Last updated on December 3rd, 2019 at 01:37 pm
The other night I had to make an unplanned run to the grocery store and ended up in conversation with the two cashiers working the late shift. Since I reside in a fairly small town, the conversation, of course, turned to children, shopping, and tips to save money.
For us, the closest “big” town is 20 miles away and it can often be a pain, especially in the winter, to try and keep up with a growing family’s shopping needs. Thankfully, we had a local grocery store built this past year, which solved many problems.
However, there are still many items that are not carried there and this fact was the catalyst for the conversation. During the course of the conversation, I mentioned Walmart’s shipping and neither lady had realized that this was an option for us.
This made me think. If an option I thought was well-known to everyone was still a mystery to them, then what other money-saving options might people be unaware of existing?
That led me to write this blog covering my five best tips to save money on groceries and other household items.
Disclaimer: This post contains affliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission if you purchase anything using these links. However, this is at no additional cost to you.
Number 1: Free Shipping and Mail Delivery
Living where I do, this tip is my favorite. The fact that I can order online and have something shipped straight to my mailbox is very exciting. I hope the younger generation knows how cool this really is!
But did you realize you can also save money this way? It is much easier to compare prices between websites than it is between walk-in stores. Do you want to know how much dish soap is? Google it. You will have the price from half a dozen stores pop up on the page.
The best part about online ordering? Most sites will give you free shipping if you reach a certain amount in the order. You not only save money on shipping but you save money on the fuel that you would use running around town trying to find bargains.
My personal favorite for household supplies is Walmart.com. I can order once a month and never run out of supplies. Since their free shipping is anything over $35.00, I set that as my monthly budget for supplies. The best part? I can pick it up at my mailbox.
Amazon and eBay are two other sites that are great for ordering almost anything you need with free shipping.
Number 2: Rebates for Shopping Online
Who doesn’t want to receive money for shopping? When I first saw this advertised (as Ebates) several years ago, I thought it must be a scam. However, when one of those people I love to follow recommended the program, I decided to give it a try.
The program is now called Rakuten and it allows you to get a certain percentage of your online order back in cash. Most major sites/stores participate in the program.
If you are an online shopper, this program is for you. It even has a button you can download to the computer that reminds you to activate the cashback before you complete your purchase.
At this point, you have compared and found the lowest prices online, saved on shipping, and received cashback for your purchase. All this on items you need for your home anyway.
Number 3: Cash Back for Shopping Online or In-Store
Ibotta is an app that I have used for several years. It is downloaded to your phone. You can use it for either online or in-store purchases. It does take a bit of time and does not always have your local store listed in the app. However, once you get the hang of it, it is fairly simple to use.
Search for the store where you intend to shop for the day. If that store has a rewards card, it can usually be linked to the app, which saves time. Scroll through the groceries listed and select any that you think you may purchase.
Once you have finished shopping, if you have a rewards card, your work is complete. Ibotta will simply upload the rebates to your account. If there is no rewards card, you will need to take a picture of your receipt in the app and upload it for review.
Number 4: Coupons
There can not be a list of tips to save money without mentioning coupons. I remember when I first got married and I said the word “coupons” to my husband.
He looked absolutely horrified! He thought I was going to be the lady holding up the line with a fist full of coupons that the poor cashier had to look through. 🙂
Since that day, he has realized that couponing no longer has the same meaning. In today’s digital world, most coupons are downloaded to your account/rewards card before you ever reach the store.
If you are one of those people who are scared of couponing because you don’t “want to be that person”, then read on because there is hope and real ways to save money in this manner.
Many grocery stores have an app in which there are digital coupons available. For one of my local (20 miles away) grocery stores, there are 389 digital coupons on their app, as of the writing of this post. Think of how much money in savings that is!
It is ultra-easy to use. You open the app, select coupons, and then load coupons to your card as you scroll. When you checkout at the store, you swipe your rewards card and all the coupon savings are applied. There could not be an easier way to save money.
Search your app store to see if your local grocery store has a handy app that you can use to save hundreds of dollars on groceries.
Number 5: Store Ads and Sales
Store advertisements are also now digital for many grocery stores. There is no longer a need to buy the Sunday paper in order to get the “sale ads”, as my grandma called them.
The best way to save money through sales is to know what you need and keep a small supply of staples/necessary items. For instance, you know that your family is going to need toilet paper. Why buy it when you run out and pay full price? Keep an eye on sales and buy it when it is cheap.
The same is true for grocery staples like canned/frozen vegetables, rice, beans, sugar, and tomato sauce. If there is an item you use often to cook with, buy more when it is on sale. This will save you money in the long run.
I once worked for a lady who owned a grocery store and she let me in on a few secrets regarding sale ads. The first thing she told me is that items will usually come up for sale every month at some point. So if you miss a great deal one month, watch closely for it in the next.
The other thing she said was this: even if you have your favorite store to shop, watch the other store’s ads. If there is a sale on apples at one store this week, there will be a sale on apples at another store the next week.
I know I am not the only person who loves to save money. These five tips to save money have been super useful to me over the past few years. I hope you will find them useful as well. I would love to hear how you save money on groceries and household items each month.