a budget before venturing out to a supermarket.
Bulk up with chickpeas
Try bulking up a casserole with a can of chickpeas.
Bulk up with carbs
You can stretch out stews and meat dishes further by adding potato and rice to the meal.
Costco offer a large selection of bulk-buy items including nappies, meat and party foods.
Buy before a holiday
If you shop on the Eve of a holiday, like Christmas Eve, you will save big dollars.
Buy coffee in bulk
Buy coffee in bulk when you see it on special. Get to know the best coffee brands.
Buy in season
Don’t break the budget if avocados are expensive. Look for cheaper alternatives.
Buy in bulk
Plan meals, buy in bulk, cook in bulk and freeze meals ahead of time.
Don’t buy two items if you only need one. Get into the habit of under-consuming.
Buy long life milk
Buy long-life milk and keep it in the pantry. Buy enough to last until your next shop.
Buy meat online
Google how to buy meat wholesale online in your area. Get meat delivered and save.
Buy normal items
Would you buy this item if it were not on sale? If the answer is no, put it back.
Buy smaller eggs
No one really notices the size of an egg. Buy smaller eggs and make cumulative savings.
Buy staples in bulk
Buy rice, pasta and potatoes in bulk. Keep ingredients at hand to avoid extra trips.
Buy the bird
Rather than buying chicken in pieces buy the whole bird. Cut up before freezing.
Buy the cheapest item
Buy the cheapest item, out of the range of that item. Do this for all items.
Buy to a sales cycle
Sales cycles often run for a period of 12 weeks. Buy enough for that period of time.
Buy yogurt in bulk
Buy items like yogurt in bulk and create smaller tubs in Tupperware. This is cheaper.
Catch of the Day
Catch of the Day (AU) are an online retailer offering supermarket items.
Change your thinking
Think of each decision as one dollar. You will make strategically better decisions.
Cheap chocolate biscuits
You can pick up a packet of chocolate biscuits at K-Mart for just one dollar.
Cheap party food
Costco offer a great selection of bulk-buy party foods and bulk-buy gourmet cheeses.
Cheaper fresh produce
Investigate ways to buy fresh produce in your area, such as at farm gates and markets.
Cheaper half price ham
Bulk-buy ham in the meat section and slice it up. This is cheaper and the ham stores for longer.
Cheaper meat at Aldi
Aldi meat is very cheap compared to the major supermarkets.
Check receipt double-ups
Always check your supermarket receipt for items that might be rung up twice
Check receipt items
Check that apples were not put through as exotic bananas.
Check your change
Always check your change. Machines and people make mistakes.
Invest in a cheese slicer. Kids will think your cheese slices are the real deal!
Chef endorsed recipes
Beware recipe cards offered by supermarkets. Ingredient prices may be inflated.
Invest in a chest freezer. Look for one in classifieds. Do big cook-ups and save.
Chicken roll is a good alternative to expensive deli meats.
Chips, chips, chips
The chip aisle is an unhealthy and expensive aisle to go down. Avoid it.
Choose reusable packets
Choose packaging that can be recycled as long as prices are right.
Coffee as a treat
Only buy coffee out when meeting friends or as a treat on a Saturday morning.
Common retail trick
Seen a discount? Question it. Check the price has not been inflated before discounted.
Compare items in different types of packaging. E.g. Plastic versus glass bottles.
Compare package sizes
Always compare large versus small. Price versus what you get. Know your unit prices.
Weigh up travel time, shopping time and cost. Compare it with shopping online.
Cook a Sunday roast
Cook a Sunday roast and use leftovers for lunches. Avoid expensive lunchmeats.
Cook it fresh
Packaged and processed meals cost more. Find alternatives.
Cook simple recipes
If you are on a budget try not to buy into recipes with gourmet ingredients.
Coupons by email
Get coupons delivered by email so you don’t waste time searching for them.
Make sure you need the item you have found the coupon for.
There are many coupons websites out there. Research the best ones and sign up.
Cut down on coffee
Another way to save on coffee is to cut down on how much coffee you drink.
Cut and grate cheese
Buy cheese in bulk and cut and grate it yourself.
Cycle to the supermarket
Cycle to the supermarket. You will not buy as much because you cannot carry it home.
Decisions equal dollars
Every decision you make costs you one dollar, two dollars or even three dollars! Be a guru.
It is generally cheaper to buy pharmaceutical products at discount Chemists.
