Save Money Without Coupons? Here’s How!


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
I’m a pretty devoted “couponer.” Couponers are budget-conscious people who’ve taken the act of using coupons to the next level. I use different sites to get an early heads-up on bargains (which I’ll be writing about in future posts). It’s an awesome way to save money while shopping… but there will be times when using coupons just isn’t possible.

Maybe you weren’t able to shop before the coupons expired. Maybe the store that honors the coupons isn’t near enough to you. Or maybe the available coupons just weren’t what you were looking for – which is unlikely, but still possible. Just because you have to go shopping without coupons, that doesn’t mean you can’t save money.

In this post, I’ll be showing you how to save money on groceries without coupons. It takes some ingenuity and effort, but the savings you’ll be making will definitely be worth it! And even if you do use coupons all the time, you can still use some of these methods to save even more money! Some of these methods are “stackable” with other saving methods. So read on and learn my favorite techniques for saving on groceries without coupons!

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Avoid Credit Cards

If I were to look back and study all those moments when I overspent, I’m certain they were all done using a credit card – and I’m sure the same would apply to most of you. It’s easy to see why: when you use a credit card to buy something, it doesn’t feel like you’re using “real” money. All you do is swipe a card, then woot, you’ve made your purchase. And that makes it super easy to lose track of the money you’re spending – until your next credit card statements come, in which case, the money you’ve spent starts to feel plenty real.

I keep my credit card locked in my filing cabinet and use cash, when possible. You’ll be surprised that in this day and age, you can still pay with cash in most establishments. When you use cash almost exclusively, it’s easier to be disciplined because you’re actually spending real money. When you buy something you can see the money literally leaving your wallet.

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Stop Spending Altogether

This one might be a little controversial – and for sure, it isn’t for everyone. But I’ve noticed that I always end up with more groceries than I actually need. And I like to think that I’m a pretty conscientious shopper. But no matter how much I organize my shopping list, I always end up with extra food and supplies… which is a totally good thing. And that’s why I sometimes do “no-spend” months. In those months I do just that – I avoid buying anything. This forces me to coast on what is there in the fridge. Aside from giving me a month’s worth of savings, this also forces me to use up everything I have, meaning less spoilage.

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Use Cashback Apps

I love cashback apps, but using these apps may not always be doable in conjunction with coupons and other promos. So what I do is pick and choose whether to use a cashback app or coupon, depending on which one will give me more savings at that particular moment.

If you’re new to the world of cashback apps, you should give these a try. They’re basically the closest thing you can get to getting paid to do your shopping. To earn using cashback apps, you shop at any of their partner establishments. Whenever you fulfill the requirements of a particular offer, a percentage of the money you spent gets returned to you! You will sometimes have to scan your proof of purchase, but the overall process is so simple, I think more people should be using these apps!

Supermarkets aren’t the only establishments you can use cashback apps on. They also have offers for department stores, hardware, and other shops.

If you’re interested in giving cashback apps a shot, you can check out companies like Ibotta and Shopmium.

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Make Home-Cooked Meals

I know it’s sometimes tough to cook your own meals, especially when you’re juggling various school projects and other side hustles. But my top advice on how to save money on groceries without using coupons will always be to cook food from scratch. It ain’t easy, but if you’re serious about your efforts to save money, you should at least give this a try.

Plus, home-cooked meals are generally healthier, since you’ll have more control over the type and quality of ingredients that go into your meals. Save money while eating healthier? What’s not to love?

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Buy in Bulk

Friends like to joke about all the supplies I have stashed away, thinking I am a hoarder or something. Space is at a premium in our modest home, but I still try to buy in bulk when possible. Things are cheaper when you buy in large batches – my favorite things to buy in bulk are paper towels, soda, canned goods, and detergent. Basically, anything that isn’t perishable, you should consider buying in bulk.

True, bulk items are more expensive initially, but when you calculate the per-unit cost of the stuff you’re getting, it ends up being cheaper than if you had bought them individually!

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Don’t Overlook the Discount Stores

I used to hate going to discount stores – they reminded me of the time I was a broke freshman. But I now recognize that these places offer great opportunities to save money. Know how to save money on groceries without clipping coupons is an important skill, and discount stores make it easier to do so. The items they sell are sometimes sub-par or close to the expiration date, but if you’re going to use the items immediately, this shouldn’t be a big issue.

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Know When Your Local Shops Go on Sale

You don’t have to be a psychic to figure out when your local shops go on sale. They don’t usually announce it until a few days before, but any savvy shopper will have a “sixth sense” for when these sales happen. Normally, it happens a few weeks before a major holiday, or around payday weekends. Pay attention to when your nearby shops go on sale, and you’ll be able to plan your shopping trips around these sales.

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