#1 Use Coupons Effectively
• Clip anything you think you might use. You never know if it will go on sale, and you can get it for free or almost free.
• Be thorough and specific in your coupon categories.
In my first coupon container are: Beverages, Breakfast, Canned Foods, Desserts/Snacks, Grocery, Sauces/Dressings, Refrigerated, Frozen, Rainchecks.
In the second are: Make-up, Soap/Deoderant, Hair, Shaving/Feminine, Cleaners, Laundry, Paper/Plastic Products, Drugs, Teeth, Batteries, Lotion
• Use a service, like www.thegrocerygame.com or www.couponmom.com to help determine when to use the coupons. These websites track the store sales to help you make the most of coupon/sale combinations. They are a HUGE time-saver!
If you don’t want to use these websites, you can make a “price journal” tracking the sales of the products you use, so you can tell if a sale is “rock bottom”
• Get rainchecks!! You may want it now, but you’ll proabably want it later, too, and you may as well get the sale price!
• Stockpile when things are on sale. Chicken broth is $.30 a can, and you have 5 coupons. You don’t need 5 cans of broth this week, but you will someday. Better to get them now for $.30 ea, than later for $1.50 ea.
• Plan meals according to what is on sale. Try to get only a few items at full price… if you absolutely have to!
#2 Get the grocery money out in cash, or track it very well.
• When I get my grocery money out in cash, I am less likely to over spend. I can even add up exactly how much I will spend from my Grocery Game list
#3 Buy meat in bulk from local farmers
• We get a cow every year from farmers we know, and split it with several families. It lasts us for a year, and costs way less! Call Cole’s Meat Processing in Vilas if you don’t know a farmer and they will set you up with one.
• You can also call the meat processing plant during deer season, and they will see if there are hunters with too much, that want to give it away. You would just pay the processing price.
#4 Get to know your grocers!
• I know the people at Harris Teeter, or at least they recognize me, since I come in each week. Sometimes they even run and hide. But the seafood guy always tells me when there is a sale coming. The meat clerk will go in the back to see if there are any more $.39/lb chickens, and the manager’s wife makes sure she emails me when there are triple coupons! The cashiers who aren’t busy will talk to my three year old while I pay. Plus, they’re really cool people!
Other savings websites
www.becentsable.net (ps. I did the graphic design for them)
Some Money Saving Websites, hat tip to @lylahl on Twitter!