Saving money- grocery edition.

I absolutely love saving money and making it for that matter.  I am a frequent visitor of The penny hoarder , always looking for that next dollar.

While there are tons of apps and ways to save money, here is what I have done to help me feed my family on a budget.

First off when shopping for groceries try to skip out on big box stores and find the cheap-o shops in your town. They wont be brand name stores but you will always get a deal. One of my favorites is Save-a-lot, but any discount grocery store would work. (most discount grocery stores are locally owned and operated, a quick google search will help you find one near you.)

The only issue with these stores is that because they are discounted, many have recently outdated items, and that’s OKAY. Many discount retailers will hold certain products for as long as six months after the sell-by date, and it is perfectly okay to eat such items. Make sure you know the stores’ policy about returns just in case something turns out to be bad quality because like any store there will be those items. Obviously, don’t eat anything refrigerated after a week or two, just use common sense. If it were harmful to consume then it most likely wouldn’t still be in the store.  Sell-by dates are just that, dates that the store needs to sell them by so consumption after the fact usually is okay and because these stores have those items it is much easier for them to get it at such a lower price, passing those savings on to you.

Go to discount stores FIRST! Always get whatever you can from such stores so that if you have any remaining items that those stores don’t carry, at least you will know you got the best deal on what you could.

Once you’ve picked up everything you can from these stores you can head over to your usual stores. When shopping at your usual stores always check out their clearance section, there is always great stuff that is the same quality as the shelved items but cheaper. An app that will basically pay you to shop is the Shopkick app. All you have to do is have it open when you walk into participating stores (mostly common ones such as Walmart etc.) and you get points as well as points for scanning items in the store, buying said items, or referring friends. In just a few trips you will earn enough points to get yourself a gift card to a place of your choosing. It’s fantastic, my family goes just for the scavenger hunt for the items, and anyone in your household can do it so if you’re a couple, you can each have an account and earn multiple gift cards.

While you have your phone in your hand scanning items, make sure you are checking Ibotta for cash back. Many of what you purchase will qualify for cash back and all you have to do is add them to your account, and then scan your receipt once you buy said items. It is not a quick way to earn money if you’re not buying brand name everything, but any little bit helps and it all adds up.

Once you’re done with your shopping make sure you have signed up for National consumer panel, you may not get in right away so be patient! This panel will either send you a scanner or direct you to their mobile scanning app. All you have to do is tell them who was shopping, scan the items that you’ve bought, tell them if you used any coupons, and your total amount spent, then send it off electronically. (the scanning device will transmit automatically once placed on its base.) That’s it! Just a few minutes of your time and you earn points that will get you cool goodies or gift cards. The great thing about this is you will continue to earn points for as long as you stay on the panel, and keep scanning items.

While these are great ways to earn cash back as well as keep money in your pocket, make sure you are part of any rewards systems the stores you shop at have.

Walmart savings catcher will compare prices with other stores on the items you buy once you scan in your receipt and will give you the difference if it finds a lower price. The difference will go on an electronic gift card which you can turn around and use on your next purchase. Usually, it’s not more than a dollar or two on groceries, mostly cents, but it adds up if you shop there often.

Kroger’s Freebie Friday will give you a free product every Friday for rewards members that download the coupon to their card. It’s never anything big but if you have multiple people in your family (with different addresses) that have accounts, you could get several products to make it worthwhile. Membership is free to sign up and use, and also comes with tons of coupons to add to your account, so take advantage!

Any great ways you save money? Let us know!