How to Save Thousands at the Grocery Store Without Turning Into the Crazy Coupon Lady
I love a bargain at the grocery store. And with groceries making up one of the biggest expenses in many families, I’m all for learning new ways to save money on food. The problem I have with most of the Coupon Gurus is that their systems require unrealistic amounts of time to implement.
Sure, I want a bargain, but I’m not going to sacrifice my time to make it a part-time job. My goal in saving money on groceries is to have it to spend on something else I enjoy. If I’m too busy working my coupon system to enjoy my life I’ve defeated the purpose. Here are my tips for saving money without turning into the Crazy Coupon Lady.
Clipping Coupons the Easy Way
Not everybody likes to clip coupons. I don’t blame them. I sort of get a kick out of scoring the deal so I make looking at the coupons a part of my Sunday reading the paper ritual. The rules for clipping coupons are simple. I only clip coupons if:
· I already buy the product.
· I want to try the product.
· The deal is too good to pass up.
It’s important to have a few rules for yourself. Otherwise, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the coupons and give up. I only know this because it’s happened to me so many times. Also, I tend to buy a lot of store brands (generics) so I need to make sure the deal I’m getting with the coupon is better than the price of the off brand. A lot of times it’s not.
I keep my coupons in a small accordion style holder that I have labeled with the main categories of items.
Consolidate Your Coupon Shopping
I have a Walgreen’s close by so I try to always check their flyer and pick up any deals they are running. A lot of times when something is on special at Walgreen’s, there will also be a manufacturer’s coupon in the Sunday paper. And the coolest thing is you can double up. I’ve been getting a lot of Progresso soups and Blue Diamond almonds there lately. Then of course there are the drugstore basics like toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Proctor and Gamble coupons are a good thing to check out for these items.
As for the rest of my coupons, I typically only use them about once a month. I spend them all at once at a store that offers double coupons up to $.50, which is not where I usually shop. I go through the store from one end to another and spend as many coupons out of my book as possible. I know this isn’t the way to get the very best deals, but I find it’s a lot easier than going through the whole mess trying to match coupons to what’s on my list each week. I end up with a random cart full of food and other stuff, but I save a lot of money on it.
Buying Discounted Meat
I can’t stress enough the impact that buying discounted meat will have on your overall grocery bill. Find out what times or days your regular store marks down meat. Make it a habit to pick up discounted meat whenever you can.
The thing about using coupons and buying discounted meat is that sometimes you need to spend a little to save a lot. You can’t take advantage of that great deal on ten pounds of steak if you don’t have a little extra put back for just such an opportunity!
So there you have it, my simple ways to save thousands without turning (too much) into that Crazy Coupon Lady!