FTC: I am not a financial advisor and this post is not sponsored. All thoughts and weird opinions are my own. 

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Every week I spend about 50 dollars on groceries at Trader Joes. Sometimes a little less, and most of the times a lot more. The hard part about budgeting and spending less, is you have to eat, and you definitely want to eat well. I don’t subscribe to a lot of the financial gurus plans, as I find they haven’t really worked for me. Though their intentions have always been positive motivators in my life, I don’t want to skimp out on food that I love simply because I am trying to budget and save money. 

In setting up a financial budget that suits me, I’ve curated four simple and easy steps that I’ve been using to keep my grocery budget low and still eat well. 

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How To Spend Less On Groceries Without Using Coupons

1. Prepare Freezer Meals or Double Portions 

Before you go turning your nose up at freezer meals, I want you to know that most college students (including myself) live off freezer meals for a long time. I don’t mean buying pre-packaged meals from the supermarket freezer. Nope! Instead I mean meal planning/prepping meals that you can freeze and cook/heat up to eat at a later time. Freezer meals not only come in handy when you run out of viable food options, they also can save you some time when you don’t feel like going all out to cook. 

You can pretty much turn any meal into a freezer meal, so don’t feel limited to soups and chili dishes. A quick Google search will open your mind and recipe palette up to the many possibilities of freezer meals. 

2. Build A Grocery Buffer

Every month I buy 1-2 essential items that I use very frequently in my meals on a consistent basis. This includes items like pasta, pasta sauces, frozen vegetables…etc. The point in creating a grocery buffer is 2 fold. Once it will help prevent the need to go out and grab extra ingredients last minute. Instead you’ll be “forced” or more so inclined to use what you have at home to make your meal. 

The second reason you want to stock pile a grocery buffer in your pantries is so you can gather items you use often on sale. Because you are only purchasing these items once a month you have the time to look up manufacturer coupons / watch for sales in your local market if you so choose. 

3. Ask For Gift Cards Or Money As Gifts:

Instead of asking for gifts on your birthday or Christmas you should ask for gift cards or money so that you can use them throughout the year on more expensive aspects of your grocery needs like red meat. You can also ask for specific gift cards to markets that you frequent as well. It may be a little awkward at first, but your friends and family will understand/ be thrilled that you are actually using their gift for something really important/beneficial in your day to day life. 

4. Use the same ingredients on sequential days: 

This takes a bit of planning, but once you get the hang of it, this will become easy and a staple part of your meal planning/grocery shopping. What I hate the most about buying fruits and vegetables is that they go bad pretty fast. And if you try and buy in bulk/ or buy a large amount of this product in advance you will usually face the sad sad moment when you must throw away the spoiled food that is left. 

If you map out your meals for the week, you will be able to see the ingredients you need for each meal, and how/when to use them in time before they go bad. 

What are some ways you have used without coupons to save on your grocery shipping? Share your tips with us in the comment box below! If you found this post helpful don’t be afraid to share it with a friend, family member, or nosey neighbor! 

until the next time,