So this is a day late...the sad thing is that I typed it 3 days ago as to have it ready to post yesterday. Here's to hoping that the rest of December isn't as crazy as this week is!
Some of you have been interested in my new money saving grocery tactics, so here ya go!
I recently began "couponing". My friend, Eli, had talked about it to me a while back, and in November I decided to give it a shot. Before, I went to the grocery store only one time a month. This required TONS of planning (from our menus at home, to dishes to take to other events throughout the month, to coupons galore) and several hours of actual shopping. Then, there was the whole process of putting groceries away. And while it was quite a time consuming task, I really liked the fact that I only had to do it once a month. But when I realized that I could go to the grocery store once a week and save a lot of money, I figured I should give it a try.
Here's a pretty basic summary of the different parts of "couponing":
*Coupons are a must.
We buy at least one, if not two, Sunday papers every week as to give us the best shot for the best coupons. I always buy one to start with and check it to see if there are 2 or more coupon booklets inside. If there are, I buy another. There are TONS of options for setting up a coupon organizing system that works best for you. I have a pretty basic system...a little coupon file folder divided into sections like dairy, cereal, beverages, toiletries, household items, etc.
*Get over brand preferences.
The key is to buy what you can get at a super cheap price, rather than to buy items that you might normally buy. I'm not gonna lie, I love Angel Soft toilet paper. But, if I can get a pack of Cottonnelle for 5o cents, you better believe I'm gonna go for it! I've found that, the majority of the time, I end up liking a new brand better than my old stand by brands,
*Buy items based on price, not necessity.
Obviously, things come up and last minute trips to the store are a must. The object, though, is to plan ahead as much as you can to save the most money possible. I've begun planning a week and a half in advance, and that seems to work pretty well.
*Save your coupons & watch for sales.
These two kinda go hand in hand. Some sites suggest that you do a month's worth of research on your most purchased products to figure out the lowest sale price for those items, and then only purchasing them at that lowest sale price. While that totally works, I've adapted my own little system. Instead of doing all the research, I simply wait for the sales ads, check out the items that are on sale and match them up with my coupons. The majority of the time, the items that are in the sales ads are near their lowest price.
If at item is on sale and you have 4 coupons, use them and stock up!! It's better to keep 3 extra bags of frozen vegetables on hand and get them for 50 cents a piece than it is to only buy 1 bag at 50 cents and then have to pay full price for the other 3 bags later. This goes for items that you might not have coupons for, too, like meat. If a meat item is on sale, we buy enough to make 4 or 5 dishes.
I know I've forgotten some things so please feel free to hit me up with questions or even other ideas you might have for saving money on your groceries! Check out the links under "I Love Bargains!" on the right side of the screen for some tips from other money savers. I can't wait to hear how much you save on your next grocery bill!