Hi! I’m Kyle, the Penny Hoarder.

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5 Ridiculous (but effective) Ways to Save On Your Groceries
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by - July 20, 2014 - 122 Comments

Listen, even if you’re not one of those crazy coupon ladies that you see on TLC, you should still be saving a lot more on your groceries than you already are.

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 5 ridiculous ways to save on your groceries…

 

1. 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?

Ibotta

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.

5. If you like doing this kind of thing, I’d also check out SavingStar as it’s very similar (although you don’t have to have a smartphone to use them). Heck, sign up for both and you might be able to get cash-back on your receipt twice. :)

 

Homscan scannerr

2. Scan The Groceries When You Get Home

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 Homescan family, the company will send you a free scanner (like the one pictured to the left). Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen. Pretty easy, huh?

If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application

As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise.  You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes.

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?

 

coupons

3. Get Paid Extra to Use Your Coupons

The company, 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…

 

publix-ad4. Create Your Own Sales Circular

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.

 

barclaycard5. Get 2% Back on All of Your Grocery Store Purchases

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. 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!


 

  • http://www.brokegirlrich.com Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

    I always tell people to use Raise if they’re addicted to Starbucks! I feel like such a dork that I’ve never looked at it further and found Whole Foods too!

  • Sheryl Holder

    I love ALL of your helpful hints…..and ways to make money etc…..thank you so much for helping the people live just a little easier since our government is taking our freedom away and putting us back into the GREAT DEPRESSION….I feel it will be worse than the original depression. Thank you. I am on disability and it just is too hard to live now , with cost of everything raising constant and not the cost of living. Sheryl

    • Joe bro

      dumb, you realize people during the great depression couldn’t afford food and built shacks out of trashed materials. I don’t think we are anywhere close to that bad.

      • nm201

        And what exactly do you call the rising homeless population?

        • Sigh :/

          again, you apparently cannot even fathom the extent of economic collapse we faced during the great depression. We had a dust bowl, we were unable to grow food to provide for people with food-stamp, the entire southwest was barren because we couldn’t afford to irrigate crops. Our current unemployment rate is somewhere between 7%; the unemployment rate during the great depression was 30%. Kids are living at home later as a direct result of parents raising pussies. How can you expect a self entitled generations whos parents gave them everything their entire lives NOT to come home be given everything again. It is not hard to get a job as a janitor or laborer or work in a restaurant to pay the bills. It IS hard to break a deep rooted psyche that kids have developed because of lack of self worth from being babied and over protected their entire existence to this point. Life is hard, stop complaining. Things aren’t great I will give you that, but please read up on your facts before you start blabbing ignorance and scaring the poor people who listen to you

          • Tm8

            People get on disability now days for something as simple as having “a bad back” cause maybe they over-eat and are carrying 150 extra lbs. In the 30′s people worked so hard at manual labor they wouldn’t have the energy to complain of a sore muscle. The government isn’t trying to kill you people… And if they wanted to do that, our dependence on them alone could prove to be the actual lethal culprit.

          • Amber

            I’m not over weight I was 28 when I had my surgery for my back and it made it worse I had two disks needed replaced and my Dr said he expected to see a 50year old plus patient but I was only 28 now I’m 31 please know it all explain that one to me I also have DDD

          • qcubed

            Triple D titties? Wow, you should be able to make BANK, working on your back.

          • pinkstar

            Wow that went left…ok I too and am a single mom of three. In some states food stamps are a joke and it is very very hard to provide for my family I do not agree it’s as bad as the depression however it feels pretty close sometimes

          • deb

            DDD is Degenerative Disk Disease. Has nothing to do with breasts size lol

          • 19manny85

            Amber, you’re an example of someone in need of the benefit, not that it pays a ton, however, you were medically in need and it was approved.
            It’s sad that those that try and sometimes get approved under false pretenses, only make it harder for those who have the appropriate reason for being on disability.

          • frznsld

            You are wrong. Nobody gets on disability for just having a bad back and it’s incredibly difficult to get it. The application process itself is extremely complicated, and it can take two years or more before you are approved – IF you even are. Please cite your credible sources for your claim; that dies not include articles or anecdotes but actual statistics from the SSA.

          • 19manny85

            Another big difference is that in the 30′s, and during the great depression, people wanted to work for any amount of money to take care of their family. They did have a different work ethic, in addition, there was no disability in the 30′s, so that wasn’t something people could take advantage of.

            Getting on disability isn’t as easy as having a bad back. Of all the disability applications social security gets, less than 10% are approved. There is a lot of fraud out there.

            There’s that small town in Tennessee where almost 80% of the population is on disability. Those scammer lawyers on TV offering to get your claimed approved is a big part of the problem, not to mention they take some of your disability benefits if you get approved. In that town, the lawyers work with a couple of doctors and the hospital to help get the residents on disability.
            It’s like unemployment insurance runs out and the next way to get money from the government “if” you can’t find a job is disability. That’s sad, we are all having to pay for this fruad.

          • Cathy Bender Owensby

            I cannot believe what I am reading. I am currently on disability due to have i mg liver transplant surgery less than 6 months ago. THIS DISABILITY WAS NOT MY CHOICE. Let’s see any one of you that have the audacity to speak out and accuse someone of something they are not even speaking of is so very immature! I pray every day that NOBODY has to suffer like I do so” “I could be disabled. GROW UP AND GET A LIFE! !!

