It may sound shocking to hear that you can save $500 this year when you simply compare food prices. But the best news is that you can save that much without even cutting any coupons!
That notion may seem odd coming from me, a hard-core couponer, right? Yes, I know. But using coupons is only one way to save money on your grocery bill.
Another way that’ll help you save BIG (and save you time) is to do a simple price comparison and choose the lowest priced item to buy.
I’ve noticed in the past couple months that stores are releasing more private label products, also called generics, and they are really high quality.
Surprising high quality!
Especially for the drastic lower price difference between their national equal.
Think of it this way: If you can save $1 on 10 items you buy each week, you’ll save $500 over the course of a year.
And you don’t necessarily have to change the things you are buying, just buy the cheaper corresponding generic to what you would normally choose on the shelf.
Plus, buying generics saves you time by not having to clip coupons.
There are so many ways to save money on your groceries. I’m determined to show you that you can save money on your groceries and not coupon at all if you don’t have the time to.
Let me show you how to compare food prices and save money without having to use coupons!
1. Generics Are Cheaper When You Compare Food Prices
A. Start With The Basics
Flour is flour and sugar is sugar. Don’t pay upwards of 30-40% more because it is the name brand. That’s being silly with your finances!
At my local grocery store, the 4-pound bag of Domino Sugar is $3, the generic store brand costs $1.99. That’s a 33% markup for the brand name!
Why would you throw your money down the drain for the same basic ingredient?! That’s crazy!
If you are looking to compare food prices, start with your basic ingredients. That is an easy substitution or food swap since they are in the same aisle. And a simple tweak like this can save you so much money.
B. Compare The Nitty Gritty – Ounce Per Ounce
When you are standing there in the aisle to compare food prices, don’t be afraid to get out your calculator!
Compare the lowest measurement such as ounce for ounce and see which item is the better deal. Even the store brands go on sale so you could be finding a better deal than you think by buying the store brand.
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Recently, I didn’t have the time to make my DIY liquid detergent. I was trying to compare the prices of what was on sale to find the best price.
I saw that one brand was on sale Buy One Get One (BOGO), which came out to 6¢ per ounce. I had no coupons for that name brand product so I wondered if there was a better deal.
Low and behold, there was the generic store brand laundry detergent 100 oz bottle on sale for 2/$9 or $4.50 each. That’s a 100 oz bottle for $4.50, which is 4.5¢ per ounce (the $4.50 divided by 100 ounces = 4.5¢).
At 4.5¢ per ounce for the generic brand detergent, that is even below the lowest “buy price” for detergent which is 5¢ per ounce.
Keep a mental note of what you should pay for things. This handy Stock Up Price Guide should help you understand what a good deal is or is not.
C. Shop Around For The Best Deals
I’m a die-hard fan of our local grocery store, Publix, but I’m a fan of my family and my budget first. So they take first priority, that’s why I shop around and compare food prices.
Did you realize that you typically buy the same 20 things over and over again? There is a huge potential to save money by price comparing those 20 products.
To do that, first, write down the 20 things you always buy. Then, as you shop, write down the prices at each store and see where you can get those items the cheapest. Use this free download as a guide to make it easy.
After doing this exercise for my own family, I found that I can get the best prices on meat at a grocery store in my area called Sprouts. So I signed up for their email notifications and I watch their sale flyers so that I can stock up on meat when it’s on sale.
I go to Aldi to get several other grocery items when I am in a time crunch. I know I can get several items for the cheapest price, without having to worry about any BOGO Sales or using coupons.
If you have a local store that is the most convenient for you, shop the generics at that store to get the best prices. But don’t be afraid to do your research!
2. Generics Can Be Higher Quality Than The Name Brand
A. Generic Brands Are Popping Up Left & Right
Store brand generics have come a long way from when we were kids. Stores have recently changed the way they think about the value and taste of their brands. They are trying to compete for your business.
They are as good as the name brand version when you compare food prices. Many stores have their own versions of great quality products.
Target now has 6 food and household store brands including:
1. Simply Balanced
2. Sutton & Dodge
3. Market Pantry
4. Up & Up
In fact, my local Fox news station recently reported on how good generics are getting. They are specifically reporting about Southeastern Grocers (which is the Winn Dixie or BiLo grocery stores in my area) which continue to upgrade their brands to compete with the national counterparts.
So you see, they are trying to get your business by tasting better and becoming a better value than the name brands.
B. Compare Ingredients
When you compare food prices, you should also compare ingredients. Yes, the brand name is recognizable, but the store brand can be as great, if not better!
I recently went looking for a no sugar brand of pasta sauce that was on my grocery list.
There were no brands on sale at the time that did not have sugar listed as an ingredient.
Then, I found the Publix Premium Pasta Sauce that contained no sugar and it was on sale for 2/$4. Now that was a great price for a no sugar sauce! And it tastes delicious.
I have also noticed that store brands have fewer fillers.
C. Are You A Brand Loyal Stickler?
Don’t be afraid to get “unstuck” from your brand loyalty. If your family loves the $11 pack of Quantum Finish Dishwasher tabs or the $4 bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, try the generic brand next time. You might not be able to tell the difference!
Especially if the name brand isn’t on sale, try the generic variety. You never know how good it can be if you don’t try it, especially when the price is so good when you do compare food prices.
To give my budget a little extra cash, I’ll play a “taste test” game with my kids and buy a generic of something they love, like Doritos. I’ll grab the generic brand to use for lunch (without seeing the bag) and wait to see if they can tell the difference.
So far, I’ve never been able to trick them with a generic variety of Doritos, ha! But that gave my budget an extra $5 that week.
As they say, don’t knock it till you try it!
3. Buying Generics Saves You Time By Not Clipping Coupons
A. Spend Your Time And Money Where It Matters
If you are looking to compare food prices, then you need to spend money where it matters most.
Save that $1 off your bag of sugar and instead use it towards getting a higher quality meat or produce.
Spend the money towards the healthy ingredients that matter.
By not having to clip coupons, you can also save time for what matters most – your family.
B. Stack Apps For Additional Savings
Did you know you can “stack” savings and use money-saving apps when you buy generics? That’ll save you even more money after you compare food prices because you can turn your earnings into paypal cash or gift cards.
Look for Ibotta rebates that say “any” item. Ibotta often has rebates for at least a quarter or more back on generic items.
The Fetch App will give you at least 25 points for every receipt you upload even if you didn’t buy any name brand items.
The Shopkick App will give you “kicks” (their version of earning “points”) when you walk into the store. You will get more points for scanning items while shopping.
The Checkout 51 App allows you to get cash back on something that was already a deal. Since sometimes Aldi carries name brand items, there may be a rebate so you can stack your savings!
Every little bit helps, right?!
As you can see, there are many benefits to buying generics including not having to spend time clipping coupons. You can save money by swapping out your favorite brands for generics when you do compare food prices. I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the high quality that is just as good as their name brand counterparts. Don’t forget you’re also saving your valuable time too!
YOUR TURN: Have you tried to compare food prices to save money? What is the best generic you have bought yet? Have you ever tried generic Doritos? Let me know in the comments below!