Joanie Demer | 

How to Coupon for Groceries to Help You Save Big

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Wondering how to save money on groceries so you have more money to spend on fun stuff like family outings and little splurges? Or maybe you just want to put more money into savings. Both are excellent goals!

And it’s absolutely possible to put your bloated grocery spending on the ultimate diet. Plus, you can do it with pretty minimal effort. Let’s get started!


1. Use coupons and rebate offers on fresh produce.

A cell phone showing a banana offer on Checkout 51, next to a bunch of bananas.

With rebate apps like Ibotta and Checkout51, it’s really easy to save on produce. Just tap the offer you want to redeem and then scan or take a picture of your receipt after you’ve made a purchase, and you’ll receive money via PayPal (Ibotta) or a check in the mail (Checkout51). These apps have offers for all categories of food and household items too.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, be sure to scan your unique Prime code inside the Whole Foods app at checkout when you’re shopping at Whole Foods. Prime members get an extra 10% off all yellow sale sign items at Whole Foods!

RELATED: Your Ultimate Guide to Rebate Apps


2. Download the Makeena app for natural grocery coupons and rebates.

The Makeena app on a cell phone.

Makeena offers organic and natural food coupons in the form of rebate offers. It’s basically the Ibotta’s organic baby sister. Inside the app, tap “Rebates” to see the offers and after you buy, scan or take a picture of your receipt to get cash back.

For example, you’ll see offers for cash back on certain organic produce categories like melon, pears, tomatoes, blueberries and more. And you can save on brands like Gardein, Hemp X, Udi’s and more.

Best part? You’ll find loads of “any variety” offers where you get to choose the item as long as it matches the offer’s brand or category.

Cash out through Venmo or PayPal once you’ve racked up $20.


3. Shop produce when it’s in season — use this handy chart.

A woman shopping for produce in Fred Meyer.

No produce coupons? Buying in season is the best way to save. And if you need something that isn’t in season, buy frozen instead.

For example, asparagus will be the cheapest February-June when it’s in season. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are the cheapest June-October because that’s when they’re in season.

Download this vegetable and fruit seasonality chart and keep it on hand while making your meal plan and shopping list.


4. Avoid purchasing items you already have by snapping a pic of your fridge before you leave for the store.

Person taking a photo of the inside of a fridge with a cell phone.

We’ve all been there.

You get to the store and think “Do we have eggs at home?” So you buy more eggs only to find two dozen eggs staring at you from the fridge when you go to put the new eggs away.


5. Set deal alerts in the KCL app to get Walmart grocery coupons and more.

The Krazy Coupon Lady App in Walmart.

Download the KCL app to create your grocery list and access Walmart coupons.

Plus, save time by setting deal alerts for specific items you want coupons for like Charmin, body wash, diapers, Tide and more. The minute we see a deal, you’ll get a notification, so no digging around to find specific deals!

Looking for coupons for food? We’ve got you covered there too.



6. Download the Kroger mobile app to find new deals and mobile coupons.

A bag full of rolls with the store's app next to them.

Many stores offer coupons and discounts inside their own mobile apps. Take advantage of these, especially if they’re unique to the store and you can stack them with a manufacturer’s coupon on the same item. Here are a few gems:

  • Kroger mobile app: Find digital coupons that you can use straight from your phone; plus, every other Friday they offer a coupon for a completely free item.
  • Safeway mobile app: Use the barcode scanner to scan products as you shop to see if there are any deals or coupons you need to know about. Get access to personalized deals and freebies under the Just For U section in the app.
  • Target mobile app: Get percent-off discounts for hundreds of items. Browse by category, or see offers hand-selected for you. Plus, you can apply each discount up to four times (which means you can stock up on products you use often). And, Circle offers can be combined with traditional manufacturer coupons.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Stacking Coupons


7. Avoid impulse purchases by using self-checkout.

A woman using self checkout at a grocery store.

Supermarkets sell about 5.5 billion dollars’ worth of food, drinks, and other products from checkout stands each year.

Skip these altogether by using the self checkout. You’ll be too busy scanning and bagging your purchases to make expensive, last-minute (and usually unhealthy) purchases.


8. Skip going into stores completely — use Walmart Grocery Pickup instead.

A Walmart employee putting groceries in the back of a white SUV.

Another foolproof way to avoid impulse buys is to simply avoid walking into the store.

Walmart Grocery Pickup is free and I promise, when you’re shopping for groceries online, it’s a lot more difficult to make splurge purchases because you have to manually add the item to your online cart.


RELATED: How Grocery Pickup Works, Simplified for Busy Moms



9. Pay with a cash-back credit card that offers at least 3% for grocery purchases.

A person putting a credit card into the credit card machine at checkout.

Sign up for the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and get 3% cash back on purchases made at supermarkets, up to $6,000 which means $180 in cash back every year.

Plus, you’ll get $200 cash back when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months. Easy to do if you’re using the card for your groceries and fuel. You can even pay some bills with your credit card.

KCL doesn’t get any commission for credit card sign-ups. We genuinely think they can be a great way to earn free money or free travel, assuming you can pay your balance off every month.