          • Tm8

            I did not say “everyone”. Work on your reading comprehension.

          • shortbuss

            your generalization of people on disability is disgusting. This isnt the 30s so who cares? Women also had feet size 4, who cares? People generally on Disability can’t get enough to pay for life and the two years it takes to get approved makes it worse. I do the same thing sometimes but you have to be very careful talking about peoples health, 99% of it is not what you see on the outside. It is a very very slippery slope.

          • qcubed

            I doubt you have had to ‘pay bills’ with a restaurant job, or janitorial pay rates.

          • Kim Kraus

            Ok to this I have to add my 2 cents……. I am 27 and I am NOT a pussy. I lived with my mom up until about a year and a half ago as even working 2 retail jobs and babysitting I could not afford to live on my own. So ur claim of people being pussies and thats y they are living with parents is sooo invalid and u have no clue what u are talking about

          • Ken Sacco

            27 and look at the pic in your avatar. Clearly presenting yourself in a professional manner is a skill that has slipped past you. I was a store manager by the time I was 23, and I can promise you that those same opportunities are still there now. If the TWO retail firms you work for haven’t found reason to promote you to a better position, then perhaps you ARE a ‘pussy’? That’s what’s funny about you silly millennials, you think that when you don’t succeed, it’s someone else’s fault. SMDH.

          • Tatiana

            I agree I work at a gas station and just got a job at a hospital as a nurse’s aide and at the hospital i ‘be never seen so many call ins, no shows, and we are so short staffed we get mandated for next shifts because of those call ins ( who are usually people who just didn’t want to come in) and no shows. Up scheduling gets pushed upon us because there aren’t enough people to cover shifts so the give us shifts that have to be covered whether we want them or not and why is this all happening? Because people are lazy, they don’t want to work. Around me people are getting free rides off the government. Working at a gas station I see people daily that buy candy chips soda more junk food all with there ebt/food stamps. I see drug addicts who rather sit at home and do their crap then get a job. These people get hundreds of dollars in food stamps and in cash on there ebt as well. Then here’s the real kicker. I’ve seen,and know ( I live in a town of 220ppl and the towns next to me are less than a thousand ppl each) people who are on disability, on drugs, on food stamps and cash benefits and will still work and get away with it cause its all under the table. My point behind all this is I see all this daily at both jobs, there are people who truly need disability, food stamps etc. And there are people who don’t. Those people who don’t are screwing the system up for the people who do because they get less benefits every year. Now personally what do I think one solution could be for this? DRUG TESTS, some states have it, but I think it should be national. No food stamps or disability with out drug tests. That’s that.

        • qcubed

          It’s the rich who are precipitating this. But you probably deny this.

      • shortbuss

        I agree but people feel the fall from money to penny pinching, in relation it is the same thing in most people’s heads.

    • qcubed

      Hate to break the news to you , Sheryl, but that big bad ‘gubmint’ SAVED your ass from a GREAT DEPRESSION last time. You should be angry with the rich, who remove jobs and refuse to pay living wages on the ones remaining.
      Also, you are on DISABILITY, which means you DEPEND upon the very gubmint you rail against for your survival.
      You are a prime example of the bagging idiots who are voting against their own interests.

    • frznsld

      Gee Sheryl, you’re on disability yet you’re bashing the government. Exactly who do you think your disability check comes from? No, not faeries or Heaven, it’s actually sent to you by the GOVERNMENT! It’ll be interesting to see how the very people who demand “smaller government,” stopping the “handouts,” and “taking back our country” will survive when their wishes come true and their disability, Social Security, Medicare, etc are gone. Too bad they’re taking all the rest of us down while shooting themselves in the foot.

    • qcubed

      If you are that fearful, you would be better off if you stopped living. Just a tip.

  • Karissa

    Thank you for all the great tips. I’m a newbie to your website (about a month now). But I’ve found some great ways to save and possibly make money. Thanks!

  • Penny

    I’m a member of the Nielsen Homescan program and now I can use my smartphone to scan items with their mobile app. I like it much better than waiting until I get home to use the scanner. I just scan items as I am loading them into the trunk.

    • qcubed

      Whats to stop you from just scanning items in the store, without buying them?

  • Emily

    Have u tried Ibotta app or SavingStar app.
    If youre a real penny hoarder u should try Scantopia app!

  • http://www.rochkirstin.com Roch

    It’s interesting how one organizes like an inventory management system of all the goods bought from the grocery.

  • http://retiredby40blog.com Retired by 40

    I use checkout 51 all the time! It is great because you can use it at any store! I also print coupons from swagbucks and buy gift cards at a discount! It may seem like only a little bit of money at a time, but it all adds up!

  • http://amomsrambels.blogspot.com/ A Moms Rambles

    WOW! Thank you for the info on InboxDollars!! I just signed up for it, and I’m already loving it! <3

  • rj

    Can you not see that this is yet another intrusive way for people to get into your business? I saw all these and it blows my mind that survey companies, who are paid by advertisement companies are now paying people to know everything that they buy? You may not think it matters but it does. Don’t sell your privacy for a few bucks

    • http://www.facebook.com/wendypippinyarberry WendyPippin-Yarberry

      Since this seems to be the only way that I can comment on this article (which I would have liked to read) reply like thisI can’t read it because of all the pop ups that cannot be exited out of….. II am even having trouble writing this kind comment because popups keep blocking my way. your marketing department should have known better than this is ii credibly annoying

      • http://geekgifts.us Joan Pletnik Gleba Nering

        you must be having problems with your device. I have read this entire page and other articles and haven’t had a single pop up. Check with your manu
        facturer or what other apps you have on your device to see if that can be corrected.