Do a stocktake
Do a stocktake of the grocery items you use everyday. See what you can do without.
Don’t buy water
Refill your water bottle out of the tap. Water can cost more than petrol!
Don’t distract cashiers
Don’t distract a cashier too much. It can cause mistakes on your docket.
Don’t look straight ahead
Try not to stand in a vague manner looking aimlessly into the middle shelf of an aisle.
Don’t shop at rush hour
There are less people in the store during non-peak times. Get in and out of the shop quicker.
Don’t shop in a store
Not going into the supermarket at all will save you big money over time. Shop online.
Don’t shop tired
Shop when alert. For example shop on Saturdays or in the morning before work.
Don’t upsize your basket
Never switch your basket for a trolley if it gets too full.
Don’t work, shop
When you scan your own groceries, you are working for the supermarket for free.
Shop weekly, fortnightly and monthly. Keep receipts and see what works out cheaper.
Drastically reduce costs
Meal planning involves buying and cooking in bulk. This drastically reduces costs.
Eat before shopping
On your way out the door to the supermarket grab a snack from the pantry.
Eat simple food
Bring things back to simple. Eat simple food and watch your savings grow.
Keep powdered milk in the pantry for emergency milk.
Don’t shop when angry or upset. You will throw random items in the trolley.
Farm gate veggie boxes
Veggies from farm gates are so fresh they are often pulled from the Earth that day!
Fast or detox for a day
Learn to appreciate food and consume less.
Find wholesale butchers
Find cheap meat at Tasman Meats and local wholesale butchers.
Buy bulk loaves of bread and freeze immediately while fresh. Avoid extra trips.
Freeze or buy long-life
Avoid extra trips by buying milk in bulk and freezing it. Defrost the milk in the fridge.
Freeze your own veggies
Spend time on the weekend cutting up veggies and putting them in large freezer bags.
Fresh is best
Shop seasonally because food is fresher and it is has more flavour.
Frozen chickens are cheaper than fresh chickens. Defrost in the fridge before roasting.
Frozen food is expensive. You are buying convenience in a bag or box.
Fruit and Veg
Buy at the end of a day. Pop down to the shops after dinner to grab bargains.
Get a farm gate list
Look online for a list of suppliers selling fresh produce from the farm gate.
Fruit and veggie box
Get a regular delivery of fruit and veggies from an online retailer like Aussie Farmers.
Get ideas from freezers
Look at foods you can buy in the freezer at the supermarket. Cook and freeze yourself.
Get the right info
Go to the service counter and interview staff about best shopping times for bargains.
Give a kid a job
Auto cashiers put people out of jobs. Avoid working for supermarkets. Use a person.
Shop in a clockwise direction. Shopping anti-clockwise makes you spend more.
Always look for the generic version of a brand. They are usually cheaper.
Lose weight and save on meat by going vegetarian.
Good comparison site
Google a grocery comparison-shopping site in your country or region.
Good party trick
Hide generic packets before your party guests arrive and they will never know!
Stores like Big W and K-Mart have a good range of grocery items.
Halve your portions
Save money and your waistline at the same time. Cut your portions in half.
Take note of the exact money you handed over. Check receipts.
Have a running list
Have a routine run which might include the Reject shop, butcher, baker, fruiterer etc.
Having friends over
Cook a spag bol in a crock-pot for the kids. (See hold potluck dinners.)
Healthier kids’ snacks
Mince up vegetable leftovers into muffin batches for kids’ lunches.
Help smaller retailers
Help smaller retailers feed their families, while you feed yours.
Hide the evidence
Avoid package marketing. No one can tell it is a generic brand on a nice platter.
Hold pot-luck dinners
Get families to bring meat and salad for a BBQ. Focus on snacks and dessert.
If cooking for one
Frozen meal options might be cost effective. For example, cook a Lean Cuisine meal.
If you have to buy juice
If you are buying juice, buy concentrate. It is generally cheaper.
If you missed a sale
If you got to a sale late and you missed the item on sale, never buy the item anyway.
In your trolley
Place big items like toilet paper in your trolley first. Reduce space you can fill.
Meal planning book
Invest in a meal planning book like Table Tucker.
Invest in a teapot
Teapots also save money, because making tea by the leaf is cheaper.
Invest in your own fizz
If you must have fizzy drinks, a good investment is a Soda Stream.
K-Mart has a really good range of grocery essentials at very cheap prices.
