With so many fall activities, holidays and trips planned, the last thing you want to see is a negative balance in your bank account. To avoid missing out on the fun fall has to offer, here are some ways to save money in one of your biggest spending categories: groceries.
While you could go with the ramen-and-tap-water diet, there are plenty of ways you can save money and still eat healthily. Here are some easy ways to save on groceries if you’re not a coupon clipper.
1. Rebate apps — iBotta and Checkout 51 are apps that show you which stores offer rebates for buying their products. All you have to do is unlock the item you want by watching a promotional ad or answering a question, purchase the item and upload your receipt. iBotta has special rebates for first-time users and allows you to earn extra cash by adding friends. Once you reach $20 in rebates, you can cash out through Venmo, PayPal or a gift card of your choice.
2. Walmart app — Similar to other price comparison apps like Favado, the Walmart app features a Savings Catcher. It compares prices among other local competitors and ensures you get the best deal. If you happen to buy a product that would have been cheaper at another store, the difference will be credited to your account and will be usable as a Walmart gift card.
3. Meal plans — A great way to get the most out of your groceries is by planning your meals before you go to the store. Planning your meals around the deals or store offers can significantly reduce your cost, according to time.com/money.
4. Price per ounce/pound — You should look at the cost per serving of the meat you buy, according to time.com. That way, the added weight of bones and fat do not trick you into buying food you won’t use.
5. Think seasonal — Always buy produce in season to avoid marked-up prices. Onions, potatoes, carrots, celery and sweet potatoes are usually in season year-round, according to frugalandthriving.com.au. If you want off-season fruits or vegetables, consider buying them frozen, which will extend their shelf life and your dollar.
There are tons of small changes you can make to your shopping habits that could save you a fortune over time.