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Money Saving Tip #2: You MUST use coupons

March 11, 2010 · 3 comments

in Money Saving Tips, Personal Finance

A few years ago, I really scrutinized my grocery bill and I was shocked with how much I was really paying for everyday items, without even thinking about it.  Part of it was I was working and I didn’t do any preparation for my shopping trips.   That day, I began my crusade to reduce my grocery bill.

Part of my mission included looking for deals and such on the internet.  That is when I stumbled across the Grocery Game (grocerygame.com).  The gist of the Grocery Game is to match your coupons with the weekly sales to really maximize savings.  It is unbelievable how much you can save if you truly discipline yourself to go through the circulars and match up the weekly coupons.  On weeks that there are a lot of coupons, I buy multiple papers so I can stock up on supplies.  Over time, you get an idea of how often certain items go on sale.  For instance, at my local Meijer, I know how much Salsa to buy each sale (usually buy one, get one free) to hold me over until the next sale.

So the whole process is this:

1.  Get coupons from as many people as you can

2.  Match your coupons with the sales each week.  (If you subscribe to grocerygame.com, their lists do this for you.)

3.  Stock up!  Buy as much of each product as you will use until the next sale.  Of course, this requires a lot of storage space.  Also, only do this if it is truly a great deal.

4.  Only buy products that you truly need.  However, if you can ever get something for free, grab it and donate it if it is not a product you will use.

Warning, this can be addicting, and can also totally alter the way you view grocery prices.  I absolutely cringe if I have to pay full price for something.  Coupons do not exist for many products, so you just have to take advantage of great deals on those.  Anymore, if I don’t save at least 40 percent on my grocery bill, I am disappointed and mad.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mom's Cafe Home Cooking March 21, 2010 at 8:25 am

No, coupons are not a must depending on your shopping habits, your needs and your location. Coupons are generally geared towards overpriced convenience brand name foods. If you mainly cook from scratch and/or home can and/or shop farm stands coupons are pretty much useless yet the actual food is less expensive than if you used coupons. In addition to this coupons seem to be an American thing with not being very popular outside of the US. We seldom get Canadian coupons so can’t use them even if we wanted to.

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Kris March 21, 2010 at 10:08 am

Hello! Well here in the US, I get a lot of coupons for things I do buy every week, including bread, eggs, cereal, yogurt etc. Obviously coupons are not a good thing to use if all you are buying is processed food that you would not otherwise buy. But if you have a list of staples you buy and there are coupons for them, then use them! Thanks for the reply.

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I couldn’t get into the grocery game, but I do use coupons. The grocery game is awesome if you can stay organized, but I’m not and only really go after stuff is spurts, so here’s my lazy way.

I cut out coupons for things we buy or might want to buy (usually 5-20 coupons in a week depending on availability) and stick them in my wallet. After shopping, I look in my wallet for any coupons that match stuff in my basket. That way I never buy anything we wouldn’t have wanted anyway and I save a little here and there. Whenever I have to wait (waiting rooms, pharmacy, etc), I clear out the expired coupons from my wallet.

BUT, it’s definitely not as great as the grocery game’s 40%-80% savings!!!

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