Angela Davis, from Frugal Living NW, shared her top 5 tips for saving on groceries without cutting coupons.
1. Stock-up on sale items. Take a cue from couponers -- when items your family regularly uses go on terrific store sales, stock-up. Even without using a coupon, you're typically going to pay less on a name-brand item on a grocery store's loss leader sale than buying generic. When you find a great deal, buy a couple month's worth.
2. Buy in bulk. Grains, baking ingredients, herbs & spices, even some pet food can be found for typically less than their packaged counterparts and are oftentimes fresher.
3. Check for markdowns and clearance deals, especially in produce, meat, and dairy. Flash freeze fruit on a tray then store in the freezer in a bag or container for smoothies, pies, cobblers. Incorporate clearanced meat into this week's menu or freeze it in meal sized portions. Some dairy, like yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese can be enjoyed well past the printed date. Butter freezes beautifully and thawed milk works well in baking and cooking. You can also make your own yogurt and other dairy products from close-to-expired milk.
4. Buy less meat. Pound for pound, meat is one of the most expensive foods (other than coffee). Start by decreasing the amount of meat in a recipe and try even moving to serving a meatless dinner once a week, like a vegetable lasagna, Mexican dish with black beans, or a quinoa dish.
5. Shop strategically. Start your menu planning by shopping your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer first, then fill in the gaps with sale and markdown items you find in the store.