I’m sad to say that I missed my $35 budget by 16 cents. 😦 Paige wanted something to share with one of the kids in school and since she was a trooper at the store I let her pick something out. I told her we could get it if we were under budget but then about 15 people got in line behind us and for some reason some people get cranky when you use coupons. I don’t know why they do- it’s not like I’m asking them to buy my groceries! So I let her just put in on the belt with everything else.
I couldn’t believe that I was that close! I picked up
3 pounds ground beef
3 Tombstone pizzas
a Kashi frozen dinner
2 bags of Chocolate Chex
3 boxes of Green Giant Frozen Veggies
2 cans of Progresso Soup
1 package of Kraft American Cheese (16 slices)
1 bag of potatoes
2 bags of apples
1 bag of banana
1 bunch of kale
1 pound of butter
2 3-packs of Scotch Bright Sponges
1 box of Barbie Bandaids
Plus a $2 off my next purchase coupon and a Redbox code.
From my pantry and freezer I was able to use up whole wheat hamburger buns and 3 partial bags of french fries for tonight’s burgers and fries. Yummy! I know we had chicken pot pies on the menu but I really wanted a burger. With ground beef being $2.09 a pound I thought we could splurge a little.
I’ve been asked several times about how I coupon. There are many many sites out there to teach you how to coupon. I started off at the Grocery Game and then after about 6 months I figured out how to do it on my own. If you have the money, the Grocery Game is a great way to get started couponing. It’s a wonderful service that does all of the hard work for you. If you have the time, you can search the web and find out how to coupon.
Here are some of my tips:
1. Create a coupon binder.
I clip my coupons and put them into plastic baseball card holders. It keeps them organized and easy to find while shopping.
2. Shop AFTER you’ve got the ad AND this week’s Sunday coupons.
Nothing is worse than buying something and finding a coupon for it on Sunday. It pays saves to wait.
3. Plan your menu around the ad.
If chicken is on sale, then by all means live it up. But if chicken is $4 a pound and pork is $2 make some porkchops! Or dig out of your freezer like I do.
4. Remember that the ads cycle just about every 6 weeks.
Just because it’s not on sale today doesn’t mean it won’t be soon. Hold on to that coupon unless it’s an emergency and you need something.
5. Stop being brand loyal.
If you can’t, stock up when your brand is on sale!
I have about 3 different brands of toothpaste that I got for less than $1 each. My family isn’t picky. If you can’t, stock up when your brand is on sale!
6. If you aren’t going to use it, don’t buy it.
Just because it’s a great deal doesn’t mean you have to have it. Be picky. If you just can’t pass up a sale, get it and donate it. Just about every city has a food pantry and they would love to have your extras.
7. You don’t have to buy generics unless you want to.
Name brands know that you want to buy their brand but won’t because the house brand is cheaper. That is why they make coupons! I haven’t bought generics in about 2 years. I haven’t had to because I get brand names cheaper.
8. Buy produce in season.
When I was pregnant with Paige all I wanted were strawberries. They couldn’t be frozen. This was the middle of winter and let me tell you the strawberries were HORRIBLE! Buy what’s in season not just for the best price but for the best quality and taste.
9. Remember- convenience items are not a sin.
I was doing awesome making just about everything from scratch awhile back. Then I got pregnant. When my energy went out the window so did my healthy dinners. We ended up spending a ton of money on fast food. Not cool. I could have just sucked it up and bought a frozen pizza for bad cooking days. On a regular basis I make more of my meals from scratch but some days it just doesn’t happen. I’m okay with some back up in my freezer. It’s not an every day or an every week thing but it’s definitely a better and cheaper back up than a Happy Meal.
10. Don’t over spend. Know your budget.
Just because you have a lot of coupons to use doesn’t give you an excuse to overspend. I did this when I first started couponing. I wanted everything. I spent well over my budget trying to get my stockpile in order. This is okay if it fits into your budget. This is not okay when you bring home 3 jars of pasta sauce and fish sticks and have to go back and spend more money to make dinner. Plan it out. Don’t spend what you don’t have.
So what are your best tips for saving green at the grocery store?