Keep track of prices
Shop online so you can easily cut and paste receipts into a spreadsheet to track spend.
Kitchen as supermarket
Shop in your pantry, in your freezer and in your cupboard for ingredients.
Know what stuff is worth and then you will know if a discount really is a discount.
Know what you’re eating
If you make items yourself from scratch you will always know what you are eating.
Buy laundry products in bulk each season. Try places like the Reject shop.
Lead, do not follow
Supermarkets put milk and bread at the back to guide you through expensive aisles.
Learn to make it
Look at the packet or jar and see what the ingredients are. Make a healthy version!
Learn to cook
Cooking meals from scratch saves much money because you can use fresh ingredients.
Learn to cook by video
Use YouTube’s extensive library of visual cooking lessons. Share your finds!
Learn to substitute
Shop with a flexible attitude. E.g. Substitute deli olives for sun-dried tomatoes.
Leftovers as lunch
Always make extra and take the leftovers for lunch. Avoid expensive lunchmeats.
Lentils in meat patties
Add lentils to meat patties to make them go further. Freeze extra patties.
Look up and down
Look to the top shelves and the bottom shelves. The products are cheaper.
Be sure to check out our lunch box ideas list. It is packed with cheap solutions.
Make a full list
Stocktake your pantry. Now create meals. Only shop if you need to.
If you have time you can make bread yourself, fresh everyday! Weigh up costs though.
Make cheese sticks
Cut your own cheese sticks and package them yourself.
Make excellent decisions
Good supermarket decisions result in thousands of dollars in savings.
You can experiment shopping at different times of the day to discover better prices.
Make informed decisions
Read labels to know exactly what you are getting. Make informed decisions.
Make pork chops
Buy a pork roast and cut it up into chops yourself.
If your fruit is getting old don’t waste it. Turn it into a smoothie!
Make supermarket dip
Check packets for ingredients and make dip yourself. Get more dip for your buck.
Make your own
Make mustard, pesto and tomato sauce! Jump on YouTube and learn new tricks.
Make your own dips
Make hummus, salsa, Tzatziki and also a simple French onion dip.
Make your own snacks
Cook up a big batch of muffins or homemade muesli bars on a weekend and freeze.
Meal planner calendar
In Printables you will find a monthly meal-planning calendar to stick on the fridge.
Many people in the world are enjoying a meatless Monday. Save using this habit.
Meat sauce trick
Bulk up meat sauce with red kidney beans or lentils. Stretch a meal. Stretch a dollar.
Network for deals
If you need a certain item do a shout out in the Savings Room. Get tips.
Nice butcher, nice meat
Butchers offer great prices, give excellent advice and offer high quality meat.
Nicer shopping trip
Greengrocers offer a nice personal shopping experience and cheap prices.
Compare non-food items in supermarkets with standard retailers E.g. K-Mart.
Organisation is key
The best way to save money is to get organised with shopping lists and planning.
Package it yourself
Package your own food. E.g. Cut up and freeze large cake pieces.
Pick the good aisles
Venture down the health food aisle for healthy alternatives.
Organisation is key. First plan meals from the pantry using our planning calendar.
Plan for non-perishables
When buying perishables in bulk have a plan for the food bought and weeks ahead.
Practise makes perfect
Practise not buying any extra items. Take this willpower challenge.
For big ticket items like large boxes of nappies ask if your supermarket price matches.
Question all deals
Always check sale items are not a trick. E.g. Check that two-for-one deals are actually cheaper!
Don’t be fooled by the packaging. E.g. Generic dog food can be much healthier.
Read local papers
Read papers for local deals and wholesalers. Share finds with your local networks.
Read Sunday papers for deals and coupons.
Read the price per unit
Get better at reading prices per unit. Make better-informed decisions.
Read your junk mail
It is worth flicking through your junk mail occasionally. Find deals on big-ticket items.
Be sure to check out my quick lists relating to recycling everyday items.
Check out Worldometers.org for a shocking bite of reality on our consumption.
If you are going to buy packaged items always choose packaging that you can reuse.
Research bulk buy stores
Research the best butchers, fishmongers, fruiterers, supermarkets and discount stores.
Save $100 on groceries
Take your shopping list and cull it by half. Make up the rest using items in the house.
Save $200 on groceries
Shop in your kitchen. Great! Found enough meals for the week! Saved myself $200.
Save $50 on groceries
Next time you go to the supermarket Avoid venturing down any middle aisles.