  • Gelfling76

    FYI, Nielsen has an iPhone app that does the same thing so you don’t need to use their special scanner. I use it, it’s easy.

  • walter

    Are you kidding me? Everything suggested here gives companies the opportunity to know who you are and what you buy. They learn how much you spend, how often, how well they can control you with ads, personal information, bank information when you cash the check, home address to mail it, then sell it to the government so they can add it to the long list of spying on you. Wake up and don’t fall for it.

    • Jarod Sholtz

      That’s why you swap with someone every week , Walter.

      • walter

        Still it’s like selling yourself to the government.

        • Jarod Sholtz

          Oh, I agree. But my theory is that they have most of this info already, so putting out as much false info as possible actually keeps you safer.

          • walter

            Agreed

      • Donna

        What do you mean, swap with someone?

        • Jarod Sholtz

          Exactly what it sounds like. Trade bonus cards for a week, swap scanners for a weekend, that sort of thing.

          • Rand0m411

            Yeah it will protect you and really freak them out if they think you are buying Skippy peanut butter one week, and Jiff the next. Heads will explode!

    • Turing

      If they can control you with ads, you must be very weak minded.

      Almost everybody does grocery shopping with a loyalty card, so the store already knows what they are buying. Might as well let everybody else in on the secret.

    • DesertSun59

      It’s amusing to me that you actually believe that grocery store items u purchase contain enough information for the gov’t to want to spy on you AND that said purchases will tell them your innermost secrets. I believe ur meds have worn off.

      • Manuel Robles

        Not the government, I hope that was being sarcastic, however if they don’t realize buy using loyalty cards, those companies are sharing all your information, age, race, male or female, your address etc. It’s typical marketing. Companies buy customer’s information from companies they think are similar or closely related. Some companies, a bit more desperate, will buy any customer information list they can afford. This isn’t new stuff.

    • Benjamin Turner

      You don’t seem to get how PayPal works. There’s no address or check cashing involved.

      • 19manny85

        Did anyone bring up PayPal? Regarding PayPal, they know a lot about your personal financial self. Being a financial based institution, they focus on capturing everything regarding you, financially.

    • Scott McClellan

      wow, you still cash checks? It is kind of nice though that they are learning everything about us electronically so this way I get more targeted ads of things that you actually want instead of crap that you do not want. this is such a great idea! As far as not wanting them to know things about you, wake up and smell the coffee, this is the future everything you do is tracked even if you don’t realize it just posting a message on this board, in fact just reading and logging into the web page, any webpage you are tracked! There’s no way around it, you just have to go with the flow and deal with it. the only way to avoid it is to live in the woods on property not under your name with solar power and be totally off the grid.there is the price to pay to be safe. I would rather be tracked then be blown up into a million pieces… not to mention the great benefits of targeted ads.

      • Jenifer Nolan Lewis

        In Walter’s defense, he might be referring to cashing your pay check. I don’t even own a checkbook, but I still get a paper pay check.

    • shortbuss

      If you pay bills online or elsewhere it is the same thing, If you use a debit to pay for groceries they can find the bar-code associated with the receipt tied to your debit and run the same bs. You need to wake up and see that all this stuff is already tracked and you might as well save some money. If getting mail is that huge of a deal then, like all the stupid catalogues, throw it out. Half of those are under the same idea anyway. There is a tracking system for sure but noone cares that you buy a can tuna fish twice monthly

  • Andrea

    Thank you for all the great advice! There is a site I’ve used for some time named mypoints, it’s similar to InboxDollars in that you earn for surveys, reading emails, coupons, shopping, etc. You earn points and then those points can be turned in for gift cards (or even turned in for cash into your paypal acct but that’s the most expensive point option). If anyone is interested in them, let me know – if you sign up through a link from me and make a $20 purchase in the first 90 days, then they give you a bunch of extra points (like $5 worth). Then you can refer your friends to it too ….

    Anyway, the information here is coming at a very opportune time for my family. My husband is wanting to leave his retail rat race job at a big box store and return to his dream of working on charter fishing boats and I’m using what I’m learning here (at the age of 40, I’m on disability with no chance of returning to work) to hopefully reduce our spending in order to make that happen. Thanks again Kyle, you’ve gained a new fan!

    • Darlene

      Can u lease provide me the link to this site…

  • GilligansIphone

    Oh no! The government might find out what kind of toilet paper I use!

    • Rand0m411

      Once they find out what brand you wipe your arse with, they will own you. They’ll control that arse. You better be prepared to make a tinfoil hat for your arse cheeks.

  • JoanieGranola

    The headline of this article is so misleading. I thought it WAS REAL ways to save. I have only one other adult in my household and for at least the last 10 years I haven’t shopped for food that uses coupons (I. E., non processed and junk food). It’s frustrating enough to hardly get deals on fruits and veggies (and spices and the like), but you’re advocating using companies that collect data (which you need to take extra time to enter) to save money? If I signed up for any of these (and I signed up for many similar things last year) I would be wasting my time as I have been for the past year because I get tons of offers on stuff that I don’t buy in the first place. So in order to ‘save’ I would have to purchase items that I normally don’t purchase just to save a paltry dollar or two?

