I got a nice surprise in my inbox this week. I buy A LOT of groceries at our local Food Lion since it is only 5 minutes from our house, has nice sales, and is well stocked. I got an email from Food Lion with my year-end savings ($742.70) and a coupon for 15% off my next shopping trip! I used it on Sunday for my weekly trip and saved another $10.
The $742.20 amount actually doesn’t include any coupon savings, but is just what I saved through using my store loyalty card and buying what was on sale. One of the main strategies I use to save money on groceries is buying what is on sale that week and taking advantage of what are called “loss leaders”. Loss leaders are items that are priced so low that the store may take a loss on those items, but the prices are meant to “lead” people into the store. I almost always buy the fruit or vegetable loss leader for the week and work it into our meal plan, as well as stocking up on pantry basics when they are loss leaders.
I stay on top of the sales by signing up to receive the Food Lion weekly sale circular by email (likely available on most store’s websites). I also use the app Favado to find the best sales of the week and occasionally a coupon match-up that makes the sale even better.
Also, when I buy convenience snack food like cookies or crackers, I buy ONLY what is on sale. If it is Wheat Thins that week, that is what we get. Once you get into this mindset, your eyes will get very good at scanning the shelves for the sales! And your family will get used to snacking on different things and not being too picky. 😉
The other main strategy I use to save money on groceries without coupons is using a few money-saving apps. Particularly, I use Ibotta and SavingStar because they offer a feature of linking your store loyalty card (a Food Lion MVP card, in my case) to the app. This means that when I scan my MVP card at checkout, it automatically submits my receipt to the apps, and any rebates I have unlocked are credited to my account (learn the basics of using these apps here). I don’t have to do anything more than unlock the offers in the app and scan my MVP card at checkout. I can do that!
So last year I saved roughly $230.30 with Ibotta and $41.77 with SavingStar (I started using them a bit before the end of the previous year but most of that savings occurred in 2015). Most of that was saved at Food Lion, since that is where I mostly shop.
My grand total savings for 2015 using these methods was $1,014.77. Not too bad for not clipping coupons and just shopping savvy. Hope these simple ideas help you save money for your family this year!