Stacking Coupons, Menu Advice and Grocery Store Tips
Busy moms need hobbies like everyone else, and mine has quickly become saving massive amounts of money on my family’s groceries. I now feel so passionate about saving money on groceries that I want to tell everyone the tricks.
I have to say that I had read about saving money on groceries a lot and rolled my eyes every time. Finally, when I saw real results, real savings, it became a passion of mine to continue the journey and to learn all I can learn about saving money on groceries.
Since applying tips others gave me about saving money on groceries and learning the ropes, I have saved an obscene amount of money. I had no idea it was even possible without starving my family or feeding them crap. Saving money on groceries is not only possible, it is fun, easy and NOT terribly time consuming.
I would be rich if I had a dime for every time some one saw my big bin of coupons and told me that they didn’t have time for coupons. I save more an hour saving money on groceries than I make at my job.
While I would love to give you every detail on saving money on groceries, I do not want you to feel overwhelmed. I waited so long to start saving money on groceries because I felt like it was too hard when I read too many details. It felt too much like work!
My plan is to give you a few basics to get you started on saving money on groceries. If you just take these tips and apply them to your grocery shopping habits, you will see your grocery bill shrink.
I know this sounds like an infomercial, but I can’t stress enough how much saving money on groceries has changed our family’s overall budget. When I have money left over time and time again, but still see more food in my pantry than ever before, I know that this is working for my family. Saving money on groceries has been the answer to having more money left over every month.
Stay tuned for other articles that I will write giving more details to specific tips on saving money on groceries. Here is a few tips to get you started.
Use coupons. Sounds easy right? You didn’t need an article to tell you that if you have a paper coupon taking money off your bill, you will save money right? The problem with coupons so much of the time is you are not saving money on groceries using them. This is why.
You get your coupons, cut them out, sort them and head to the store. When you arrive, completely determined to save money, you hunt for the items on your coupons and buy those items, therefore, saving money on groceries. But you spent more than usual.
The problem is that most of the time, we would not have bought those items at all without coupons. The best example of this happened to me just a few months ago when I started saving money on groceries. I scoured the shelves for granola bars that would save me $1.00. I found the right ones and was thrilled to find that they were also on sale, so I actually saved $1.50.
I bought 4 boxes of them and felt like I was saving money on groceries like I had planned. It was not until I was really saving money on groceries weeks later, that I realized I spent more money on things we never used to buy trying to save money on groceries. Crazy right?? It might sound obvious but it really is not.
Coupons should take money off the things you usually buy or off things you will fit into your menu. We now eat a lot of things we hadn’t bought now that I am saving money on groceries because i get the items for free or almost free.
I promise you that as time consuming as it sounds, it really is not. The total hour or so extra that you might spend saving money on groceries each week will feel like nothing when you save $100 along the way. I am not exaggerating when I say that I buy 5-20 items every week at the grocery store for .30 or less on things we always eat. It is so unfortunate that people do not know how easy it is to start saving money on groceries.
Another way to start saving money on groceries, is to buy more than one item when it ends up very cheap. I shopped with my best friend last week who is just getting started saving money on groceries. I would hand her coupons to buy something that normally costs $2.00, making the item .40 and she would buy one. Unless storage is a problem, buy more than one of a item if it is a great deal.
You may need to buy more than one newspaper when you start saving money on groceries but you will get your buck or buck fifty right back with savings. You also should spread the word that you are saving money on groceries with coupons, and most of your friends and family will easily hand over their extras or all of their coupons. Collect them and keep them, checking the ad every week so you continue saving money on groceries.
You will throw out many coupons when they expire. Do not use coupons that don’t make an item very cheap, or that do not save you a lot on things you always buy. This ensures you are saving money on groceries and not losing money with coupons.
The greatest lesson about saving money on groceries is to plan your menus based on what you have in your pantry. Stop planning meals based on what you are used to eating. If you have 12 boxes of pasta that you got free last week, plan at least 2 meals the next week with pasta in them.
The difference between saving money on groceries and not saving money on groceries can be as simple as doing the opposite. If you plan a menu and then go shopping for the ingredients, you are forced to buy stuff whether it is a good deal or not.
You are not saving money on groceries at all. You might have a pantry full of cheap items but they are not being eaten so you are not saving money on groceries!
If you stock up on spaghetti sauce in one week because it was very cheap, you might feel like you are not saving money on groceries because you just spent $6.00 on spaghetti sauce when you usually spend $2.00 on it.
The key is that you won’t be buying several other things because you have already stocked up on those when they were mega cheap. There will always be items you have to buy and some that you will buy at full price (GASP). Keep those items to a minimum and only buy them when you are out or almost out. You might find a deal the very next week saving money on that item. Saving money on groceries is about when to buy your items as much as it is about what to buy.
The last tip on saving money on groceries that I will leave you with is to combine manufacturer coupons with store coupons. This sounded very hard to me and made my brain hurt but now I find it simple and easy. Simply look on the websites and in fliers of the stores where you shop. Cut or print out their store coupons if you have a manufacturer one as well.
When you go to that store, you stack the store coupon with the manufacturer’s coupon saving you more money on that item. Target, CVS, and Kroger are just a few stores that put out store coupons saving you more money on groceries.
A couple of months ago, Target had a store coupon for $1 off Kraft cheese on their website so I stacked it with my manufacturer’s coupon for .75 off Kraft cheese. I got the cheese for .25 a bag. See how that works? Anytime you see a store coupon for something you use or could use in a menu, cut it and try and find a manufacturer coupon that matches. You will almost always save a lot of money on that item.
OK, I hope you feel inspired about saving money on groceries! I hope that you take these tips, apply them and then feel so productive when your spouse gets excited over your savings. There are so many more elements to saving money on groceries. Look for my other articles coming soon on saving money on groceries. Good luck and happy savings!!