Listen, even if you’re not one of those crazy coupon people that you see on TLC, we both know that you could be saving more on your groceries.
I’m not saying you need to hoard 455 rolls of toilet paper or that you need to spend hours comparing sales ads, but there are a few weird (and easy) things you can do to save some money on your grocery bill.
Here are 9 ridiculous ways to save on your groceries…
Did you know that the Nielsen company will pay you to scan your groceries each week? Crazy, right?
Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Consumer Panel family, the company will send you a free scanner (like the one pictured to the left) or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to NCP. Pretty easy, huh?
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out an application here:
You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles. This is a great way to make your consumer voice count and be rewarded handsomely for recording your purchases. You’re already going to the grocery store anyway, right?
2. Save 50% at Walmart With This Trick
Have you heard of MyPoints before? They are a cash-back site that pays you to print coupons and shop online. We use them all the time at our house, because it’s instant way to save on everything you buy.
This month they’re offering a pretty sweet deal — spend $20 at Walmart and they’ll send you a free $10 gift card! It’s like getting an instant 50% off!
Here’s how it works…
- Sign up for MyPoints here (you just need to give them a name and email address)
- Mypoints will instantly send you an email to confirm your email address. You need to click that in order to get the free gift card.
- Lastly, you’ll need to purchase $20 worth of products on Walmart.com (you can buy groceries too!). Mypoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus bonus which you can then redeem for a $10 Walmart gift card. Easy peasy.
3. Print $750 in High Value Coupons
Here’s a quick way to get up to $750 in high value coupons that will help you get free or nearly free cereal, frozen vegetables, canned goods, yogurt, and more.
Take 5 minutes and sign up for these three newsletters (you don’t have to use your main email):
Betty Crocker – Up to $250 in Free Coupons
Give Betty Crocker your email address and they’ll send you up to $250 worth of coupons that can help you get deeply discounted or free canned goods, cereal, and yogurt.
Betty Crocker’s FREE email delivers the best of Betty’s 15,000 kitchen-tested recipes, how-tos and more – straight to your inbox! PLUS, get up to $250 per year in coupons savings and access to FREE samples (quantities limited, one per member)
Since you’re limited to one set of coupons here, have your friends, spouse, family sign up too so you all get a ton of coupons.
Pillsbury – Up to $250 in Free Coupons
Sign up for Pillsbury.com emails to receive up to $250 in yearly coupons, access to free product samples (quantities limited, one per member) and the easiest recipes sent right to your inbox.
Because of the high value of these coupons, they’ve limited it to one set of coupons per person, so get your spouse to sign up if you need more coupons.
Sign up for Tablespoon’s free email and score up to $250 per year in coupon savings. Plus, stay on top of your food game with free recipes for doable dinners, delish desserts, party snacks and more!
Fill out their short form here (takes 10 seconds) and then select “coupon & sales“. Then click the button marked “clip all” to get the coupons.
(Side note: A few readers have reported not seeing the “coupon & sales” link. You may have to log out and log back in for it show up.)
Because of the high value of these coupons, they’ve also limited it to one set of coupons per person. So get your spouse to sign up if you need more coupons.
4. Tell the Packaged Food Companies What You Think of Them
Did you know that the packaged food companies will pay you for your thoughts? These companies are hungry for data on what shoppers think of their products, so paid food panels are becoming more and more common.
Some of these panels are hosted online — sign up for sites like Ipsos Panel & MySurvey to participate. If you sign up for both, you should easily make an extra $15-$30/month (most surveys pay between $3-$4 each for 20 minutes of your time). Heck, sometimes I fill them out while I’m watching TV.
Larger panels are hosted locally — these usually require 2-4 hours of your time, but they pay up to $75. Here’s how to participate in a local panel.
5. Get Paid Extra to Use Your Coupons
Did you know that InboxDollars will actually pay you to print and use the coupons they offer on their website? Here’s how it works…
1. Sign up for a free account with InboxDollars (just need a name & email address). Plus, they give you $5 free since I referred you.
2. Navigate to the “Coupons” section. There you will find dozens of high-value coupons for everyday items like cereal and toilet paper. Select the ones you want, print them out, and use them in your store like a regular coupon. But here’s the kicker —- InboxDollars will pay you ten cents for every coupon you use.
Now, that might not sound like a lot of money, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Most of the coupons that you can print on their site are the same coupons you find in your Sunday newspaper or on Coupons.com. They’re actually put out by the same people. So, it’s free cash for coupons you’re probably already clipping. And all those dimes start to add up after awhile…
6. Take a Picture of Your Receipts
Yeah, did you know that you can get cash-back on your groceries just for taking a picture of your receipt? The very popular website and mobile app, Ibotta will pay you to do just that. Here’s how it works….
1. Sign up for Ibotta here (you just need a name/email address to start).
2. Browse through the cash-back offers in your area and take note the next time you go to the grocery store (the offers change every week). For example, in my area Ibotta will give me .50 if I take a picture of a receipt showing that I bought a gallon of milk and a $1.00 if I take a picture showing that I bought graham crackers. Pretty cool, right?
3. So, obviously you don’t want to buy a bunch of crap you weren’t already going to buy. But, this can be an easy way to get a little cash-back for doing something you were already going to do. Also, you can still use coupons on the items you’re buying, so this can be a nifty way to “stack” your savings and in some cases, you might be able to get the item for free.
4. Once you’ve reached $5 earnings or more, you can request payment via Paypal or Venmo.
There’s a great new website called Pirc that aims to streamline grocery shopping for those of use who like to shop around for the best price. Pirc allows you to favorite all of the items you regularly buy and then their system will scan all of the sales ads/circulars in your area each week.
If something you favorited goes on sale, they will send you an alert. Even better, it will notify you if there are any online coupons that can be printed to make the deal even sweeter. It’s sort of like setting up your own personal sales circular each week.
It’s all completely free to use and can be set up in just a few minutes. A lot of readers who like to price match at their local grocery store find this site extremely helpful since it can quickly tell you which store has the best deals that week.
8. Quit Costco/BJ’s/Sam’s Club
Listen — I shopped at the warehouse stores for years, but it’s gotten to the point where you can actually buy a lot of things cheaper online.
One of my favorite places to shop is at Thrive Market because you can buy food at up to 50% off retail prices, plus the stuff they tend to stock is usually healthier than what I find in the store.
I also like buying bulk items online on Amazon Grocery. Not only will you save $50/year in membership fees, but Amazon will ship most things to you for free.
Also, do you know about these Amazon-only coupons that are posted each week? For example, this week there are coupons on formula, granola bars, K-cups, and more. Just click the coupons you want and Amazon will automatically deduct them from your bill before you checkout.
If you’re not using a rewards card for your grocery purchases, you’re really just leaving free money on the table. One of my favorite reward cards is the Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® – Average Credit. They give you a whopping 2 points for every dollar worth of groceries, gas and utilities you put on the card each month!
Plus, they give you 1 point for every other dollar you spend. And there’s no annual fee with this card, meaning if you paying off it in full each month, it really will cost you nothing to have this card. And the points can be converted to cash (1000 points = $10)
Consider this – the average family spends $1024.70/month on groceries, $368/month on gasoline and $163/month on utilities. If you can commit to just putting those purchases on your card, you could pocket an extra $31.11 every month.
Also, this is a pretty easy card to qualify for (it’s marked as average credit).
Your Turn: Would you use any of these unusual ways to save a little extra on your groceries?
Good luck Penny Hoarders!
This article originally posted here.
Disclosure: This post sponsored by General Mills.