10 Ways to ‘Save-It’ Without Coupons

By ERIN TURNER

I have talked with many people who just don’t have the interest or the time to clip coupons or match them up to the various sales.  Yet they are still interested in saving money.  Guess what?  It is possible to still score mega deals and not even clip one coupon!  Even if you are a die-hard couponer, you may accidently find yourself at the grocery store without your coupons (*gasp*) but if you use these ten steps, you will still see the savings at the bottom of your receipt!

1)      Shop the weekly specials.  Even if you don’t study the store flyer before hitting the store, be sure to pick one up as you enter the grocery store.  This flyer is your passport to significant savings.  Browse it and target the items on sale!

2)      Keep your eyes peeled for “Priced to Sell” stickers on meat, luncheon meats, cheeses and various dairy products. These are still completely edible but are closing in on the “buy before” date.  I have picked up hot dogs, cheeses, and sandwich meat for under a dollar using this trick!

3)      Stock up on Buy One, Get One Free deals. Even without a coupon, these deals are typically worthy of stocking up!

4)      Weigh your produce. Here’s a great little secret I learned awhile back.  If you are buying produce which is sold by the bag (not by the pound), be sure to weigh it.  It may seem silly but not all bags are created equal and you may find one that is heavier.  Example:  Potatoes are $3 per 5lb bag.  Weigh the bags and buy the one which weighs over 5lbs.  It’s a little more bang for your buck!

5)      Buy generic or store brands. Normally using coupons, I’m buying name brand items because after the sale and the coupon it makes the product much cheaper than the store brand.  But without coupons, the generic or store brand is generally going to be cheaper so look for those items.

6)      Shop clearance items. This is a no-brainer but sometimes in the heat of a shopping-moment, we don’t think about the clearance shelves.  Most of the grocery stores have shelves set up in inconspicuous places around the store and they are loaded with items marked down 50% or more.  I have picked up canned beans, juice boxes, cake frosting, cupcake sprinkles (my youngest son has to have these on his oatmeal every morning!) and toiletries on these clearance shelves.  Also, be sure to check out their seasonal clearance carts for screaming deals after a holiday!

7)      Store loyalty cards. Okay people, even if you could care less about saving money you need to have a store loyalty card!  It blows my mind when I’m at the checkout and the guy ahead of me doesn’t have a store card and declines getting one.  Do you know how much cash you throw out the window by not having one?  I know it’s a pain to fill out the short little application, but seriously, you are talking MAJOR savings simply by having one.   Just get one! It’ll make me happy, and Lord knows you don’t want your friendly coupon blogger unhappy 🙂

8)      Don’t assume bigger is always better. Don’t always go for the value-sized items.  They aren’t always cheaper.  You really have to look at the price-per-ounce on the shelf label.  Or pull out your calculator and figure out what size is the best value.  You might be surprised to see the smaller sizes may be cheaper.   When Albertson’s has ketchup on sale, it is usually for the smaller size thus making it much cheaper than the value-sized bottle.  Your 5th grade math skills will come in handy on this step — hopefully you were paying attention back then!

9)      Use tear pad or blinkie coupons. Okay, I know I said you don’t have to use coupons to save money but this step is so easy I couldn’t pass it up.  These are coupons you don’t have to clip!  If you notice at grocery stores there will occasionally be a tear pad of coupons next to an item or a little machine that spits out coupons (we call those blinkies because the machine usually is blinking!).  Use these for extra savings — so easy and again, NO clipping!  I bought some Twizzlers for my boys as a special treat when school ended.  They were on sale for 2/$4 but there was a blinkie coupon for 75 cents off one Twizzler!  So I ended up getting them for $1.25 each!  I love the ease of tear-pad and blinkie coupons!

A dollar saved is a dollar earned. In honor of Father’s Day, the final step in saving money while not using coupons comes from my wise father.  As a young girl, my mom and I would come home and show my dad all the “good deals” we got that day and my dad would always politely nod and say, “You saved a lot, but how much did you spend?”  For a long time, I never got his point (I would roll my eyes and say, “Oh, Dad!”) but now I get it. Sure you may be getting great deals, but the bottom line is how much are you spending?  The best way to save money is not to spend it at all! It’s really true: A dollar saved is a dollar earned!  See Dad, I did learn something after all these years!

 

Enjoy this blog?  You might also like Erin’s previous posts on Drug Store Couponing 101Couponing 101 The BasicsExtreme Versus Super Couponing.   AND, be sure to check out the “Missoula Save it Club”  on the home page of MakeItMissoula.com (See the Daily Missoula Fix buttons in the left navigation bar) for savings updates throughout the week!

Back to the Save It blog home page.

Click here to see the Coupon Queen’s “Save It”archive.

****************

Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian.  Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques and trying to maintain a well-run, happy and organized home for herfamily.