Why pay full price for groceries when you can get them at a discount?
Starting in January, I started a grocery savings spreadsheet. I really have come to enjoy couponing. I used to do it occasionally, but now it is a habit. While I am nothing like those women on TV, I do my best on each trip to save some money and I now plan the things I buy based on if I have a coupon for them or not. It is now rare that I buy something full price: only if I really need it, if it is a splurge, or if I am at Trader Joe’s, since they do not offer coupons (but have great everyday prices).
So far this year, I have saved $144 and spent $472 (30%!!!). That is $144 more dollars in my savings account today. $472 is a lot on groceries for a single gal, but I bring my breakfast and lunch almost every day to work, and eat dinner at home most nights. I had a terrible takeout habit on Friday nights; now I try and plan my meals around eating IN on Friday nights, but have a special treat instead of eating out. This Friday, I plan to make one of my favorite meals: pigs in a blanket and macaroni and cheese. And yes, I am still trying to lose weight. You can still eat the foods you love!!! Just in moderation, and I have found that tracking is key.
And here are some of my coupon strategies:
I print all of my coupons online and do not subscribe to any newspapers or get inserts. I might start picking up a paper occasionally to get the benefits of those coupons as well.
I subscribe to the Coupon Divas newsletter and will keep on top of favorite brands Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for freebees and coupons.
I have a Target Red Card, and do a lot of my grocery shopping at SuperTarget (based on the coupons available at Target.com). With the Red Card, you get a 5% discount every single time you shop at Target along with some other benefits. I used my Red Card to get my iPad and got 5% off! Also, you can use one Target coupon and one manufacturers coupon per item.
My favorite store for deals is Harris Teeter. And I know this is a regional store – in Charlotte we have Food Lion, BiLo, and Harris Teeter (no major national grocery chains, that I have found). I consider Harris Teeter to be an ‘upscale’ grocery store with an amazing produce section, but when they put things on sale, they surely put things on sale. They also put coupons online that you can ‘clip’ to your customer rewards card. This is so easy and convenient! This week, Harris Teeter is doubling all manufacturers coupons (not e-coupons) up to $1.98!
Today’s shopping trip was for peanut butter Cheerios (AMAZING, by the way.) and reduced fat crescent rolls. I also happened to stumble upon a few items on sale that I needed to stock up on anyway – but I didn’t have a coupon. I had two coupons for the cheerios, which doubled, along with an e-vic coupon towards the rolls (it rang up as if I had two coupons for the two crescent rolls even though I ‘clipped’ it only once to my card). Harris Teeter allows you to use e-coupons as well as the manufactures coupons. I did not know this until today! I was amazed when I saved even more on the crescent rolls. I won’t bore you with the rest of my shopping trip details, but I spent $16.17 and saved $8.18 (over a 50% savings!!!). I got 2 crescent rolls, 2 boxes of Cheerios, 1 4-pack of Velveeta single serving cups, 2 boxes of Kraft Veggie Mac and Cheese, and some grapes that were on sale. I think I did pretty good for the items that I bought! I promise I don’t usually eat this much processed food… I just like to have it on hand for my ‘comfort food’ evenings like I have been having this week thanks to my never ending headache.
Dinner tonight: a Velveeta cup (thanks, Betsy for introducing me!) and a big bowl of PB Cheerios and almond milk. Yum! The food tastes even better knowing how much I saved… I can’t believe I never couponed before!