Wallet Wednesday: Saving money without using coupons

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- We all know coupons can save you big time at the grocery store, but they are a lot of work clipping and organizing.

Smart Cents Mom, Ashleigh Allman, took us shopping to show us how to save.

"I'm always trying something new," she said.

For Allman, she's found a way to make it easy without using a single coupon.

"One of the easiest ways is to make a meal plan ahead of time and make a list," she said.

"That way you're using things that are in your pantry or in your fridge and that way you can come to the store and you're not adding extra stuff."

Once a teacher, now her full time job is taking care of her family.

"We kind of stick to the same things because we have young kids and they only eat basically three different meals. I know I'll get spaghetti tacos, chicken and maybe a lasagna."

She took us through the aisles, finding deal after deal.

"The best places to look for veggies is to check out the clearance section."

The key is being flexible.

"These are 99 cents for each bag so, I know I can make something with potatoes and with squash."

"They're going to go bad soon, but they're still good so go ahead and get those," she explained.

Most stores will have clearance sections in their produce, meat and pantry departments

She also uses certain stores based off of their rewards programs.

"I know at CVS I like their deals they have on toilet paper and paper products and you get cash back you can use in the store again so, I try to do that."

"I know I can usually get organic milk for sale at Kroger."

She said to be smart about the deals you're getting.

"I will buy like 10 bags of Goldfish (in a 5 for 5 deal) knowing there is a sale cycle so those won't go on sale again for at least 6 weeks."

"Sometimes I check them out online ahead of time just so I know what's going on and then really, when I get to the store is when I'm checking out the clearance section."

Allman also takes advatage of apps like Shopkick.

"You can earn points by just walking into the store and those points add up to gift cards," she said.

The hardest part she says is just getting started.

"Be flexible and just start. I think that's hardest part is make a plan and try it because without that first step you'll never start saving money. So you kinda have to take a leap," said Allman.

"Being a mom, we're all on the same team, we're all trying to raise a happy healthy family."

For more advice check out her blog here.