Monday, November 4, 2013

Couponing 102

This month I made it a goal to only go grocery shopping once for the whole month. I know I will need to go at least 1 more time for milk, but that should be about it. My goal budget.... $150. That is for 2 adults and 2 small children.

Honestly we expected to be actually spend between $175 to $200.

I went to Smith's first. I had some coupons hat Smiths sent me that are only good there. After my coupons and my savings card, I saved about $15. I spent $67

I was nervous that I might go over the $83 I had left at Wal-Mart. By the time I was done shopping I new I was under. I thought about getting more food just to make sure, but figured I will stick to my list and the other items I've added and see how long they last! I saved $13 with coupons there.
My total at Walmart- $69

My total for 1 month worth of food and 1 month supply of diapers for my 2-year-old.... $136

I read this post on a moth worth of freezer meals and really enjoyed it.

HOW did I do it? I have no big secrets. I'm frugal. I buy the cheapest brand of the items I need. Sometimes it is the knockoff, or store name brands. Other times the name brands are on sale for cheaper then the knockoff ones. I always make sure I'm getting the cheapest one.

Step 1: Planned all the meals I wanted to cook for the month. Between my husband and I, we are kinda (extremely) picky eaters. He doesn't eat veggies. I don't eat fish. We like simple foods.

Step 2: Evaluate what ingredients you already have and what you need to buy. I does help that we have quiet a bit in our storage room, so I didn't have to buy 100% of the ingredients that I needed. I wanted to make sure I didn't count the same item twice for different recipes and end up short. So I took a sharpie with me and marked each item so I knew it was assigned to a recipe already!

90%  if not more of what I make is from scratch. I did have a coupon for .60 cents off a frozen pizza at Smiths, being a busy working mom I know that one night it would come in handy!

When you go shopping:
Usually buying in bulk or getting a bigger container saves you a little one. Not always though. One time I needed 16 oz. of cool whip. The Kroger (Smiths) brand was cheapest. My husband grabbed the 16 oz. container when I said, "Whoo, put it back!" Turns out getting 2- 8 oz. containers would be cheaper then the 1 16 oz. container! So I always make sure I am getting the cheapest option available.

I read this article the other day (I can't find it now, it was on Pinterest) and thought, Wow, that's great for stockpiling, but you aren't really saving money. If I don't need much a certain week, I will buy more of certain items that we use and have long "shelf lives", like pasta and cereal. Last week I got 16 boxes of cereal for $1.25 each (at Walgreens and Smiths, thanks to GrocerySmarts, and Walgreens printed off more coupons for me when I purchased my first set of 4 boxes of cereal)! Plus Smiths just sent me a coupon for a FREE box of cereal there.

I know someone who once told me, "Well, I can't do couponing. And I don't see the big deal of buying name brand vs. knockoff." A little bit of savings, goes a loooong ways! Today at WalMart I have name brand item at $1, okay not bad. Knockoff was .75 cents. Times that by getting 4 of them and you are saving $1. I only needed a few mixes of Cornbread, but I found they were $1 each... or I could get a pack of 6 for $3! Why not spend $1 extra to get 4 more packs.

Articles and more tips:
Frugal Gal

Like I said in my first post, I use for a lot of things.

I recently found this blog and LOVE it. I was about to get Lindt Chocolates for only .29 cents at WalMart, then I read on her blog that they would be going on sale at Walgreens a few days later and they would be FREE! As much as I love grocery smarts, I love that her blogs gives me a heads up on future sales! Plus her blog has more then just groceries and coupons! She features samples of products and killer online sales and deals!

How to save money without couponing

How to Save on Food

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