Seven Steps to Save More at the Grocery Storeby Katie Adauto
We all like saving money, especially at the grocery store, and coupons are a great way to get discounts. But when you first start out in the coupon world, it can seem a little overwhelming.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to save when you go grocery shopping. Here are the steps in my weekly process:
1. Have a coupon system.
You need to have a way to organize your coupons so you can easily access them. Everyone has a different style so you just have to go with what works best for you. For those of you just starting out, a simple coupon organizer might work. For those of you who are really organized, you might enjoy a coupon binder. But please, do not throw away your coupon inserts. Date them and have a place to keep them. (We will talk more about the inserts later)
2. Always be on the lookout for coupons you could use.
Each day our coupons page is updated with the latest coupons. Some of these coupons have a "print limit," meaning when 2000 coupons are printed it is gone. So, if you have a few minutes each day to visit and print out ones you might use, it is really worth it. Also, contact companies and ask them for coupons. Here is how to do that: Visit their website and find their e-mail address, then send them an e-mail letting them know how much you love their products. Finally, ask if they could possibly send you some coupons. Make sure to include your mailing address. Coupons are everywhere, if you just keep your eyes open for them.
3. Make a list!
If you know what you are shopping for, then you can look for coupons. Each week I make a dinner list and I look through my fridge and pantry to see what I have and what I might already be able to make a meal out of. If I find an ingredient, it might spark an entire meal and then I just buy a few things to go along with it. By knowing what my meals are for the entire week, I save money by not just buying random items.
4. Decide what store to shop at.
You might live in a town where there is no choice, but if you have several stores that you are willing to shop at, here is what you need to do. Visit our Grocery Store Match Up page at Momsfunmoney.com. Click on the various stores you're interested in and see what the deals are to decide which store will save you the most money. Also, by looking at the deals for each store you might find some items on sale that could then be a dinner for the week. If fish is on sale then by all means have fish for dinner one week. If you do not check the deals you will not know it is on sale and thus could be making more expensive dinners. **If your store is not listed on our page send me an e-mail and I will try to add it**
5. Gather up your coupons.
Time to get your coupons together! You have your list, you know what store you are going to shop at, and now that you know what you need to purchase, visit our coupon page to see what coupons you might be able to use.
Check your coupon inserts for coupons. If your grocery store has a website with store coupons, add them to your reward card. There are so many ways to get coupons and I promise, once you get the hang of this, it will not take you that long.
**Here is where keeping your coupon inserts comes into play** Many times there are coupons for items that normally I would not think of purchasing or clipping the coupon for. But, what if the store has a really great deal and you have a coupon? You could purchase this item and save a lot. If I had just clipped the coupons that seemed to be of interest to me at the time and then threw away the insert I would be angry at myself! So, be open to this and have those coupon inserts ready to clip from :)
6. Make a plan of attack.
If you know your store well, organize your coupons in the order of the aisles. That way when you are at the store you will make sure to use all the coupons you have chosen. I have an envelope where I put all the coupons I am planning on using. I have it in my hand and then the list on top of it.
7. Look for discounted items while shopping.
Some stores are better than others in displaying their marked down items. Get to know where these items are in your store because you could save a ton! I have also noticed that going shopping in the morning is great for getting these discounts. Again, each store may vary.
A few weeks ago I went shopping and went to the discounted deli section. It is a small spot but I know where it is :) They had boxes of Hillshire chicken marked down to $.99. I could not believe my eyes when I noticed that each box had a peel off coupon for $.55 off. My store doubles coupons so guess what? I was paid one cent to take these boxes off their hands! Yesterday, they had shredded turkey discounted. I bought 2 packages and have them in the freezer. They will help to make an inexpensive dinner in the future.
Visit Katie at Momsfunmoney.com for more money saving tips, and if you have other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below!