This is my how I approach my grocery list for two weeks and end up shopping only 2x per month. It’s my simple 3-step routine for my family of 3 (we are on a tight budget!) and how I save money on groceries without coupons.

(This post probably contains affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is quite boring, but you can read it here if you’d like!)

Yes, you can save money on groceries without coupons!

There was a time when I couponed to save money and drove all over creation to get the best sale. (p.s. I DO NOT advocate extreme couponing, I whole-heartedly believe you could spend your time elsewhere earning more money!).

My mantra lately is: SIMPLIFY

Taking things OUT of our lives so we can spend more time doing the things we love. It’s not about turning grocery shopping into an all-day-road-trip – or even an every weekend one – just to save a few bucks on sale items!

The need to make things simpler was never more apparent than when my youngest was diagnosed with multiple food allergies & sensitivities at 2 weeks old (and I was nursing). All of a sudden, I had to research everything I ate – I turned into a nutrition label ninja mom!

I had to cut out so many foods from my diet that it wasn’t even worth going to the grocery store! (If you’re a food allergy mama – you understand, and I salute you!)

My son doesn’t have those severe food restrictions anymore, thank goodness!

But I’ve kept my minimal grocery routine with a super simple 1-2-3 routine.

  1. Cheap grocery list for a month at the wholesale stores,
  2. Added a grocery list for two weeks at my favorite frugal grocery stores
  3. and then replaced everything else with online grocery shopping.

Again, I don’t use coupons on a regular basis. I definitely don’t believe in extreme couponing, but I do have a very simple and intentional couponing system that i use only when I have time, and only when I find coupons for things that are already on the list!

RELATED: Why Extreme Couponing is a Waste of Time + Money

My super simple budget grocery list for family

1. Perishables and cheap grocery items: Wholesale Club 1x/mo

Yes, I have a membership to all 3 near me – BJ’s, Costco, and Sam’s Club (I share them with my mom, I don’t pay full price). This is my typical grocery list:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Chicken thighs
  • Ground turkey
  • Produce we go through a lot of (spinach, bananas, Love beets, mushrooms, onions, avocado)
  • Chicken and beef broth concentrate (Better than Boullon brand – best money saver ever!)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Veggie sticks
  • Gluten free bread
  • Almond milk

2. My favorite frugal living groceries stores – grocery list for two weeks

When you’re shopping for two weeks, the most important thing to consider is produce spoiling. Other things like dairy or bread can be frozen. (I also find that organic dairy lasts a whole lot longer than regular).

TIP: when I’m making my meal plan on Trello, I always plan meals that use fresh produce in week one and then meals that use frozen or very shelf-stable produce (think: root vegetables, onions, peppers) in week two.

Produce and store favorites: Trader Joe’s/Aldi’s: every other week

  • All other produce (if I can’t get it at either place, then it usually wasn’t on my list)
  • Chips
  • Salsa
  • Dried fruit
  • Almond butter
  • Ghee
  • Coconut aminos
  • Cheeses
  • Coconut milk yogurt
  • Chicken sausage
  • Ground beef
  • Frozen fruit (check prices – sometimes it’s cheaper to buy fresh and freeze yourself)

RELATED: How to Figure Out the Best Meal Planning Method for You

3. Non-perishables: Online grocery stores

Online grocery shopping has really become popular lately. And with good reason:

Moms don’t have to bring their kids in the grocery store.
Save money by not “aisle-window-shopping”.
Availability of uncommon ingredients, especially for special diets (paleo, whole30, gluten free, etc.).
Some even have automatic shipment.

TIP: How cool would that automatic shipment be??? To create your shopping list and then have it automatically delivered at the beginning of the month!

RELATED: How to Meal Plan only 4 Times Per Year

Best online grocery shopping websites

Here are the my favorite and best online grocery shopping websites, and I’ve included some coupon codes when I found them. (PS – most of the coupon codes are for first time users but double check!)

1 Thrive Market

My hands-down favorite place to order non-perishables from is Thrive Market. They’re like a Costco-meets-Whole Foods and their prices are unbelievable! And their shipping is quite fast. They are in California, I am in New York, and I get my boxes within 2-3 days tops.

coupon: 25% off + free shipping

2 Walmart Grocery

If you have a Walmart Grocery near you (not the same as a regular Walmart – check your zip code here) definitely take advantage!

coupon: $10 credit for new customers 

3 Target Drive Up

Yay! Target now offers drive up grocery pickup service in some areas (check your area now). I love their Simply Balanced line of organic products!

coupons: I haven’t found any coupons for this yet, but if I do they’ll be linked here

pens and monthly meal planner on clipboard

4 Your local grocery store

Most local grocers are offering online ordering and you either pick them up or they deliver. There’s sometimes a few dollars fee (still worth it in my opinion because you would probably spend at least that if you went into the store, especially with kids!)

Popular grocery stores that offer online ordering as of this printing:

Peapod / Stop and Shop / Giant
Whole Foods is available through Amazon PrimeNow or Instacart.

Don’t forget Instacart – they’ll deliver from all kinds of stores that are local to you (even pharmacies or dog food!).

4 When all else fails, there’s always Amazon!

I know Amazon is probably the last place you look for groceries but they do have some good options – just make sure you price check! Oh, and you have to be a Prime member so do that first (if you have an EBT card, you can get a cheaper version of Prime here).

Amazon Fresh – $25 off first order

Prime Pantry – fill a box and pay minimal shipping

Oooh and don’t forget to check Ebates!

If you’re shopping online, always check Ebates to see if there are any rebates for that particular store. And you MUST add the Google Chrome extension – it’s tremendously helpful at reminding me – I always forget!

Did you notice? For 18 months, I literally did not step foot in a traditional grocery store at all and that has contributed to something I’ve learned about myself: I need less choices, not more.

So my 1-2-3 system is working!

1. Perishables and cheap grocery items: Wholesale Club 1x/mo

2. My favorite frugal living groceries stores – grocery list for two weeks

3. Non-perishables: Online grocery stores

And that keeps it super simple for me.

So, what do you think? Could you grocery shop less or shop online? What’s your grocery pitfall right now?

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