Note: I have to share that I wrote this in the wee-hours of the morning before my kids got up, and then as I worked on getting my deal posts up for the morning I noticed loads of great deals in the regular store weekly ads! Now, I’m not sure that we’re going to see 95% savings ever come around, but I promise that penny pinching by using coupons is most definitely worth it!!!
Over the last year, we’ve all watched deals at our favorite stores diminish just a bit. The Chex Mix that I used to get paid to buy (using a $.50/1 manufacturer coupon stacked with a store coupon), now costs me about $.75 after using just a $1/2 manufacturer coupon. . . those V8 Splash coupons that were always $1 off 2 bottles have now gone down to just a savings of $1 on 3 bottles, and the value of coupons in general seems to have gone down a bit.
Does that mean I’m going to give up couponing, and forget all this penny pinching? Not for a second! Instead, I’m going to be a little more creative in how I sav e, and still try to get the very best deal I can on every item that I purchase. Here are a few tips:
Choose one store to coupon at, and get every single deal you need while you’re there.
(DID YOU HEAR THAT? I mean it!!!) A few days ago I thoroughly planned out my Publix shopping trip before going. I knew what we needed, took a few extra minutes to print all the coupons that would make for the best savings, and shopped very purposefully without being tempted by things that weren’t on my list. My girls and I flew through Publix in under 20 minutes, saved a whopping 74% on our grocery bill, and purchased items that we’ll definitely use. It did take about 20 minutes to prepare that trip . . . which of course was totally worth my $60 in savings! Shop with a plan in place, find all the information you can about every single deal at the best store to coupon at in your area, and be purposeful in your shopping trip while staying away from items not on your list.
Our family eats a lot of fresh produce, so if I can find a discount on that, I will significantly lower our budget without even clipping a coupon. (This week I’ll be swinging by Aldi’s for some $.88/lb. grapes!)
Re-think how to do things that might make for realistic savings on everyday expenses.
There are so many ways to cut back on non-food purchases in your home that can really make a difference in your grocery budget. Do you need need to use a paper towel for that spill? Probably not . . . instead grab a re-usable rag. Do our kids have to have pre-packaged snacks? Nope . . . divide larger bag snacks and re-use plastic containers when you’re out and about. There are tons of ways to save out there, you may just need to think outside the box. (See more ideas HERE and HERE.)
Know your prices.
I can’t tell you how much I save on items simply because I have a pretty good idea of what’s a good price and what’s not. If I see a great deal on something that I know we’ll use (and it beats my stock-price), I grab it and know I’m getting a deal! You can check out my stock-up price list over HERE.
Be wise by shopping for certain things online.
I can’t get every fantastic grocery deal in the world out there these days. . . they just aren’t as plentiful as they once were. But, if I continue to shop wisely in every aspect of my life, I can save in other areas too! Always check the prices on Amazon before you purchase elsewhere (I purchased an item there yesterday for $6 that would normally cost me $10!) If you can find good deals online, use them because any time you step into a store you’ll be tempted to purchase more than what you need to. I purchased all of the gifts that I needed for Father’s Day online, and saved myself hauling three kids around town, gas, and the temptation to over purchase. My shopping trip took me fifteen minutes on the computer instead of a few hours heading into town!
Don’t give up.
Are you going to save 99% on your grocery bill? Probably not. Can you still save 50-70%? ABSOLUTELY!!! I promise, if I can save at the grocery store, you can too. If you have questions, ask! Send me an email at contact @ passionate penny pincher.com (leave out spaces), or ask on our Facebook page. While grocery savings may be down a bit from the last few years, there are still tons of savings to be had, and you can save on our grocery budget every single day.
Have you seen a significant decline in your savings over the last year, or can you tell a difference in the coupons that we receive? What tips do you have for saving on your grocery budget? Take a minute to share your thoughts in the comments section!