    I suppose it’s not bad for someone who has the time and inclination to do it, but I don’t. These money saving tips are crap.

    • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy the article. To be blunt – you’re never going to save money if you aren’t willing to try new things. You don’t buy milk? The Ibotta app we talked about offers a rebate for that. What data do you have to give to use a gift card on your groceries like we talked about in #5? I understand that not everything I write about is going to work for everybody, but with all do respect, I don’t think the tips are “crap.”

      Kyle

      • JoanieGranola

        Actually, I don’t buy milk. I buy mostly fruits and vegetables, and there are never coupons for those – or most meat products. And with tip #5, you recommend buying said cards using a reward credit card. That’s how personal info is shared. And I said in my initial response that I have tried many of the shopping app ‘savings’ programs – - and they were a waste of my time.

        And I am not against stores recognizing my shopping habits, but it’s a complete waste of time to get offers that I will never use – especially if I have and use a loyalty card. That’s the most aggravating – a store tracks my purchases and sends me offers of stuff I have never bought before.

        More power to those who can find savings with these tips – I did not.

        • Shiser

          To be fair, if your paranoia and smug sense of self-satisfaction are so overinflated that they affect your reading comprehension, there’s not a lot that can be done to help you.
          The point of #5 is that you can get the gift cards for 25% off. The statement “to make this deal even better, pay for your gift card using your rewards credit card” is just an offhand comment connecting that tip to the previous one for added cash back. But nowhere does it indicate that a rewards credit card– or ANY credit card for that matter– is required to buy a Whole Foods gift card, or wherever is that you buy your granola, Granny.

          • JoanieGranola

            Hahaha – I never said I was paranoid as I stated I have no problem sharing personal info and using loyalty cards. My point, which you seem to have ignored, is that it’s possible to share personal info with the tip as written. Here’s a tip – buy local. It supports local farmers and the cost over the course of a year is much less than shopping for processed foods, sonny boy.

          • qcubed

            I have to laugh at anyone bitching about spending too much money when they say they shop at WHOLE FOODS.

        • qcubed

          There are stores that give you coupons for meat and produce. Fred Meyers, for one, sends me coupons because I use their rewards card.

          • penny

            not for organic produce, which is what everyone wants.

          • towho459

            Not everyone

        • frznsld

          Joanie, to you and everyone who is do outraged at the suggestion of giving out all this information – are you honestly that naive? You are on the Internet right now and there’s nothing about you that isn’t out there somewhere just due to that one simple fact. It’s a certainty that if you think the information you share by following these tips will compromise your privacy you are definitely not computer savvy enough to have the kind of security it’d take yo have avoided giving away far more than that already. And by the way – so somebody knows your buying habits – gasp! Guess what – nobody gives a crap. Sheesh.

          • JoanieGranola

            You should reread my posts. I never said I was opposed to sharing personal information. In fact, I said more than once that I don’t have a problem with it and have shared my info with plenty of stores. And I was pointing out the error of a commenter who claimed that you didn’t need to share personal info to buy gift cards on a website.

            I said it was a waste of my time to have to fill out personal info for an app that was going to send me coupons for stuff I never buy.

        • jwoolman

          Checkout51 does have produce, not much but I’ve used ones for tomatoes, bananas, cucumbers etc. a yoghurt one worked for nondairy yoghurt. Marsh sends out quarterly coupons by mail based on their card records, so my coupons are mostly for produce. They also often issue generic coupons at the register for things I usually buy. Their digital coupons (loaded to the card) likewise increasingly work on unprocessed foods I might ordinarily buy. The printable coupons are even useful sometimes. I think times are changing- the stores are zeroing in better on what we actually want thanks to the databases they are keeping, so that’s the helpful side of things. We really have no privacy today anyway. The computer has pretty much guaranteed that. I do save a lot of money stocking up on sale and using rebate credit cards.

          • Dena Meyers

            Saving Star is another app that gives you discounts on a particular fruit or vegetable weekly.
            Another one I like is Receipt Hog. You just take pictures of your receipts and submit them and get coins. The coins turn in to cash. Here’s a link if interested: http://app.receipthog.com/install/52itd5g5

        • LoveBeautyNGlam

          If you even bothered to look into these suggestions that were in the article you would find out super quick that they DO in fact offer money back on fruits and vegetables. Ibotta has, saving star does every single week and so does Checkout 51 (similar to Ibotta and was mentioned in the comments) Checkout 51 actually is mostly just types of items, any brand. SavingStar releases a different item for free every friday as well as having 20% + off of specific fruits and veggies.

          I suggest you do a SMALL amount of research before you start to speak so negatively, and sound so ignorant.

      • qcubed

        Milk, per se, is not really a healthy thing for adults. Calcium can be gotten with other foods, such as cheese.

        • Bridgette

          Last time I checked, most cheese is made out of milk…

          • qcubed

            Except that many of the proteins and most of the lactose are removed during the making of cheese.

      • Ron Lawrence

        It’s all “due” respect. I’m not trying to GE the grammar police, but that one is one of my big pet peeves. Using “sense” for “since” is my other. People that write columns should be better at it than the rest of us. Good column though.

