Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
What uncertain times! The mortgage mess has sent many searching for an effective cleanup and we’re experiencing serious gas pains every time we pull up to the pump. Now, even a simple trip to the grocery store has become a major financial undertaking for many!
Though I don’t know how to repair the housing market or lower the cost of a barrel of oil, I can share several ways you can trim dollars off your grocery bill. You don’t have to sit idly while grocery costs skyrocket. Arm yourself with wisdom and give these savings solutions a try. Thankfully, we’ve already noticed a decline in our grocery bill. See if you can save some money too!
- Clip coupons. Check the Sunday newspapers for coupon inserts from RedPlum, Smartsource, and PG Brand Savers (Proctor and Gamble). You can get duplicate coupons by purchasing more than one Sunday newspaper. You can also get coupon inserts from friends and relatives who aren’t using them. My grandfather always has a copy of the Sunday newspaper and gladly gives me all the coupon inserts.
- Print internet coupons. Visit www.smartsource.com and www.redplum.com for more money saving coupons. Both sites require you to download free coupon printing software so that grocery clerks will be able to scan them. I love these coupons as I often find they are for $1.00 or more off the regular price of items. Just be sure to check your supermarket’s internet coupon policy. One of my local supermarkets does not accept internet coupons at all. Another local supermarket will accept them, but only up to $1.00.
- Combine your coupons. I’ve used a combination of newspaper coupons and internet coupons to net big savings at the supermarket. If you time your purchases correctly, you can use these on top of supermarket items already on sale.
- Study the sales circular. Find out what’s on sale and plan your menu around those items. My favorite supermarket’s sales circular saves me some work by making note of corresponding coupons found in newspaper coupon inserts. Another great thing about sales circulars is that many also include additional coupons you can use for more savings.
- Sign up for the supermarket savings program. They go by a variety of names (Super Savers, Price Plus, Advantage Plus, Super Shoppers, etc) but they do the same thing: save you money! When you sign up, you’ll receive a card. Each time you shop, present the card to the cashier and any discounts offered on items you purchased will be taken off. Many savings programs offer free turkeys and hams throughout the year (based on the amount you spend during a certain period of time), mail additional coupons to your home, and even offer discounts for families who purchase lots of baby items.
- Familiarize yourself with your supermarket’s savings policies. Ask the following questions to get the most for your money: Does this store accept competitor’s coupons? Does this store double or triple coupons? Does this store accept internet coupons? What day of the week do sales begin?
- Stock up on items when they are on sale. One of my local supermarkets drops the prices on meat on the “Sell Buy” date. Often times, prices on these meats are significantly reduced because they cannot sell it after this “Sell Buy” date. This is the perfect time to swoop in, scoop up the great deals, and freeze them immediately for later use. I keep my chest freezer well stocked this way.
- Stockpile pantry goods as well. Save money by purchasing goods BEFORE you need them. When something goes on sale, I arm myself with coupons and buy enough to last 3 months or so. You never want to be forced to pay full price for an item just because you need it now. Plan ahead.
- Don’t forget the drugstores. I have found great deals on detergents, hygiene products, and paper toiletries at places such as Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. Check the sales circulars for these stores as well. They often include money saving coupons. I’ve also used manufacturer’s coupons there as well.
- Seek money saving solutions online. Two great places to visit are The Grocery Game and Coupon Mom. Both sites help grocery shoppers keep track of coupons and note when items reach rock bottom prices so you can really save money. The Grocery Game charges a fee for the service, but Coupon Mom does not. I’m currently using Coupon Mom and am LOVING it! Another website I love is The Grocery Guide. When you enter your zip code, you can choose a supermarket in your area and view the store’s sales. It also tells you if coupons are available and lets you know where to find those coupons.
- Cook from “scratch”. Cut your grocery bill by making things yourself. Prepackaged items often are more expensive and less healthy. For me, it’s less expensive to make my own taco seasoning, tomato sauce, salad dressing, and pizza dough than to buy it from the grocery store. In addition to saving money, I find that making things from scratch often means we’re ingesting fewer calories and preservatives.
© 2008 – 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.