We are starting to round the home stretch here in the 28 Day No Spending Challenge. Today is day 19.
Today we are going to learn more about Extreme Couponing…well I don’t take it to the extreme but it has helped us save some money and fill our pantry. So…just how to shop smarter I guess!
Here are my tips for cutting your grocery bill.
- Make a meal plan. It’s a no brainer, but so many people I know don’t think about what they want to make…they just buy random ingredients because they are “on sale” or sound good. Plan your meals for the week. and shop your pantry before leaving your house. True story: we have at least 3 containers of ground nutmeg in our pantry. Why? Because I needed it for a recipe and I did not check to see if we had it already. Those little babies are around $4 a pop here…
- Check out your store’s circular before heading out to the store. This way, you will be able to see what’s on sale before you get there. Then you can start looking for coupons for those items. every item has a sale cycle. Every 6-8 weeks most items hit their lowest price in the store. Meaning that if you can use a coupon for those items…you will save the most possible. Check out Southern Savers for your one stop shop for all things store ads, and coupons! Love this site!! Also with apps like Flipp, an app that houses all of your favorite store’s weekly ads all in one electronic place; and Cartwheel from Target you are sure to be well armed with knowledge and extra savings!
- Build a little stockpile. Now I am not talking the bunkers of the Extreme Couponer’s proportions…just what fits your needs and your space. I tend to load up on pasta and sauce, and frozen veggies when they go on sale and I hit ’em with a coupon. Buying enough to last through the sale cycle means you spend less in the long run. I finally used the last jar of sauce that I bought during the Holmberg Freezer Fill Up, last night.
- Shop Local. Shopping local means fresher produce, that lasts longer. And that means you get more bang for your buck. Local farmers are also often organic farmers…an even bigger win for you and your family. If you are lucky enough to live someplace warm where there are Farmer’s Markets year round…then hit them first before you head out to your local supermarket.
- Be wary of the “Buy One Get One” fales. I call them fales because they are fake sales. Often times stores will offer a BOGO sale on items like meat…but then jack up the price on the meat to more than double. So they make more money and you actually spend more money.
Now this one last tip takes a bit to get rolling; however…if you are a one income household, and have kids then I really suggest checking with your local WIC (Women Infants and Children), or WAC (Women And Children) office to see if you qualify for assistance. Here in MN WIC pays for up to 5 gallons of milk, 2 lbs of cheese, bread, eggs, cereal, juice, beans, and $10 of produce a month. Plus tuna if you are a nursing Mom. On average that’s about $75 of food per month. And when your baby turns 6 months old you also get an infant package with baby food. For more information on WIC click here.
I know this might spark some controversy, but I feel that if you are a tax paying citizen and don’t make enough to feed yourself and your family good, healthy foods…then by all means use the organizations put in place for just this problem. There are families all across America that struggle to feed their families something other than the McDollar menu. I am just a big proponent of full bellies for Moms and kids. And fast food is not awesome food. I get that you gotta do what you gotta do as a Mom. And if that is what you have to do to ensure a full belly for your kids at night, then I applaud you for ensuring that your babies are fed. But I just encourage you to check out some local organizations to help you make better food choices and help you be healthier and happier.
Stepping off my soap box now…