      • Jenifer Nolan Lewis

        Kyle, the majority of people who comment on this article or any online blog style article are trolls who get off on spreading their negativity in places where no one can see them. So don’t even give them a second thought. Some of the ideas are good but they’re all similar. I like an app called “Food On The Table” that has three components. First, it gives you a meal planner based on your needs: healthy, vegetarian, quick, or inexpensive. Then, it uses your location to tell you which stores have the ingredients to these meals on sale. Then, it helps you create your shopping list based on that information. Takes a little time to plan, but 30 min. can help you save by buying what’s on sale and having a meal plan for the week so you’re not buying things you don’t need.

        Another thing we do when shopping is first we go to the markdowns in the meat department (one of the most expensive parts of a meal) to see what is marked down because it’s close to the “sell-by” date then build meals around them. Ground beef for $1.99/lb.? Tacos! Ham steaks $2 ea.? Breakfast-for-Dinner!

        We also do meatless Mondays and they’re usually cheap meals. Couscous & black beans, tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches, whole wheat pasta with marinara full of zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions is so satisfying you don’t miss the meat.

        I think offering your readers several different ideas that they can choose from that vary in difficulty offers something for everyone!

    • qcubed

      Are there farmer’s markets in your area? Also, check the local Health and Welfare office because sometimes they offer programs that allow you to purchase vouchers to use at locations that sell locally produces fruit and vegetables, many times these are sold at farmers markets. Buying the fresh whole foods that you consume is generally more expensive in big supermarkets. I don’t know why. I suppose it is because BIG AGRA wants us all fat and unhealthy so that we have to rely on BIG PHARMA to keep us alive to buy more junk foods.

      • JoanieGranola

        There are many farmers markets in my area – more so than Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s (which I don’t shop at) – but, sadly, they’re not well attended by local farmers and there’s no local food co-op) . There are only big box supermarkets that rarely offer good deals on produce. I will look into your suggestion about the health and welfare office – thank you for the information!

        • qcubed

          Sorry to hear that there are not more options for you. Produce, locally, is definitely a seasonal thing. But you have the internet. Try searching google for local fruit stands that may stock locally grown items. You could also look for farmers or ranchers (or local meat markets) that sell directly to customers. Sadly, because of regulations, this may not be easy to find. But like I said before, if you want to eat well then you must expect to pay more for it. These ‘coupon deals’ most times are complete bullshit because paying for the name brand item, even WITH the coupon, is nearly always more expensive than buying a store brand or ‘generic’ brand.

    • penny

      i completely agree! i’m a vegetarian that only buys organic. try finding coupons for organic fruits and veggies. NEVER! coupons for organic dairy? nope. coupons for organic anything that isn’t processed? not a chance! if you want to eat healthy in this country, you have to pay triple, often even more than people who eat crap processed junk. i can buy a box of a dozen donuts for less than $2 from the bakery, but my small bag of organic grapes is $12. there’s something very, very wrong with this picture! it’s incredibly frustrating to run to the store for a few “essentials” and walk out with a $150 bill! if i wanted to live off organic processed junk (crackers, cereals, chips, cookies etc) i’m sure i could find coupons for that, but if you want to actually eat healthy on real food, you’re gonna be charged out the wazoo. you can try growing a garden, but unless you live in the suburbs or the country, or are rich and can rent a plot of land, you’re out of luck. we city dwellers in apartments can’t grow our own food. our food system in america is a joke! there are no “organic farmer’s markets” anywhere near me. the amount of gas i’d waste driving a few hours there and back is just as bad (even worse) as going to the store across the street and paying their outrageous hiked up prices on organic produce and dairy. i eat very clean and lean, what people used to eat before processed took over our diets, but i can hardly afford to eat! it’s a sad day when your monthly grocery bill is almost the same as your rent! i could have a second condo for what i spend on groceries monthly! and i’m only one person! i can’t imagine how large families do it. this is not ok!! our system is broken! only the rich can afford quality food, which means only the rich can be healthy. the poor live on processed crap, and then spend their lives in doctor’s offices and hooked on drugs from the pharmacies to “cure” their bodies of the ails of unhealthy diet. we need REAL change in our food system!

      • Dave T

        OK. Yet people are living longer these days than ever before in the history of the planet – despite all the horror stories about obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Don’t believe everything you read. The reason we have the health scares and ‘climate change’ and super bugs is because our government rules with fear – and you are just another sucker.

        • penny

          nope, dave t, YOU are the sucker for not doing your research. if you’d actually looked up facts before you spewed nonsense, you’d find people are NOT living longer, that the life span in america is declining, and quickly! the data from the last decade is now in, and unlike previous decades, americans are dying younger and younger, with the rate only decreasing. it’s a grim picture, but cancer is a major cause, along with heart disease. if you really truly think you don’t have to worry about cancer and heart disease eating a crappy diet, you’re going to meet your maker sooner than you think. wise up and save your health!

          • LoveBeautyNGlam

            Move if you don’t like your “city dwelling.”

            I agree it’s expensive as hell to eat truly organicly and healthy, however some of the suggestions DO have discounts for fruits and veggies, albeit they are much fewer than processed goods. In addition, count yourself lucky that you are able to make the choice to buy lean, organic, healthy food. Most people, including myself, can barely afford rent and utilities, the option to purchase those types of food is simply not an option for me. If you spend the rest of your extended life complaining about how much money you have to spend on the very same food that’s extending your life, what’s the point?

