How to Save Money on Groceries Tutorial 4/13/2015
You Really Can Save Money on Groceries!
You know you need to save money on groceries but honestly where do you start? You don't have hours upon hours to clip coupons and print out coupons on your home computer, so what are you to do? You have a family, a job, a life..... Where in the world does couponing fit in? First of all realize that not everyone of us needs to be like the people on "Extreme Couponing", you know the show where people spend practically no money and get tons of groceries. It is called "Extreme Couponing" for a reason. It is extreme, not the norm. There are some simple changes us normal folks can make that will help you save at the grocery store.
Always plan your meals based on what is on sale at your grocery store. Pick two to three grocery stores that are near you and make sure you get on their lists so you receive the weekly flyers and possible coupons they may mail you. Check and see if you can get on their email list as well. Flyers are usually available a few days before the sale starts. Get out a sharpie marker and circle anything that interests you. Look for great sales, items your family likes to buy. Then plan what you are going to make based on what is on sale. If chicken and beef are on sale that week, don't plan fish every day. If every kind of fish imaginable is on sale one week, you don't plan only steak.
Go to the store with a list. You will greatly cut down on impulse buys when you follow a list. Plus you are more likely to get everything you need, spend less and shop frugally.
Plan ahead. You will start to realize that the items you like to purchase may go on sale on a regular schedule, usually every 6-9 weeks. Knowing this, the key is to stock up on the items you need ahead of time, planning how much your family will need of that product in the next 6-9 weeks is key. Because if you run out of a product you could have purchased on sale and have to pay full price, well that is how you increase the cost of your grocery bill. If you know you are going to need laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, pasta sauce, cereal etc., by carefully planning and creating a mini-stockpile, you can save significant cash.
If your family is large, consider purchasing an extra freezer. This will allow you to stock up on frozen foods and meats when they are on sale. If your family is not large, think of investing in some kind of food saver that vacuum seals the food. This way you can freeze leftovers and buy larger packs of meat, splitting them up and freezing them in the size you need for individual meals.
Consider freezing meals. If you are going to make lasagna, why not double your recipe. Make one for now and freeze one. Usually you can save by buying larger quantities of items and using them all at once. Not only is this convenient, but this can save you money as well. Consider a site like Hotby6.com that gives you recipes and helps you figure out to freeze meals ahead of time. Not only cost effective but fun if you get a group of your friends together. Nothing like pulling out a fresh cooked homemade meal out of the freezer and quickly making dinner.
Utilize sites that share the deals and coupon match-ups. Sites like My3sonsmom, WildforWinnDixie and IHeartPublix will get you started. If you don't get your local newspaper, start getting copies of the Sunday paper. Make sure to get the first Sunday of the month as all of the Procter & Gamble coupons will be included. I get 3 copies of the paper every week. Think about asking neighbors who throw out their coupons to save them for you.
Saving money with coupons is a process. It is one that you can start slow. Over the years I learned so many things that helped me save more and more. It is a learning curve. Don't beat yourself up if you start couponing and you did not get all of your groceries for next to nothing. Watch your receipts, figure out how much you are saving and realize even $20 in coupons and discounts is $20 more that you have in your pocket.
Being careful at the grocery store is smart. It is not just for people on fixed or low incomes. It is for all of us who want to be frugal and budget carefully. Figure out what you are going to do with the money you save on groceries. Will it help you make ends meet, let you take that vacation or getaway with the family or help you save for an important event? That is the great thing. You decide what is important and why it makes sense to save money with coupons. After all, it is all up to you.