RELATED: Bills You Can Pay with a Credit Card to Earn Points


10. Or, use discounted gift cards at your grocery store.

A Fred Meyer gift card.

Check frequently for discounted gift cards to supermarkets you frequent like Kroger, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, Publix and more.


11. Don’t give the health and beauty aisles the time of day.

A woman passes the beauty aisle with her cart.

You’ll pay significantly more for toiletries, beauty items and household products at grocery stores.

Instead, shop at Target for these products.

Download the Krazy Coupon Lady Quick Start Guide to Couponing, and you’ll be ready to save up to 70% at Target in no time at all.

RELATED: What Is a Stock-Up Price?


12. Buy pantry items at their lowest prices of the year.

A woman has a cart full of pantry items.

We’d suggest buying your family a three to six months’ supply when these items hit the lowest price of the year:

  • January is the best time to stock up on diet foods: Healthy Choice, South Beach, Lean Cuisine, Special K, Kashi, Smart Start, 100-Calorie Packs, oatmeal and diet aids.
  • February is National Hot Breakfast Month: Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, frozen waffles, syrup, waffle & pancake mix, hash browns, bacon, sausage.
  • March is Frozen Food Month: Frozen meals and entrees, veggies, side dishes, desserts and juice concentrate.
  • In May stock up on these Memorial Day sales: BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips, paper plates, plastic utensils, sandwich fixings.
  • Fourth of July brings the year’s best sales on: Hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, Popsicles and frozen treats.
  • In August stock up on: School lunch items like pudding cups, lunch meat, single serve juices, Lunchables, PB&J, crackers and chips.
  • Mid-October to late December is the best time to buy: Canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking chips and pie crust (mix and ready-made frozen).

RELATED: The Best Time to Buy Everything by Month of the Year


13. Don’t eat the free samples. You’ll just end up buying them.

A salsa sample from Costco.

Did you know sampling boosts supermarket sales in some cases by up to 2000%?! That means it’s almost impossible to resist buying something we sampled and enjoyed. So, save yourself the trouble and ignore Costco’s sample stations!


14. Don’t ever grocery shop when you’re hungry.

A woman grabs armfuls of candy.

Speaking of which, always shop on a full stomach so you aren’t making impulse purchases based on what sounds good right at the moment!


15. Shop the interior aisles first, then cruise the perimeter.

Two women grocery shopping.

Some of you may already know this, but research shows that if you shop the produce aisle first, you’ll spend more time and money in the store. Hit the inside aisles first.



16. Plan your meals around what’s on sale.

Closeup of a laptop opened to KCL deals. There's a printed paper with recipes and a hand making a list on a sticky note.

Don’t make your list based on the dinners you want to make. And definitely don’t make your list based on what looks good on Pinterest!

Instead, find out what’s on sale (use the store circular or the KCL app) and plan your meals around those items.

If chicken is on sale for $1.99/pound, freeze the cheap chicken and cook it alternating with other meats you have on hand so you don’t get tired of chicken.

Use AllRecipes Dinner Spinner app to help you come up with meal ideas based on ingredients you have. Just select “Dinner Spinner” in the app, choose your dish type (main dish, salad, soup, etc.), select your main ingredient (beef, chicken, etc.) and then how long you want to spend cooking it (ready in 20 minutes, any time, slow cooker, etc.) and the app will show you recipes that fit these requirements!


17. Cut convenience foods like shredded cheese and bottled water from your list.

A woman passes by plastic water bottles at the store.


…Unless you have a coupon! You probably already know that anything that’s packaged for convenience costs more. So, avoid individual packaging of chips and crackers. Also, pre-packaged salads, while convenient, are so much more spendy than making your own salads ahead of time and storing them in a plastic container.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid these items unless you have a coupon to bring the price down. Can you combine a coupon with a sale price? Even better!

Print bottled water coupons, paper towels coupons, shredded cheese coupons and more if you can’t part with convenience.


18. Shop from the clearance bakery rack to save 50%.

A woman grabbing rolls off the bakery "Reduced Price" rack.

If you don’t think you’ll use up all the bread and bagels before their date, throw some of it in the freezer and pull it out as needed.

Also consider stopping by Dollar Tree to score $1 loaves of bread by popular brands like Oroweat if you strike out on the bakery clearance rack.


19. Check for clearance meat after your butcher closes each night.

A woman looking at meat in the price reduced section.

Ask your store’s butcher when they discount their meat.

Also, most Kroger stores sell their rotisserie chickens for 50% off after 7 p.m.


RELATED: Bizarre & Extreme Ways to Get Meat for Cheap


20. Leave your kids and spouse or even your roommate at home.

Close up of a young child with a sad pouting face because he's being left at home.

Get in, get out. For every extra minute you spend in a store, you spend an average of $2.


Related articles you’ll probably like:

The Ultimate Guide to Stacking Coupons

Bills You Can Pay with a Credit Card to Earn Points

The Best Time to Buy Everything by Month of the Year

What Is a Stock-Up Price?

Bizarre & Extreme Ways to Get Meat for Cheap


UP NEXT: Learn how to save even more money on groceries and retail purchases!

Two women balancing on a full shopping cart of groceries in the middle of a Kroger store aisle

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