Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saving Smart! Series: Day Five

A perfect savings post for a Sunday morning wouldn't be complete without mention of grocery coupons! Groceries are a large expense for all families, especially with so many prices on the rise today.

Grocery shopping is an area where everyone can cut prices somewhat. How much you are able to cut depends on the time & energy you want to put into it. I spent about an hour last week going through my coupons and getting ready to go to the store. I saved $20 with my coupons that day, thus making $20/hour. Not a bad hourly wage! That's pretty good, and that wasn't even a good week for me! :)

Here are my top tips for saving at the grocery store:

Know your prices!! You can't save money if you don't know what good prices are to begin with.

Shop the sales. Stock up when items are at their very lowest prices.

Purchase an extra freezer (it's worth the price!) for storing meat, bread, milk, leftovers, extra meals, etc.

Buy generic when you can. We have even used generic diapers for six years with no problems! That's three kids combined - I don't have a six-year-old in diapers! :)

Use coupons! Use them wisely. If you really won't use a product, don't purchase it simply because you have a coupon for it (unless it's a super deal & you are planning to donate it!).
I highly recommend using The Grocery Game to save money on groceries. It is an online site that will do the work for you. It takes the sale ads in your town and combines them with your coupons. It then tells you when items are at their very best price. It is $10 for eight weeks for one store (all states are represented), and you will more than make up the $10 you spend for the service!! I have used The Grocery Game for over a year and it has saved me a lot of money. You can try it for only $1 for one month. If you decide to use it, please use my email address ( as the referring friend (I simply get extra weeks if you do.)

Shop the loss leaders. If you go into a store just to purchase the ground beef and applesauce that are both at rock-bottom prices, stick to just those items!

Shop with a list and don't shop hungry.

Try to shop without your husband or kids if possible; extra people will want extra items if you take them with you!

Use Angel Food Ministries. Angel Food Ministries provides groceries at low cost to families who can use the help. It is not a handout; it is not food stamps, and you don't need to be poor to qualify. Everyone needs help from time to time when money is tight or it is a bad month. You purchase a box of groceries from them for $30. Once you buy a basic box, you can purchase additional boxes of a variety of things (meats, desserts, etc.). Their quality of food is very good, and they have locations all throughout the US.

What is your best money-saving tip for buying groceries? Some people recommend doing once-a-month-cooking, cooking with a friend, or meal swapping. I'd love to hear your ideas!

~~~~~This is Part Five of my Saving Smart! series. Be sure to stop in each day from October 1st through October 10th for more money saving tips and advice. For specific money saving questions, please email me.
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10

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