Friday, January 16, 2015

Saving Money Without Coupons - Humbled Homemaker

I QUIT with the coupons. The newspaper started charging almost $5 a week for the paper and I figured what is the point, when all I wanted was the coupons. I was paying for coupons and that just didn't seem right.

I also had the problem of buying products because of a great deal and then not using them. So I spent money that did not need spending. No beuno.

So instead of writing about my changes, I decided to share this article from since she said it perfectly. 

I added a few purple comments :-)

Here she is...

Here are my top 6 tips for saving money on groceries–without using coupons:

1. Buy on clearance.

When I am shopping for produce, I almost always check out the clearance produce racks first. Most stores do not want bruised or softening produce on their shelves because it looks unattractive–and could eventually attract fruit flies, etc.

However, just because a piece of produce doesn’t look pretty, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t still contain nutritional value! - BUT you will need to eat it quick and check for mold.

I’ve also occasionally found organic meats, milk, etc. on clearance. Meats and most dairy products usually freeze well. - YES. THIS! 

2. Shop at discount stores, like Aldi or Save-a-Lot. - YES, YES and YES!... did, do and will do!

My love affair with Aldi started when my husband and I were newly married (don’t worry–he loves Aldi, too!). I was having a hard time reining in our grocery budget, and someone tipped me off to the fact that shopping at Aldi had literally cut their grocery bill in half!

I gave it a try and have never gone back to regular grocery shopping again! Now, Aldi does not carry everything–and their natural and organic selection is limited...

I have recently started buying toilet paper at Aldi (under the brand name Willow Soft). It is not like what you would imagine cheap toilet paper to be at all! If my husband gives his stamp of approval, you know it’s good! ME TOO! I love it and it's only $.25 a roll!

3. Shop for bulk items at club-type stores like BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s. 

When my husband and I first married, we purchased almost all of our paper supplies from a local Sam’s. We now live near a BJ’s club store, and we absolutely love it! The prices at our BJ’s are usually much better than at other stores–especially on natural and organic products.

I will say that we don't do this, because I am too cheap to buy a membership and I have felt like it doesn't make that much of a difference. However, I have some close friends that shop at Sam's and do quite well there. 

The key here is price checking. As Anne Simpson suggests in her book Your Grocery Budget Toolbox, keep a price book. In this book, record the various items you purchase regularly and how much they cost at the stores you frequent. This will help you know which stores to buy each item.

Make a list of what you always get at each particular store–and don’t deviate unless something is on clearance or deeply discounted!

4. Buy online.

I still feel fairly new about buying groceries online, but I’ve been saving money for a while by purchasing our family’s vitamins and other supplements at I will be writing a post that goes into more detail about Vitacost later this week, but for now, suffice it to say that you can get a whopping $10 off your first order (of $30 or more) when you sign up!

I have friends who regularly use and rave about purchasing bulk grocery items on So far, I have only gotten some gluten-free flours there, but I am hoping to maximize on this a little better this year. I LOVE AMAZON PRIME

5. Buy whole foods instead of relying on convenience foods–and cook from scratch.

Simply put, buying real, whole foods (i.e. meats and cheese that aren’t processed, fresh or frozen produce instead of canned or packaged with added flavors and seasonings, whole grains instead of pre-made baked good, etc.) and cooking from scratch WILL save you money.

I’ve been slowly but surely learning how to cook this way for the past 3 years or so. It has not come easy, but I can say that it’s really not as hard as it seems. Sure, I burn things, but more often than not I can take pride in the food I work hard to serve my family.

If you want to start with something very, very simple, try making your own spice mixes, like homemade taco seasoning or pumpkin pie spice. - GREAT IDEA!!!!!!

6. Make a meal plan.

Making a plan of how you will use the food you buy will help you maximize on what you have...

Two resources I highly recommend for meal planning are Stephanie Langford’s eBook Plan It, Don’t Panic (another one I edited) and Plan to Eat, an online meal planning resource.

I love these tips. This is pretty much what I do and it works for us. We have a great food budget and I'm hoping to keep it that way. If we need to make a few cuts we do. We are not entitled to steak and shrimp every night. We are only entitled to frugally spend what my husbands makes. Just a thought. :-) - Rejoicing in the Present

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