          • penny

            Right. like “moving” is as simple as deciding you want to. Don’t be ignorant, we all know it’s much, much more complicated than that. There aren’t jobs in most lines of work in small towns. Living in cities is really the only way to get good jobs these days. Or spend your life commuting in traffic, which isn’t quality life.
            You are exactly the kind of ignorant, lazy consumer the grocers are hoping for. Someone who won’t make a fuss about how unfair the prices are for organic. They’re hoping you lie down and take it, instead of complaining until something is done about it. Grocers listen to consumers. If consumers aren’t “complaining” about prices, nothing will change. If you don’t like the prices as much as you claim, YOU of all people should be complaining the loudest! If you can’t afford organic yet you want to buy organic like you claim, why aren’t you complaining?? You’re just letting them take advantage of you without even putting up a fight. That’s being a lazy coward. Take a stand and do something about it instead of telling those empowered enough to fight back to be quiet. Seriously?? Maybe you can’t afford organic because you’re spending way too much on your image and superficial “glam” that you claim you love in your user name. Buy less make up for your outside and care more about what’s going into your body. All the make up in the world can’t make up for poor health, glam lover.

    • Dena Meyers

      There is an app called saving star that has coupons for fresh Vegetables and Fruit every week. Along with other non perishable items, it took less than a week to earn $5.00. (Which is the amount you need in your Saving Star app to cash out.)
      There is also an app called Receipt Hog where you get coins for taking pictures and submitting copies of your receipts. It also adds up fast. Here’s a link for that app: http://app.receipthog.com/install/52itd5g5

  • Quincy Lee Stephen Bingham

    Wow. I’m an digital marketing analyst and the comments here are pretty much the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard…but it is the internet. These pointers are nothing short of amazing if you’re smart enough you’ll use the data as well, to make better life decisions…Learn something people. The government would probably be a whole lot more efficient if it used people’s buying decision information…but it doesnt…why? Because people like the ones here claiming some big brother conspiracy elected those officials in office, lol. You are the conspiracy theory, lol.

    • Lori O’Neal Ziegler

      When people started warning me that the government was listening to my phone calls I laughed. …..I figure at times they’ll be bored to tears and other times they’ll die laughing. Now people are worried about the government knowing what food they purchase? C’mon, people! Surely eating spaghetti and Ramen noodles every week will not tip off the government that you are really Elvis Presley or a psychopath. Get real…..the government doesn’t care what you eat.

  • Anthony

    Who spends 1024 dollars a month on groceries? Average? What? I don’t even know anyone that makes that much money for groceries a month. This article is absurd.

    • Rand0m411

      Forever alone…

    • Lori O’Neal Ziegler

      I know lots of people who spend between $300-400 a week. Depends on how many people are in your household, how many pets you have and how much you enjoy cooking. Usually people who don’t spend that much at the grocery store end up spending the same at fast food places and restaurants. I have a big family and that doesn’t sound strange to me. I have never used food stamps so who cares?

  • Turing

    Great article, some ideas here I’ve never seen before.

  • Amani Eissa

    Thank you Kyle great and very new and unusual ideas, will definitely use a few

    • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

      Thanks Amani!

      Kyle

  • Manuel Robles

    If you use a grocery store shoppers card that gets swiped for that stores sales, they already know. That information is shared with several companies for many reasons. It tells vendors who’s buying their products, you age, race, sex etc,, it’s also used to track what you purchase and how often, the good part of that, is that you sometimes get coupons for those items. If you scan you debit card to make the purchase, that information is also being shared to notify the credit card company what your using their card for and how often, and how much you spend on each visit. I started getting discover card applications in the mail after using my KROGER Plus card, and how I know that, when I got my KROGER plus card, they entered NA as my middle name since I don’t have a middle name. Now when I get junk mail, and I notice they way it’s addressed, I know where it came from. I called Discover and was told the buy mailing lists and customer information from companies they feel share similar customers.

    So much for thinking no one is sharing your personal information.

  • Bargain Huntress

    The government already knows everything about us so what does it matter? I personally have been using inbox dollars for years, I buy discounted gift cards from websites, and I pay for everything with a rewards credit card that I then pay off at the end of the billing cycle. Doing these things allows me as a single parent to stay home with my three daughters, two of which are special needs, and support our family on only the child support I receive so that I can devote my time to their continued care. It really does work! I also cut regular coupons as well and shop sales and stock up, but I don’t have 250 rolls of toilet paper (LOL) only four in each bathroom! Try different things and see what works for you. I might try the Nelson Panel, that looks neat and I love rewards!

  • jv

    Bar codes contain much more information than the public will ever be allowed to know, not that some people aren’t aware of what all of that really is. Sharing it is not even the point in the first place as most will just tell you to take off your tin foil hat, so unless they have a wise and open mind, I won’t waste my time here at this point. But what I can say is if any Nielsen connected company wants to send you a free bar scanner to scan all your info in as to what you buy, since corporations are greedy, secretive and all about profit versus health, it is no surprise they are doing this. I would avoid it at all costs. I also am careful as to what food and drinks I buy. Look at the labels. Many of the ingredients are not even understandable to the common persons, and things like high fructose corn syrup is not even good for you or tested for human consumption either.

