I love to haggle for the lowest price my groceries. I even do it without using invalid coupons and annoying the cashier. Coupons, brands, and cashback deals all are forms of price discrimination. Price discrimination is the process by which businesses offer higher prices to consumers who are willing to pay more and lower prices for customers who are not. In essence, if you are willing to print or clip out a coupon, many businesses figure this is the primary reason you are continuing to buy the product and thus continue to offer coupons.
Weekly ads are an often overlooked way to save money on groceries: there aren’t hoops to jump through and the range of deals is normally pretty wide. I use Flipp to view the ads for all of my stores at once, but the ads are also available in-store. I’ve found that the best deals tend to be seasonal markdowns on produce, which is always something to keep an eye out for.
When coupons are a good option
Excluding freebies, coupons are only a good deal if they lower the price of a product that you already use. For example, I started drinking almond milk about a year ago, and I came across a coupon for a dollar off Silk on their website (which made it less expensive than store-brand). Junk food and fad products tend to be aggressively marked down, but I’ve come to realize that simple and healthy items have much more long-term value.
Coupons and cashback for groceries
The first place to check for coupons is your grocery store. My local grocery store has an e-coupon program which is linked to my loyalty card, so I can redeem certain coupons automatically. Websites like Coupons.com as well as individual manufacturer websites can offer additional coupons to print out. When it comes to cashback for groceries, Ibotta is my favorite app. You just add the products you want, upload your receipt, and get cashback. I’ve noticed that Ibotta‘s selection is better than some of the other apps I’ve tried. The easiest way I get cashback on groceries is through my Discover It card, which I’ve discussed in my post on credit cards. I get 5% cashback on groceries about 3 months out of the year and since there’s a cashback match for the first year, it was effectively 10% cashback. There is also 5% cashback on wholesale clubs at other points in the year too, which can be useful for bulk grocery purchases.