We know it’s shocking, but skip the grocery list.
There are some things we can’t live without—like Publix sweet tea and fried chicken from The Pig—but there are easy ways to save on everything else. Take these tips from digital circular app Flipp with you the next time you hit the aisles and you’ll save big at checkout.
Don't write out a shopping list.
Instead of keeping a paper list on the kitchen counter, put your list on an app. Tools like Flipp feature a shopping list that will instantly round up deals on each item, including clippings from dozens of local weekly ads and coupons. You’ll never miss a great grocery bargain again. Many of the coupons can be downloaded directly to store loyalty cards, which means that the savings will be automatically subtracted from your total at the register. Some apps will even remind you when deals are expiring so you don’t miss out.
Do buy lots of zip-top plastic bags.
One of the best ways to save is to buy large and bulk sizes. Small sizes of products (and especially single-serving portions) almost always cost a big fat premium. The secret to shopping big and smart: First, know how long things last, and figure out what you can and cannot buy in bulk. For example, a giant bottle of Advil is probably not a good idea; it will most likely expire before you’re able to use it all. But buying a giant package of chicken pays off; you can split it up into single portions and safely keep it in the freezer for up to a year. The trick with buying in bulk is using plastic bags and other containers to split things up into easy-to-use portions.
Don't buy the same stuff every week.
Stock up only when staples like cereal and pasta are on sale. Almost all groceries go on sale in cycles and during certain months. Timing your purchases so you’re only buying when prices are low is one of the best ways to save.
Do rely on savings apps for digital flyers and coupons.
Savings apps put all of the local weekly ads at your fingertips and let you quickly flip through dozens of them, including many that might not come in your Sunday paper.
Do shop at multiple stores.
Finding the best deals may require food shopping at different places each week, including dollar stores, big-box stores, and drugstores. Some of the items you see in flyers are so-called “loss leaders,” which means stores are using them to get you in the door in hopes that you’ll buy other stuff on your list that will make them money.