    • Dave T

      You do not know anything about barcodes. Store UPCs contain a number associated with the product – that’s all – they are used simply to identify the product. The software used to create them as well as the scanners used to read them are easily available anywhere. That’s what makes them ‘Universal Price Codes’. Almost all other barcodes, for security and privacy reasons contain just a character sequence, though the file associated with that code may contain lots of info in the originator’s secured database – so the code alone reveals nothing without access to the database. The barcode on a scratch-off lottery ticket is a sequential number that does not alone indicate if the ticket is a winner, but the secure file that opens when the ticket is scanned at the store does contain that info.

  • Dave T

    Sam’s or Costco membership is cheap cheap if you consider the annual savings on gasoline alone: .10 gallon = at least $2.00 week or well over $100 year plus the other items I buy. Bulk isn’t always cheaper so you still have to be careful, but some items like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Spices, Haagen Dazs, Batteries, and even underwear are sensational deals. I get my membership as a benefit of my job, but I would buy it myself if I had to.

  • Leah

    I won’t give up my Costco membership. I don’t have insurance and their pharmacy has saved me a TON of money. One of my prescriptions is around $220 at Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens but only $21.15 at Costco. One refill alone is worth the membership cost.

  • Don’tCareNothingToHide

    Walmart savings catcher is awesome too! Highly recommend.

    • Leah

      Agreed. I’ve had some big refunds with that. Then I’ve used the money to buy other things we need and get rebates from ibotta, checkout51, shopmium, and saving star. :-P

  • Dena Meyers

    Here are a couple of apps that have helped me.
    1. Saving Star- you can link all of your grocery store or pharmacy cards to this app. You activate the coupons you want and they apply the coupon amount to your account once you buy the product. They offer 20% off a particular fruit or vegetable every week. I have earned $5.00 in less than a week with this app. (You need a minimum of $5 to cash out to a PayPal account. It was in my account the next day)
    2. Receipt Hog- take pictures of you receipts and submit them for coins. Coins turn into cash. You can cash out at $5.00 also on this app. Here’s a link to it if interested: http://app.receipthog.com/install/52itd5g5

    Hope this helps for some of you if not all! Enjoy ;)

  • Mz.buffy

    I think alot of these comments have nothing to do with saving money and alot of these people sound like they have a vendetta with government i would like to say to kyle thank you for your information about saving money everybody who wants to save money should read it those that don’t okay more power to you don’t read it but keep your comments to yourself they are not needed

  • Laura Mills Ramsey

    Some of you people are so ignorant I can’t believe you even exist, let alone know how to navigate the internet! Get real people!! The government does not give a damn what groceries you buy…manufacturers do, so get over yourself! Yes the economy is bad, but we are no where near the Great Depression & to think so is utterly ridiculous – try learning about history. Most young people still living at home are doing so because they are either still in school or are just plain lazy & irresponsible to get out on their own & their parents just allow them to do this!! You can work in the restaurant feild & support yourself…I supported myself & small child working as a waitress in 2 restaurants! I did not receive gvmt aid..I simply did what I had to do to support myself & my child – its called being a responsib know e adult. Social Security Disability is NOT a gvmt handout. It is a right that people work for & pay for. It is insurance!! I began working when I was 14 & paying taxes & paying into social Security. After an accident, I became disabled at the age if 35. It took me 3 1/2 years for my disability claim to go thru even though I had multiple disabilities – one of them being back problems!! Back problems can be extremely debilitating. So unless you have actually lived in someones shoes shut your ignorant ass mouth up – because you are only letting people know how stupid you really are when you speak. Never ever comment on a womans breast size like that! Its rude, insensitive & insulting. Again it only proves just how stupid you really are. You know nothing….I was bigger than a DDD & the pain women with large breast endure is unbelievable – its like a man being kicked in his balls constantly – so shut the f**k up!! This is a great article on how to save a little money on your grocery bill & some of your comments are way off & only show how ignorant & small minded some people are these days. Some of you are just out there in a whole other world claiming the gvmt spys on your every move – get real & come back down to earth please – or admit your self into mental institution for some much needed help!! Othrrs are just plain ignorant jerks. There were some intelligent comments on here & I appreciated those comments & it is goid to know that there are smart people out there that are sensitive to others & understand how our gvmt works as well as the nations history. I applaud these people.

  • Buddha

    @Walter yeah man and that’s how the gov reads your mind too. The thought police is coming for you Walter, they’re coming!!!! Luckily nothing you do on the internet (including posting comments) gives access to your info… ;)

  • Shandra

    Hey, what about apps like this for windows phone? I’m always so disappointed that I can’t get the apps you suggest on my phone, and I can’t afford to get a new phone.

  • Jaybird

    Love the tips. I started to sign up for the Neilsen thing but I don’t understand why they need the names of all my children and their salaries. If I’m the one signing up why do they have to have their names and date of births? With so much identity theft I’m a little afraid to give it out over the internet. Maybe I’m just being paranoid. I also use retailmenot phone app. Most cashiers will scan your phone at the register. I saved nearly 30.00 last time I used it in Michaels.

  • Denice

    I was good until #5 e.g. getting rid of the Costco/Sam membership. I am a member at Costco for more than groceries. I have an executive membership. I saved over $300 dollars by getting my home and car insurance through Costco. Also, I was able to rent a car cheaper via the Costco website that it was using my niece’s family discount at Enterprise. When I compare Costco’s price (especially if an item is on sale) for household items e.g. small appliances, it’s cheaper. Last but not least, Costco’s return policy will have me shopping at Costco as long as there is one within 20 – 30 miles of where I live.

