Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Saving money on my grocery bill

photo(2) I love to save money. It almost kills me to have to pay full price for anything. Tightwad and Frugal Zealot  are titles I wear with great honor--especially after reading all of the Tightwad Gazette books while I still lived with my parents.
My mom taught me how to bargain shop and get the most for my money and soon turned the grocery shopping for the family over to me. I’m so glad that she did because it prepared me and taught me valuable lessons for when I would take over my own home.
Here are some ways that I have learned to save money on groceries:
Have a plan when you go into the store. Make a list, and stick to it. Only buy something not on your list if it is vital and completely necessary.
Never, ever, ever buy groceries when you are hungry. You will spend so much more than you planned and come out with things you really don’t need.  Especially DO NOT take a hungry husband  grocery shopping with you. I find that I spend more money when I have my husband with me, and it is even worse if he is hungry. ;) Be sure to feed yourself and whoever else is going with you before you leave. This way you can stick to your plan and not have your drooling taste buds and growling stomach controlling you.
As I have touched on before, MENU PLANNING is a great way to help save money on food costs. It makes it easier to make a list, and you can save even more money by planning your menu for the week by checking the sale papers first and making your menu from there.
Be willing to try and buy other brands and off or store brands.  Sometimes even when a national brand of sugar (for example) is on sale, the price may not be as low as the store brand.
  If you have freezer space you can catch meats on sale and freeze them for later. Something that Jacob and I have done quite a bit lately is to buy meat in bigger packages as it is usually cheaper that way, and come home and re-package them into smaller meal portions and freeze them. Also, having a hunter for a husband really helps with the meat bill. Our freezer is full of venison. ;)
My latest adventure into an unknown realm of homemaking and saving money has been coupon clipping and shopping. I’ve always used coupons off and on, but I have only really gotten serious about it in the last several months. Before I’d use them if I thought about it or if I saw one I could use—now I faithfully print coupons (more on where from later) and scour over sale papers and when I remember, buy a Sunday paper. Our Sundays are very busy so I forget most of the time to get one.
There are several websites that your obtain and print coupons from. Most of them require that you install coupon printer software, but it only takes a few minutes. Below are some that I visit frequently.   SmartSource   RedPlum
You can also visit company websites like for more coupons. Usually these coupons offer more of a discount than coupons on the other websites.
There are several websites that offer free coupon toolbars for your web browser. I really like these as it makes it much easier and faster to find coupons for what you use. I have been having so much fun printing coupons and using them. And I have been saving money too so it has been productive fun.`
A great website I like that has lots of awesome couponing tips and resources is Living Rich with Coupons . They have a free coupon toolbar that I really like.
My mom never really used coupons much. She often said that you could often get  into trouble and spend more money by using coupons than not. I didn’t really understand what she meant then, but now I can see what she was saying. I have some people buy something just because they have a coupon for it, and it isn’t something they normally buy, use or need. If something is normally $5, and you have a 50% off coupon for it, but it isn’t something you need or use, that is $2.50 you wasted. An occasional purchase like this here and there won’t hurt, but several at one time definitely add up. What seems like a good deal could be a money trap. Like I said before, make a plan and a list and stick to them.
With this in mind, I have coupon rules for myself. I do not clip/print coupons for items that I do not use.
For cleaning products, I do not have specific brands that I stick with. One month I may buy Brand A because it is on sale and the next month I may buy Brand B because I have coupon that makes it cheaper. Besides, it makes it fun to mix it up, and gives you a chance to find out which ones you really like.
Like I said in the sugar example above, just because you have a coupon for one specific brand, it may not be the best buy. Check prices and make sure you are getting the best deal.
Be sure to check your store’s coupon policy and learn how to make the most of it. If you find an item for less at another store and you bring it to their attention, many stores will sell you the item at the competitor’s price. Some stores will allow you to use a manufacturer’s coupon AND a store coupon on the same item.
I hope these tips will be helpful to you, or remind you of some things you may have forgotten. It can be time-consuming, but to quote the old adage “Time is money.” It is worth it when you can consistently save money and become a better steward of what the Lord has given you.
I’d love to hear some of your tips and ways to save money—please leave a comment and share them;)

No comments:

Post a Comment