I made a quick run to Kroger yesterday to pick up our groceries for the week, and was again reminded of just how important it is to really shop strategically whether I have a bunch of coupons or not. I literally only used two coupons on this trip, but my family's grocery bill for our entire week of meals and snacks was just $56 – here's what I bought:
(note – this particular sale was from 2014 (I know – I miss those prices too!) and is no longer available but the principle behind shopping this way still works!) 🙂
So, if you're a big couponer you're probably not all that impressed with my deals. But, if you're a regular mom who just needs to learn more about how to easily save on your groceries each week, here are five ways to easily save.
(I'm all about easy – aren't you?) 😉
For a quick an easy comparison of staple prices, check out the Ultimate Price List Comparison Sheet. It's pretty eye opening!
1. Find the price per ounce.
I needed a few cans of tomatoes for this Pasta Fagioli recipe, but didn't have any coupons with me. The “sale” price on the Del Monte were $1 per can, while the every day price of the Kroger brand was $.69! My family will never know that I dumped Kroger brand tomatoes instead of Del Monte into Mrs. Potts, but I saved 30% off the “sale price” on the National brand without clipping a coupon.
If the size of the cans is different – just take a look at the sale sticker for a cost/ounce breakdown. (Most supermarkets offer this) The Kroger brand is 4.76¢ vs 6.9¢ for Del Monte brand. Easy winner!
2. Look for in-store sales.
In the shopping example I provided earlier, Kroger was having a huge Private Selection sale where you could try out their “fanc-i-fied” store brands for a sale price, AND an extra $1 Off when you purchase four participating items. I love a fancy roll when making hamburgers or grilled chicken sandwiches at home, and to get them for $.99 (the same as the inexpensive low-end store brand) was an incredible deal so I stocked up.
They also had their whole wheat loaves on sale for $.99 after special savings, so I've stocked my freezer. (did you know you could freeze bread, cheese, milk and more?) This was a huge savings, and didn't require clipping a single coupon!
3. Stock up on produce seasonally along with a sale.
My kids love fresh fruit, so I almost always purchase a bag of apples, some bananas, and at least one other fruit to last us through the week. This week grapes were on sale for $1.69/lb. which is a little more than I like to pay, but I know they'll eat through them, and it's a healthier alternative to other snack foods!
And, just by looking around I noticed that while the Granny Smith Apples were $3.99/3 lb bag, Paula Red Apples were on sale for just $2.49. My kids thankfully like them all, so I bought the Red Apples and saved $1.50, without a coupon in sight.
4. Use a coupon or look for clearance items when you can
If you have just five minutes before shopping, scroll through the deals for your favorite store here on PPP and see if there's a deal or two worth grabbing. I literally spent 3 minutes looking through the Kroger updates, knew that I could get a good price on Turkey Hill Ice Cream and Soft Soap, and saved an extra $5 for about three minutes of effort. I'm thinking that's almost $100 as an hourly rate, and is totally worth it for me!
If you don't yet have your store's app – you should get it! You can use digital coupons to save very easily on items at your store using their app.
5. Menu plan, menu plan, menu plan (& make a thorough list before you shop.)
Odds are every time you set foot in the grocery store for “just one item” you find an extra three (or four or five) items to purchase. By having a menu plan and grocery list in place and really considering what your family needs for the entire week, you'll save a bundle on those little “extra” trips to the store.
Be sure to look over your family's weekly schedule before you head out. If you have snack duty for your child's school, a special get together or anything else that will require extra food, add those items to the list and limit your grocery stops as much as possible.
Before you head out always shop your own kitchen first – I realized I already had all the meat, chicken, and pasta that I would need this week at home, so I saved by using what I'd stocked up on earlier, when those items were at stock up prices!
Your turn now! Do you have any tips on how to really reduce your out of pocket expenses even when you aren't using a ton of coupons? Coupon savings are the most fun for sure, but I'll take spending just $66 on a week's worth of meals whenever I can.
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