Only buy what's on sale when grocery shopping
Maybe I'm dumb. But when I'm perusing grocery aisles, what stands out to me? Stuff that's on sale. Yellow tags, red tags, closeout!, buy __ for $__!, save $__. I. love. it. all.
Actually I pay closer attention than just the bright colors. I don't buy what I don't need, so this tip does not mean a huge trip to the grocery store and stockpile everything that's marked down. It's about having a list of groceries you need, getting to the store, evaluating the section, and making an educated and smart pick.
For convenience reasons (it's on my way home from work), I do 50% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's does not have sales, so I only buy basics from there that I know are less expensive but same/higher quality than other stores. I do the rest of my shopping at Whole Foods and Ralph's, sometimes Gelson's (but not too often, Gelson's is the highest priced of the 4). At the last three, I employ this tip!
Ralph's and other nation wide supermarket chains are the best for deals/savings. However, Ralph's and co. are the ones chock full of "danger" foods/snacks. Highly processed, highly unnatural, highly fat etc. foods, so I try to keep my shopping here at a minimum for health reasons. It's great for someone with more self control than me, but I happen to LOVE snacks, so Ralph's is huge temptation for me (check out my favorite snack blog, I'm obsessed with this kind of foodwww.theimpulsivebuy.com). Otherwise, have a club card (duh), buy what's on sale (notice the % savings though, a $0.10 savings is not a good one and barely worth it), and steer clear of the Oreos/Milanos/Flaming Hot Cheetos/Trolli Gummy Worms/Hot Pockets/Chips a Hoy etc (that one was me telling me).
Whole Food's has a reputation for being expensive, and full price merchandise really is. However if you buy seasonal product and specials/what's on sale, it will be around the same amount as a trip to Ralph's buying non-sale or only a few sale items. Seasonal is something I love doing. Going to the produce section, I'm rarely dead set on one thing. APPLES OR BUST. No, I go and see what's on sale and what is on sale is what is in season. In season produce tastes better, and has a higher quantity therefore lower price. I scan the section and buy what is on sale. My last trip, it was oranges and green grapes.
As mentioned before, I use this strategy for everything I need. I used produce as an example but say I need a cheese. Same process. With bread, with snacks etc. This is for the busy cheapskate who doesn't have a ton of time to gather and clip coupons. However, browsing the mailers doesn't hurt either, but my process is more time efficient, and it's definitely easier for me to make a good and frugal pick by scanning the selection when I'm physically at the supermarket.
Tip 6: Only buy what's on sale when grocery shopping. From my blog, Peasant Lyfe (http://peasantlyfe.blogspot.com).