There are numerous extreme couponers who literally spend almost nothing at grocery stores. But you may not be a pro-couponer or perhaps couponing isn't your niche and moreover, not available against the items you buy regularly.
Anyway, there are millions of people who have no clue what coupons actually are or who purchase without using a single coupon. Still, they shop with prudence and stay within their budget. You too can keep your shopping costs under control and yes, without any coupons. Just follow these simple tips.
1) Get into the right store: One of the basic ways to lower your grocery costs is shopping from a store that offer the lowest prices on the things you buy. For instance, what a packet of fresh beef (1 pound) at Kroger and Harris Teeter costs, might cost you less at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. You just need to remain aware of the rates in different stores. This might seem a hectic job to do at first. But as you start shopping for rates, this would become a hobby and you will start saving big.
2) Buy during sale and pile up: Sale isn't a one-time opportunity. If there is a sale going on in your vicinity and the item you're looking for has long self life (or can be freezed), you can buy several and score big savings. You can simply cut your weekly grocery bill in half just by stocking up items that you get at an awesome price.
3) Skip prepared food: Don't pay extra for prepared or packaged foods. Buy raw vegetables rather than washed, cut and packaged in sealed packets. This way you'll find the groceries at a much cheaper rate. For instance, recently I was shopping, I came across a head of romaine lettuce for 99 cents each pound. However, the chopped and packed version was around 150% costlier at the same store. Also avoid packaged meals for lunch for $5 - $7 each as you could buy bread, cheese and sausages for much less and prepare a sandwich on your own.
4) Look up & down: Branded items that are usually expensive are always placed at your eye level in every shopping mall. This is a marketing stunt for better sales. So whenever you shop, try to look both upwards and downwards for cheaper items, including generics. Never forget to check the upper and lower shelves for for better deals. This can significantly lower your costs than the branded ones.
5) Take advantage of holiday sales: During holiday sales, some items are priced at their lowest extent possible. You can maximize these opportunities and stock up. For instance, around Memorial day, Labor day and July 4th, hot dogs, salad dressing, ground beef, condiments, chips, soda, chicken, beer and paper goods are sold with extreme discounts. Again, around Thanksgiving, you can get great discounts on canned goods, turkey, stuffing, frozen pies, yeast, sugar, chocolate chips, flour etc. Again, find great deals on diet items, frozen meals, cold remedies, tears and soups, frozen appetizers around New Year's eve and up to the end of January.