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How I Just Saved 77% on my Groceries!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How I Just Saved 77% on my Groceries!

creative grocery savingsMy friend Britteny taught me how to use coupons to save on my grocery bill. I've told a few friends how much I am saving and everyone wants to know how. So, I decided to write a blog post and share with everyone as I consider all of you my friends.
First off, I want to clear the air that I am not like the ladies you see on the "Extreme Couponing Show." I often buy 3-10 items of the same thing, but never buy 100 of the same items. I also don't steal newspapers out of my friends driveways, nor do I raid the recycling bins. If an items is sold out, I choose not to get a rain check, I just skip it. But, here is my normal routine of how I usually save more than 50% on my grocery bills. Yesterday I saved 77%!
I started couponing about 6 months ago. A couple of years ago, my husband was laid off of his job and the new job is a drastic pay cut. I've been searching for ways to save more money as we have 5 kids, and 2 homes.

Let's get started:
1. Start off by collecting coupons. Every Sunday I buy 1 newspaper with coupons in it. I have friends that buy multiples, but 1 paper at $2 is enough for me. I spend Sunday afternoon cutting up coupons and putting them in baseball card holders. Then I put these cards in a 3 ring binder in categories. My categories are frozen, fresh foods, snacks, canned goods, baked goods, dairy, makeup, personal care items, and medications.

2. I try to only buy items that are on sale and if possible buy multiples items and stock up. Because I have kind of done this my entire life, I am good at rotating items so that they don't expire. There are many websites that check sales every week and input the best deals on their websites. For grocery shopping here are my favorites:



  • Coupon Mom - a free site, but you do have to sign up and log in to see the local deals for your state and the national stores such as Walmart and Target.


  • Totally Target - as the name implies, this website focuses on the best way to save money at Target. Did you know that you can use a Target coupon and a manufacturer coupons for extra savings?


Both of these websites will tell you what coupons to use with the items on sale. Often, they will connect you to other coupons you can print off the web from other websites such as Coupons.com and others.


3. Many local grocery stores allow you to load digital coupons onto your shopper value card. My local stores are Kroger and Safeway and they both do this. Once a week, I log in to these stores websites and load the digital coupons onto my shopper value card. Then I print out a list of what coupons I have loaded onto my card, to plan my shopping list. Most of the time, you can use a digital coupon loaded onto your card with a manufacturer's coupon from your newspaper or from websites that print our manufacturer's coupons. However, if does seem that my local Kroger has changed their policy lately, only allowing 1 coupon per item.



4. On Wednesdays, Kroger and Safeway come out with the sales for the week, I log into Coupon Mom, and see the best deals. Then I plan my shopping trip and pull out the applicable coupons. Both of these stores in my area double manufacturers coupons up to $1. So, if I have a coupon for $.30 off, it would double to $.60., a coupon for $.50 off, it would actually be $1 off. But, if the coupon is for $.75 off, it would also be $1 off. Any manufacturers coupons over $1 are the value on the coupon.


5. I take my coupon binder with me to the store as sometimes I can find closeout items and unadvertised deals in the store. A coupon could make the item free.



6. Many friends have asked if I'm really saving money by buying name brand products, vs. generic brands. Well, it really depends on the sale. But, I am getting toothpaste for $.50 or free, free pasta, name brand inexpensive deodorant etc.



7. There are many places to find coupons. My local stores mail me coupons and often give me free items like a bag of chips. All You Magazine often has many pages of coupons in it. If you like a certain product, they generally have a website and may have a coupon there.



8. By accident, I learned that Ebay has grocery coupons you can purchase. I normally don't buy them. But, I did win an auction for 4 Home Depot coupons. I paid $7 including shipping and got 4 - 20% off coupons. One of the coupons saved me $400 when I just bought a new refrigerator. For big ticket items, it's worth a look!


In this economy, I've had to get creative on finding ways to save money on my groceries. If you have any other tips, please share them with us!

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