In light of our economy, it seems like everyone is looking for ways to stretch their dollar. Now that my husband is unemployed, that has become a primary focus of concern for us. Thankfully, I’ve refined my grocery shopping “technique” and found success so I thought you might find the information useful as well.
I’ve almost always been a coupon clipper…more diligent at times than at others, but I’ve been known to come home with free products or even money back on purchases on occasion. Recently I’ve taken that a bit further. It only takes a little bit of time and can really lower your weekly food budget.
Every Sunday I scan the grocery circulars and pull the coupon sections that come in the morning paper. This includes Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Aldi…whatever is local in your area. In each one I circle sale items that we’d normally purchase anyway or that are just super great deals. Many times Walmart and Target will have similar items on sale but at different prices. Next I scan the coupons to see if there are any for the sale items, (many times there are several) saving me even more! Cereal is a great example. I used to go through the coupons first and clip whatever I thought we ‘d eventually use but this is too time consuming and they end up getting lost anyway so now I only clip what I’m using for the next grocery trip and set aside the rest of the section for next week when I repeat this ritual again. As sections expire, I can throw the whole thing out instead of picking through a slew of individually clipped coupons.
Then as I make my grocery list, I write down the lowest price in the circular along with which store is offering it. (The price is also helpful in case a generic brand is even cheaper, you’ll know at a glance whether you’re really saving or not.) Here’s the beauty of it…then I go to ONE store (in my case, Walmart) and when I reach the checkout line, I tell the cashier that I have some price adjustments I’d like to make. Then, for each sale item other than Walmart’s I pull out the circular and show them the advertised price which they match! (Make sure before hand that your store will match competitor’s pricing first.) Recently Target had Digiorno pizzas at their lowest price ever, 2 for $5 I think. Walmart’s were also on sale but at over $1 more per pizza. Walgreen’s had Red Baron’s on sale (limit 4) so I did the same thing with them. We went home with 6 pizzas, definitely more than we eat in one week but since we DO eat pizza as a meal on a regular basis, it was a bargain for us…not to mention the coupons I used.
Of course, I’d also consider double coupons. We don’t have a Kroger around here or any other place that I’m aware of that honors double coupons. If there is, someone please let me know! But for those of you who do, you could save even more.
So in short, plan your weekly menu around the sale items and what you already have in your pantry. I picked up spaghetti sauce when it was on sale and we have noodles but no meat. No problem. When our local store has their 5 for $25 sale, we’ll get some ground beef. In the meantime, we use the spaghetti sauce (since there is so much of it) to make “Poor man’s pizza” which is basically bread topped with sauce and mozzarella cheese (that idea came from the Duggars) baked in the oven. We’ve also made breakfast for dinner nearly a weekly standard. The kids love pancakes. They’re easy to make and cheap! We’ll also have eggs with cheese on those nights.
Now I’m rambling. Sorry. Anyway, perhaps some of these ideas will be helpful to you as well. If anyone out there has other savings tips, please share! Everyone likes to save money. Thanks for reading. Have a blessed day!