    I had bought a number of items from Costco in the a year after I moved into my house. During Spring cleaning when I was going through my house with a fine tooth comb, I found a number of things that I had not used much less cracked the tape on the box. I packed the trunk of my car and the back seat, rolled over to Costco and was able to return them with no issue. Certain items I had bought at least 18 months prior. I have not seen or heard of a store that has Costco’s return policy. (BTW, check the policy for electronics e.g. computers, cell phones, etc.)

    As a result, I’ll be holding on to my Costco membership. I did handover my Sam’s Club membership and received a refund. But, Costco . . . oh my Costco . . . we’ll be besties for a very berry long time. :-)

  • Mike

    Gomroo.com has $25 Safeway gift cards. You can play their game for a chance to win the gift card for free (1 in 8 chance), but if you lose you never end up paying more than $25 anyways. Been doing this for a few weeks now, definitely a good way to save on your groceries without any risk.

  • Nicole Marie Conroy

    As if Americans are not already lazy enough between drive thrus, drive thrus now delivering so you don’t have to get into your car to go throughthe drive thru, but let’s take the experience out of the shopping experience shall we? Made me angry reading the last one. Instead of schlepping off to the store….really? It’s that hard to get into your car and drive? Makes me sad.

  • Brandy Fisler

    I downloaded that boxed app. The stuff cost more than going to Costco and I don’t see the stuff I would normally buy at Costco like organic meats, my dog’s dog treats, organic fruits and veggies, etc so I guess I have to keep paying the $45-$55 a year

  • grnolv

    I would disagree with losing the BJs membership. They have great prices and lots of non-bulk items for purchase. They also have a great selection of organic items that I can’t find anywhere else locally. They also have great prices on gas.

  • Alesia Smith

    Another good one is the Walmart Savings Catcher. When you enter your Walmart receipt they check the local ads and if they find a lower advertized price they will give you the difference on a Walmart e-gift card. Just go to http://www.walmart.com/savingscatcher or download the Walmart app for Apple or Android!

  • Jenny

    Hey, I have a great idea… why don’t you all just shut the f*** up and get a freaking life!!! Stop being so rude to one another. You people talking about how the world we live in today is nowhere near as bad as the Great Depression was, well, yes, by historic facts you are correct, it is technically not that bad. But we aren’t living in those times anymore and there’s not many people left that did live during that time. In fact I’m pretty certain the person that wrote all those facts did not live during the Great Depression either. All you know is facts from a history book and stories from people that did live during those times. But it’s alot different now. The world itself is a different, more evil place. It sucks right now. So who are u, “Sigh” and “qcubed” to be throwing out all your facts and especially your rudeness and ignorance?!! Grow the hell up!! If you don’t think times are very tough right now, maybe ur the one still living at home with mommy and daddy not having to pay for a damn thing!! But back to the original article, I think those are great ideas on saving money!! Any little thing helps!!! I guess there are just some people out there that don’t need to use these tips and they have the luxury of being able to pay full price for everything and anything! Must be nice!

  • Judy Hagan

    You should mention in your article that the Boxed app is only for Apple products. There isn’t an app for Android users like me.

  • Heather

    Awesome ideas. I use 3 of these. Going to try out #4 & 5 right now!

  • Skye

    I actually had a question for The Penny Hoarder… I don’t have an iPhone but Boxed seems to be exclusive. Do you know of an android equivalant?

  • geehwiz44

    Beware of joining loyalty cards requiring you to use your legal name. I saw a news report many years ago. A man had an accident in the supermarket. Broke a leg and more. Well he sued and lost the case. All the reporter said is that he had a loyalty card. . Clearly the store’s Attorneys, shrewd they are, went through all his purchases since he used his loyalty card. Did they sell beer, and or liquor there? How about Medications? Over the counter? Did they see frequent buying of things that may cause drowsiness, loss of balance, even a possible alcoholic??
    I haven’t gotten loyalty cards since that episode. And INBOX is a scam. I had about $35.00 credits in my account and because I had not used the site for several months, my credits were voided. And I paid to buy stuff from their site!

  • KaayC

    Lately, I don’t even try to save on groceries. I try to buy the best when it comes to food. This is not the cheapest and generally requires visits to three or four stores. It has become time consuming as the quality of our food and produce deteriorates.

  • linda cobo

    I did a application that in some weeks somebody Rob my husband truck tools no body give it to you nothing free be careful i think is better use coupons from the news paper. they asking for very personal information today it can be your tools tomorrow that they take your baby or son be careful !!!!!!!!!! And I don’t who rob my husband tools but the police said is some know a lot of about my lifestyle.

  • towho459

    Very limited income at the moment (aka I’m starving & going without insulin most of the time) so I signed on for ibotta & the Nielsen Homescan ideas. I have a SavingStar but tbh, I forgot about it & obviously never use it. No printer so can’t do the others and HAHAHA on the card. But..I’ll let you know if it’s worth it. As for the worry worts crying about an invasion of privacy? Uh…we lost that ‘privacy’ recently because of your mighty king president oBLAHma..so…shut up & get off the net, your phones & go hide in a cave with your tin foil hats. Good grief.

  • Juanita

    The Walmart app has a Savings Catcher feature that really adds up. You scan up to 7 reciepts a week. And they compare prices with competitors. You get the money back on an e gift card. If you add it to your Bluebird card you get double the rewards. I’ve only used it for a month so far and I’ve gotten $45 back.

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