I Made These Changes to How I Grocery Shop and Now I Save $200+/Month

Updated February 22, 2017
by Kyle Taylor
Founder

Listen, 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 cutting coupons, but there are a few weird (and easy) things you can do to save money on groceries each month…

1. Scan Your Groceries When You Get Home

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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, you’ll be asked to simply scan the barcodes on your groceries and send your data off to Nielsen each week. Pretty easy, huh?

If you want to give it a try, you can fill out an application here:

Sign up to be a Nielsen Consumer Panel family here.

2. Take a Picture of Your Receipts

Receipt

Yeah, did you know that you can get cash-back on your groceries just for taking a picture of your receipt? Check out these free rebate apps.

Ibotta – Download the app sign up with your name and email address. Browse the cash-back offers in your area and choose the rebates you want. Scan the product barcodes and snap a photo of your receipt when you get home. Once you’ve reached $5 earnings or more, you can request payment via Paypal or Venmo. Click this link and use referral code PENNY to get a $10 Welcome Bonus.

SavingStar – This app works just like Ibotta. Some current offers we found on the site: Save $3 on Progresso products and save $4 when you buy any Goya rice or beans products.

Checkout51 – This app also lets you choose offers at specific stores, scan your receipts and get your rebates.

MobiSave – This app also works like the rest, but it doesn’t have a minimum payout requirement. So no matter how small a rebate you get for a product, you can cash out immediately.

Pro Tip: Sometimes you can get rebates on the same product across these apps. More savings without spending any more!)

3. Get Paid Extra to Use Your Coupons

CouponsDid you know that Swagbucks and 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 both sites (just need a name & email address). You’ll earn a free $5 just for signing up!

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 10 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…

4. Get Cash Back on Liquor Purchases

gpointstudio/Getty Images
gpointstudio/Getty Images

Unless you’re a pro at finding nightly specials, know a lot of bartenders or are willing to choke down well cocktails all night, alcohol is expensive!

Good taste in liquor can really take a toll on your wallet.

Until now… We’ve found a way to actually save money on drinks at bars, restaurants and liquor stores. BevRAGE is a fun rebate app that lets you get cash back on alcohol purchases. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the free app and create a free account to browse drink deals in your area.
  1. Choose the deals you want, and buy the items.
  1. Click “Redeem” on the offer in the app, and take a picture of your receipt.
  1. Cash will be deposited into your PayPal account within 48 hours.

Redeem these anywhere — you’re not restricted to specific locations. For example, right now the app is featuring “APP-Y Hour Specials,” like $2 back for any mimosa or bloody mary at a weekend brunch. Or, you can get $2 off any glass of wine during “Wine Wednesday.”

Here are some of the current specials:

  • Stoli vodka: $4 off at any bar or restaurant
  • Kraken rum: $3 off restaurant purchase, $3 off store purchase
  • Rebel IPA by Sam Adams: $3 off 12-packs, $2 off 6-packs, $2 off drafts
  • Bushmills whiskey: $2 off restaurant purchase, $3 off store purchase

However, you do have to be 21 or older to take advantage of these deals!

5. Get Farm-Fresh Meat at Way Below Retail Price

woman cooks dumplings in the kitchen

Zaycon Fresh supplies select, commonly-consumed meats like chicken, beef, turkey, pork and fish in bulk at prices well below what you’ll usually find at your grocery store.

For example, we found boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.69 per pound — about a third of what we pay at our local supermarket!

You’ll buy it by the case, and a 40-pound case of chicken breasts costs $67.60. So you’ll want to clear space in your freezer, but it’s worth it: That’s more than $150 in savings.

The company’s founders applied their grocery industry experience and a unique model to directly supply food to consumers and cut out the middleman.

By hosting sales events at more than 1,200 locations nationwide, Zaycon Fresh is able to provide farm-fresh meats without charging specialty-store prices.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Register for a free account here.
  2. On the day of your local Zaycon sales event, bring your order confirmation to a designated location a short drive from your home, and you get your fresh, delicious, nutritious food.

Bonus: Use promo code BL20 to save 20% off your first order through March 31. (It can’t be combined with any other offers or promotions and is limited to one use per household.) 

6. Earn $20+/Month By Talking About Food

$20

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 & Vip Voice to participate. If you sign up for both, you should easily make an extra $20 or more each 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.

7. Quit Costco/BJ’s/Sam’s Club

Sam's Club

Listen — I shopped at the warehouse stores for years, but it’s gotten to the point where you can often buy bulk or wholesale groceries 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.

Plus, they offer Penny Hoarder readers and additional 35% off your first purchase and free shipping. And they’re delivered free to your door.

Another place to check is the bulk items section 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 check out.

8. Shop Smart to Avoid the Pink Tax

Pink Tax

Are you worried you’ll pay more for women’s hygiene products versus men’s because of the “pink tax”?

Don’t worry — it’s completely avoidable! You just have to be a smart Penny Hoarder and look carefully at what you’re buying.

While you might see slight price differences between products marketed towards women versus men, the biggest factor in price is more likely the brand, not gender. So, find the right brand!

For example, when shopping for shampoo, we found that Suave products for men and women tend to be priced the same, while Dove’s Men + Care series is priced cheaper than its lines for women.

And what about deodorant and razors — commonly seen as the greatest pink tax offenders?

Mitchum and Lady Mitchum deodorants came in at the same price. But, if you prefer Dove, you may want to grab the blue stick to save between 20-25%.

If you’re shopping for razors, we found the “men’s” version may actually cost you more — almost $14 for a single razor.

However, you can save a ton of money on razors and avoid the pink/blue dilemma altogether with a paid subscription to Dollar Shave Club, which sends you up to five new cartridges each month.

Dollar Shave Club is offering a special promotion for Penny Hoarders now, too! Sign up now to get your first month free (just pay $1 shipping). After that, your subscription is just a few bucks a month.

9. Save on Your Entire Shopping List with Retale

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Yep, Retale. Not retail.

We all know the best way to save is by shopping around. But who has time for that? Running all over town is time consuming and kind of annoying, which is why we’ve fallen in love with this money-saving app.

Retale shows you all of the weekly ads from stores in your area. You can search on specific items to find the best deals near you—then add them to your shopping list with one click.

And if you’re someone who likes to stack, they even have a tab to discover store coupons to make the deals even better!

Here’s a link to download the app on Android.

Here’s a link to download the app on iPhone.

10. Print $400 in Free Coupons Before They Expire


Here’s a quick way to get up to $400 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 four 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.

Betty_PaidAcquisition_Ad_300x250_Pumpkin

Kellogg’s – Over $150 in Free Coupons 

Sign up for the Kellogg’s Family Rewards and receive over $150 in coupons that you can use on cereal, crackers, waffles, Pop Tarts, and more.

Plus, I love Kellogg’s Rewards, because once you’re signed up, they’ll give you points every time you buy a Kellogg’s product. Those can be turned into gift cards or free groceries.

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.

Pillsbury_PaidAcquisition_Ad_300x250_DessertCrescent

 

Tablespoon – Up to $250 in Free 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.)

Tablespoon_PaidAcquisition_Ad_300x250_Pasta2

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

Your Turn: Would you use any of these unusual ways to save money on groceries?

This article originally posted here.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By checking out this featured content, you help us bring you more ways to save! Lastly, General Mills has sponsored the placement of Betty Crocker, Tablespoon and Pillsbury in this post. We appreciate them sharing money saving tips with our readers!

by Kyle Taylor
Kyle is the founder of ThePennyHoarder.com

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