My grocery savings had gotten away from me. However, this weekend, I was a saving machine once again.
I am back…
So what happened that hindered my savings? Life! High School Baseball, middle school soccer, middle school baseball, travel soccer, end of school events, banquets, etc. I am exhausted just thinking about it.
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But now, life is back to normal. It is better than normal now that I think about it. It is fantastic to eat a grilled dinner outside in the breeze. What makes it even better, is eating an inexpensive meal outside in the breeze.
I went grocery shopping on Sunday and I was in heaven. So much produce was on sale. I just love summer. Plus, since life had settled down somewhat, I was able to remove expired coupons and get all my new coupons back in order. Savings were occurring left and right; up and down every aisle.
Reference the photo of my receipt. It shows I saved $95.71, which actually was $97.71 because I also received a $2 off coupon for my next visit. I did not meet my goal of saving 50 percent, but I still did pretty well. (I ended up spending $132.) The reason I didn’t meet my goal was I had to buy some food for Father’s Day dinner that was not on sale- I couldn’t deprive my husband his meal, and also I had to buy some detergent/toiletries that I can never get down to half price. However, I won’t need more Tide for a month, or Cascade, or a lot of other things. My stockpile is coming back to life! Not to mention I need a lot of food to feed 3 kids that are home all day now.
For those that have been reading for awhile, you know I love to purchase items when I have a coupon for that item and it is also on sale. I try to buy as many of an item that will last me until the next time it is on sale. In essense, I never want to pay full price for anything, ever. Another tip I would like to introduce is to be creative with your meal planning. Integrate in-season produce and sales items into your menu. Have a purpose for those sales items, don’t just buy them because they are cheap. For instance, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries were on super-sale this week. Buy a bunch of berries and make a nice berry-salad as a side dish for dinner. Berries are incredibly healthy, and they are usually only in season a short period of time. Liven up tired-old breakfast with some yogurt covered with berries, or add some berries to your plain Cheerios. Not only is it inexpensive, but it adds variety to your menu. Another thing I like to do is freeze inexpensive strawberries (just wash, cut off the caps, drain, layer them on a cookie sheet till frozen, then place in a bag) and use them in smoothies. It is a lot cheaper to make your own frozen strawberries than to buy them in the winter at the store.
I know that for many people, it can be difficult to find time to dig through coupons and look through circulars. Heck, I enjoy it and I got out of the habit for a month or so. However, for those that have the time and patience, it can be one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to save money. I actually enjoy grocery shopping when I know I am getting healthy items at a low price. Plus, when you are planning meals ahead of time, you are more likely to eat at home, which is always good.
I will leave you with some tips for managing and shopping with your coupons.
- Find a way to organize your coupons that works for you. I have mine categorized by groups such as ‘frozen foods’, ‘breakfast items’, ‘canned goods’, etc. Some people use a big binder to store their coupons. I just use a coupon holder that folds and fits in my purse.
- Each week, try to remove expired coupons and file new ones. The more you look at your coupons, the more you know what you have. Then, when you see the sales circulars, you will easily recognize what will be a really good deal if you know you have coupons for certain items.
- Make a list of what you need each week based on sales/coupons, along with what you really need that unfortunately is not on sale. Still carry your coupon holder with you because you never know what will be on secret sale. If you have multiple coupons for an item and it is being sold at a great price, buy as many as you have coupons for.
- Collect your expired coupons and those from your friends and send them to military families overseas. Military bases can use coupons for 6 months past the expiration date, and what an easy way to help those that protect our country! The best way to send these coupons is to use a USPS priority rate envelope and cram in as many coupons as you can. (Shipping cost is $4.95, regardless of weight.) For more information, visit the Overseas Coupon Program website.
I hope you now feel even a little motivated to work toward saving on your grocery budget. It really is not that hard to do once you get the hang of it.