Don’t get me wrong, using coupons is a great way to save big—if you’re disciplined about it. But I admit that I’m not a super-diligent coupon user. Apps like Flipp that let you load coupons directly onto your loyalty card with a finger tap make it easy. But what if you just don’t have the time or the interest? Here are a few smart ways to save without coupons:
Eat what's cheap—and good for you! For starters, buy more eggs. At just a buck a dozen—a 10-year low—that's less than a dime an egg! Believe it or not, the price of meat and poultry is also down in the past year. What's gone up: The price of eating out. So planning more meals at home can save you big time. Just cutting one meal out a week can add up to a few thousand dollars a year, depending on your family size and what you typically spend on a meal out.
Go to restaurants where you can get a discount. Not ready to give up any meals out? Use those Groupons and check out Restaurant.com for deals! Also download rebate apps like Ibotta and frequent-eater apps like OpenTable. You can also download apps for specific chains, such as Burger King, Chili’s, and other food joints, that give you freebies. Also if you’re a member of AAA, don’t forget to check to see which restaurants are on the list.
Stock up on sale items. Check apps like Flipp, Retail, and Shopular to see what’s on sale each week and load up! Or just go to the store and focus on the sale items. The trick is to keep track of the prices of frequently purchased items so you know a good deal when you see one.