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From rebates to couponing, deal finding, price matching, and joining rewards programs, smart shoppers use all the tricks and hacks to save on groceries.
You could save hundreds on groceries, clothing, and other household items thanks to the Krazy Coupon Lady’s Beginners Guide to Couponing. So before you start grocery shopping, make sure you check it out and learn all about the best savings and deals.
1. Check The Krazy Coupon Lady app to find deals and free grocery coupons.
I may be slightly biased, but the Krazy Coupon Lady app is one of the best, free grocery saving (and time-saving) tools out there. KCL does the grocery and retail deal finding for you, and shows you exactly what you need to do to get those deals, whether it’s coupons, rebate apps, promo codes, or all of them stacked together.
Browse through your favorite store’s deals, set alerts, and gain access to hundreds of free printable coupons from your smartphone (available on both Apple and Android). You can even create your grocery list right on the app.
2. Compare unit pricing instead of the overall price while grocery shopping.
Smart shoppers compare price-per-unit, not just total retail cost. To do this, all you need to do is figure out how much you’re paying per item. It involves a little bit of math, but you can do it easily like this:
Total item price ÷ unit weight or number = price per unit
This will show you the difference in the price of the product you’re buying. You’ll come to find that what you thought was a good deal is actually more expensive per unit.
Most stores’ price tags will indicate cost by weight, individual pieces, and sometimes even the value when you buy by the case. For example, at Whole Foods, if you purchase products by the case (units per case circled above), you automatically save up to 25%.
Related: Ways to Save Money at Whole Foods
3. Price-match items while online grocery shopping or in-store.
Some stores like Walmart, Target, and CVS will happily match the prices of their competitors — even on meat and produce. Walmart.com will price-match fresh produce by the pound. They won’t, however, honor competitor deals like: “Save 50% on your entire purchase” or “Free gift with purchase.”
Be prepared to show the competitor’s exact individual unit price when price matching, and check with your local store for details because some stores change their price matching policies.
Related: Stores That Price Match Amazon
4. Sign up for store rewards programs for grocery shopping on a budget.
When you sign up for drugstore rewards programs, pay attention to the products eligible for extra points and coupons, then stack coupons on top of those to essentially get groceries for free.
Related: How to Coupon at Walgreens
5. Use rebate grocery shopping apps to earn cash back on purchases.
Rebate apps are an easy way for you to save even more on groceries. Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards are cash back apps that allow shoppers to get money back after their purchases. The real trick to getting huge savings is using all the cash back apps for shopping together, whenever you can (and don’t worry, in most cases you can).
As a smart shopper using rebate apps, compare what you have on your grocery list with the products available for rebates before heading to the store. Once you’ve pre-selected the offers you want to take advantage of at a particular store inside the app, snap a photo of your receipt, and get money back.
Related: Your Ultimate Guide to Rebate Apps
6. Stack multiple coupons on products and be a savvy coupon shopper.
“Stacking Coupons” is using manufacturer and store coupons, sales, rebates and promotions to build the biggest overall discount possible on a single product.
Couponers love stores like Target, Rite Aid, and Walgreens because they can stack a store coupon on top of a manufacturer coupon to save on a single item. Even better, when you stack those coupons with sales, rebate app offers, and gift cards or points promos, you’ll earn seriously ginormous discounts at the register. I’ll show you how on KCL’s Deals Page or in the KCL app.
7. Keep a stockpile of items on your grocery shopping list.
When the price is right, stock up! Smart shoppers take advantage of sales prices by stocking their freezer and pantry (or in my case, the garage) with free and cheap products. If you see these icons below on TheKrazyCouponLady.com or in the KCL app, the price is good. Real good. Like 70% off the regular price.
PRO TIP: Use the KCL Stock Up List as a guide to know when to buy and when to wait.
8. Don’t buy all the items on your grocery shopping list at supermarkets.
Smart shoppers know that dollar stores and drugstores have fantastic savings, too — even on their favorite name brands. Personal hygiene items, toilet paper, diapers, detergent, and even milk are products you should consider buying at drugstores. There are many stacking opportunities, so you can get the essentials you need for cheap or even free.
Stores like Dollar Tree also accept coupons (one manufacturer coupon per item). Although inventory varies among individual stores, many of them carry name brands like Bounty paper towels, Tampax tampons, Glad bags, full-size boxes of Kleenex, and even Jennie-O turkey products — all for $1. Use pretty much any manufacturer coupon that doesn’t have a size restriction, and you’re looking at 50 – 100% savings.
9. Try Amazon grocery shopping for household basics in bulk with Subscribe & Save.
Hauling bulk groceries home with kids can be a daunting task. Enter the Amazon Subscribe & Save program.
You can save up to 15% when you subscribe to at least five products you know your family regularly needs. Prices are comparable to buying bulk, you don’t need an Amazon Prime membership, and groceries will automatically ship right to your door at set intervals. Plus, shipping is always free.
If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can save and score exclusive Subscribe & Save deals and coupons when you subscribe to at least five products.
10. Know when to add generic items to your grocery shopping cart.
Store brands are often just as good as well known brands; you can’t taste the difference and they usually cost less. That’s because generic items don’t have the marketing costs of well-known brands. Costco, for example, sells their own Kirkland brand items and is known for their high-quality groceries.
If you ever come upon a name brand item you don’t have a coupon or rebates for, you can still save a little by going generic.
11. Weigh bagged produce before adding them to your grocery shopping bags.
Growers and farmers must fill bags to at least the weight on the label, but sometimes you’ll get more than the bag indicates. For example, this eight-pound bag of potatoes weighs a full nine pounds. That’s an additional 13% — for free.
Don’t Scroll Up! Here’s the related links I mentioned:
Easy Tips for Building a Stockpile of Free or Cheap Products
Your Ultimate Guide to Rebate Apps
The Ultimate Guide to Stacking Coupons
How to Coupon at Walgreens
Ways to Save Money at Whole Foods
Convincing Reasons to Start Grocery Shopping at Drugstores
Stores That Price Match Amazon
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Amazon’s Subscribe & Save
These Store-Brand Items Are Made by Name Brands