Sometimes my grocery money disappears so fast it’s almost as if we’ve been gobbling dollar bills and quarters for dinner! I’m a pretty good shopper, but I’m always looking for new ways to save like doing more intelligent purchase or creating a budget.
For starters, I do as much shopping at the jumbo warehouse stores as I can. I hear friends explain why they actually spend MORE money at Sam’s Club or Costco over time but for me, that’s not how it works. Yes, I might spend more dollars buying five pounds of mozzarella than if I bought ONE pound of mozzarella. But per pound, shopping at the warehouse stores saves me a ton of money. The best curb on impulse buying at those places is taking advantage of their Click-n-Pull service. At Sams Club, I can pick up my Click-n-Pull order at the front of the store and never have to even walk by the things that might tempt me to overspend.
I also always look in the dented can section of the grocery store. Sometimes when products get very close to their pull-dates, my local market will mark them way down. When that happens, I buy up! The trick is NOT buying products I wouldn’t ordinarily purchase. If I wouldn’t usually buy something, it’s usually a waste to stock up on that item just because it’s on sale.
Every grocery store that I know now has their weekly ads online so I always check online for the best price on an item that I know I need to buy anyway. Some stores will send out emails with their ads as well if you sign up. “My” grocery store, Ingles Market, sends out an email with specials that are available to me when I swipe my little Ingles card. Some of these deals are GREAT deals.
Planning out meals is an important factor for me in keeping my grocery costs down. Planning ahead means that I can shop according to what’s on sale, I can plan leftovers back into the next day’s meals, and I actually have A Plan when dinner time rolls around. Meal planning definitely helps me be frugal.
The last big savings zone is in coupons. I actually don’t use coupons much at this point. There are very few coupons for produce, for staples, for the fresh stuff. I rarely use name brands (I have found that Laura Lynn, the Ingles Market store brand, is actually as good or better than the name brands for many products). Lastly, I live in a fairly small town so I don’t have access to a lot of different stores. Careful shopping accomplishes as much as couponing at this stage in my life. BUT….there was a time and a place when I saved a TON with coupons.
Here are some sites that various friends have shared with me. I can’t vouch for everything or every link on these sites but they’ve proven helpful.
Sites for groceries:
Sites for meal planning:
Sites for trading things or recycling things; keep in mind that not every person on the internet are as they appear, so exercise common sense in meeting or communicating with strangers:
There are many, many more sites in all the different categories, but these’ll get you started.
Now I have a favor to ask YOU, my dear readers. Right now, the Cheap Sally website is running a Bring Home the Bacon contest and the general public gets to vote for the which blogger gets chosen for their paid blogging gig for the coming year. I have two friends who are competing, neck and neck, for the North Carolina spot. Would you please consider going to the the Cheap Sally site and voting for one of them?
Please vote for
Yes, it’s a terrible dilemma for me. I love both these gals and want to vote for BOTH of them! You can vote every day until the end of October, so you actually CAN vote for both of them. Go cast your vote for one of them today! Thanks so much!
I’m sure that some of you have favorite sites for coupons, meal planning, or just general savings. If you put a link in the comments, I’ll add it to this post. Let’s help each other make every grocery dollar count!
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