It is not really even a word. But to me, it is an everyday vocabulary wonder. A way of being.
First, I am not an extreme couponer. I am above all else lazy. I spend about an hour a week making a grocery list. No clipping required. I used to clip coupons. Doing that, I could save up to 70%. But what I do now is easier. Therefore, doable.
I love to shop. I also love to save. It could be argued that grocery shopping is still “shopping.” I will not fight this. Here, at least, it pays off.
I save at least 50% on my grocery bill every week. Over the last month, my three shopping trips (I skipped the week of Comic Con) have had the following savings: 53%, 55% and 56% respectively. It makes me happy.
You just have to get into the habit and have an open mind.
I have not done a post about this in awhile. Someone told me, my one and only one post about this, before this one, was unbelievably boring (I was so embarrassed, I deleted it). And I probably will not do one again for awhile. But I just wanted to write a post about what works for me at the grocery store. Because this is a part of who I am.:
1. Price. At the grocery store, I try to never buy anything unless it is at least 50% off. There are exceptions to this rule:
Luxury items: such as: specialty sauces.
My kids’ pink lemonade they have to have every week.
Cottage cheese, butter, and sour cream
But I know when I splurge on an above item, I need to save somewhere else to hit my target. It is a balancing act. Just like everything else in life.
I now know exactly what the best price is on an item. So, I know when to buy. If I had $1 for everytime I heard someone say, “it’s just a dollar,” I would have a lot more dollars and/or cereal. It is never just a dollar. All of those “justs” add up. Possibly into a dress. ; )
2. Brands. I am not a brand snob. I have tried them all. Mayo, salad dressing, barbecue sauce, cereal, etc. They are all relatively the same. I grab the best price for whatever I need. And I stock up on sale. Summer is a great time for barbecue sauce. August to September should be good for peanut butter, chips, and cookies (back to school). Winter is the time for baking ingredients and soup.
3. Coupons. I generally do not cut coupons. I grab whatever coupon I see in the store. A few days ago, there was one for two for chips I was all ready buying. So instead of $2 each, my chips became $1.50 each, with the $1 off 2 coupon I grabbed from the shelf.
I use an App called Vons Just 4 U. It has coupons you add to your grocery card. Example: when I went to the store, Raisin Bran was $2 for a box. There was a $1 coupon on the app, making the box $1.
You also earn gas rewards for shopping. The last shopping trip I went on, I earned three gas rewards. Which is equivalent to thirty cents off per gallon of gas I buy.
This is when all of the math you learned in school pays off. Pun intended.
4. Season. Fruit and vegetables have a season. It is cheaper during this time. We buy what is in season, therefore we save money and know we are eating the freshest produce.
5. Clearance. I am not talking about the sad, dinky little cart most stores have in the back. There is never anything good on them. I am talking, look for the red sticker. They are hidden in the aisles.
I got six bags of cheese for free two weeks ago. It was amazing.
My store has a clearance meat section. There are coupons on the meat for 30-50% off that package. If the meat is all ready on sale, this can end up being a great price.
But, my store can be tricky. They will hide the clearance meat with the other meat. Generally, clearance meat expires the day it gets that discount sticker. I use it that day. Or freeze it. I always smell it first.
Last week, I snagged three packages of approximately 1.5 pounds each of 96% ground beef for approximately $3 each.
Buy more of what you “need” at the cheapest price, so you have them when you really need them.
I know we are going to need chips and cookies for school lunches. I have been stocking up. Yea, that’s why I bought 9 packages of Oreos. School lunches.
There is a term called, “living off your stockpile.” I do this now and again. All you need to pick up for the week is fresh produce, milk, and bread. It is so much fun to eat out of the pantry. And the money saving adventure is fantastic.
I have 25 boxes of cereal in my garage right now. I just bought ten more today (I was running low). I spent approximately $1.50 for each box. My son loves to go to the garage and pick out a new box.
Here are some note worthy savings on my recent shopping receipt (the one I saved 56% on):
If this does not float your boat. No worries! I just wanted to give a few tips, in case anyone was interested!
Do you have any grocery tips you want to share?