Save on baby food
Save on baby food by turning your leftovers into baby food.
Save on chicken pieces
Try buying frozen chicken pieces over fresh chicken. They are cheaper.
Save on meat
Ask supermarket staff what days and times of the day meat is discounted.
Save your receipts
Check the back of your receipt for deals and coupons. See if any could be useful.
Seek out discount stores
Seek out budget and discount stores and use them. Avoid loyalty card shopping.
Share good suppliers
Share supplier tips with networks in your area using the Savings Room.
Share your local butcher
Tell your networks about cheap butchers and meat discount stores near you.
Shop after dinner time
Shop after you have eaten dinner and you are calm and relaxed.
Go shopping alone, without children or others. Make clearer decisions.
Shop around the edges
Generally shop around the edges of the supermarket where food is not packaged.
Shop at Aldi
Aldi offer roughly 40% discount on grocery items. They are well worth the trip.
Shop at home
Always shop at home before considering a trip to the supermarket.
Shop at markets
Find local producers selling their produce regularly at markets.
Shop later than 5pm
For discounts, shop later at night after dinner.
Shop online to avoid temptation, sort by price, save energy, money and more!
Shop the healthy aisles
Become healthier in the long-term and save on expensive health bills!
Shop when you are alert
Supermarkets gear all there marketing to tired and hungry hard working people.
Shop like a guru
Organise, shop at the right times, and shop when alert. Make guru decisions.
Shop with a basket
Use a basket instead of trolley. You can only fill a basket as much as you can carry.
Shop with gift cards
Do a weekly shop with a supermarket gift card. Don’t take your wallet.
Shop with your arms
Save more by shopping without a trolley or a basket. Buy only what you can hold!
Shop when prices get slashed or simply to discover quieter shopping times.
Signs are for a reason
Items with special signs might be there for a reason: lack of demand!
Sort by price
Being able to sort by price is a major money saver with shopping online.
Many specials signs are placed close to items that are not on special. This is an illusion.
Spread the love
Visit your butcher, baker, greengrocer and the supermarket.
Start a veggie patch
Investigate starting your own veggie patch. Save big dollars.
Pretend you left a pot boiling at home. You will shop at turbo speed!
Always walk focused and fast when you walk through a supermarket.
Stock up on non-perishables when they are on special. Make sure you have the room to store the items!
Stretch out milk
Add half milk and half milk powder milk together to save. (Not for feeding babies).
Stretch out trips
Can you make what is at home stretch? Get creative with leftovers.
Take $50 to the shops challenge
Take $50 to the shops every week. Try feeding the family. Share tips.
Take a smartphone
Use your phone calculator to tally costs as you shop. Stay within budget.
Take a your phone
Start tracking prices either using an app, notebook or receipts once you get home.
Take a challenge
Stock up on bread, milk, butter and eggs. Now avoid grocery shopping for two weeks.
Take an amount of cash
If you are prone to overspending take cash and leave your card at home.
Take disposables off your list. E.g. Paper towels. Use a hand towel.
Treat groceries like a job
Supermarket shopping is as serious as your job. Don’t waste your hard-earned cash.
Use a real cashier
You already paid big money for your groceries. Don’t pack them yourself too.
Use less expensive cuts
Buy mince, sausages and meat for stews. Check out budget meal Turbo Tip sheets.
Use substitutes for meat
Make spaghetti bolognese out of barley instead of mince.
Use the laminated lists
If lost read the little laminated lists at the end of each aisle. Don’t wander aimlessly.
Use-by date specials
Buy if having a party or you are going to cook or use the item straight away.
Walk to the supermarket
You will get some exercise and you can only drag home essential items.
Watch the screen
If chatting at the checkout keep glancing at the screen as items are being rung up.
Weigh up food types
Compare prices between fresh, frozen and canned.
Weigh up your time
Weigh the prices up with the time you have to shop and your lifestyle.
Weigh up time and price
Don’t make a cheesecake you can buy for two dollars.
Where to stash eco-bags
Keep your eco-bags permanently in the boot of your car.
Write simple lists
Save hundreds of dollars each year by culling and simplifying your shopping lists.
Your own hypermarket
Shop where there is a bakery, a butcher, a greengrocer, a supermarket and a K-Mart in the same building.
Watch bread thickness
Sometimes sandwich bread is as thick as toast bread. This makes you buy more bread.