These are some of Kelley's tips on how to reasonably shop with coupons, and save significant amounts of money weekly for only a small time investment. I'm so impressed!
Thanks so much for sharing Kelley! You are lovely!
they were her neighbor. (Or at least I have always wished that and know quite of a few of our High School friends do too.) Lisa knows how to throw one mean party, bake up a storm, and decorate a house beautifully. So all you who get to live by her please know, I am extremely jealous and you should take full advantage of every invite Lisa gives you.
Lisa asked me to come on over and share with you all how to save money via the world of couponing. So without further ado...
When you hear the world couponing I am sure one of the first images that comes to mind is the show Extreme Couponing on TLC. I am here to tell you that couponing is nothing like that show, at least for most people. I do not stock pile. I do not spend 5 hours per trip in the grocery store. I also do not spend hours upon hours a week collecting and cutting coupons. I simply use coupons in order to save money on things that we need so that we can use the savings for things we want. Basically I look at the money we have and see the best way to use it in order for our family to eat balanced, healthy, and satisfying meals.
I refer to myself a money savvy mom. And I want you all to be savvy smart in the grocery store too!
Here are some of the things I have found to be helpful to achieve savvy grocery shopping.
~1~ a coupon organizer. Here is what I use, all these pages can be found here. Check out TheKrazyCouponLady website for more tips.
~2~ a newspaper. Seriously, the best coupons are found in there. I spend about 30 minutes every week clipping and organizing the coupons.
~3~ Online coupons. There are quite a few good coupon sites out there. If you don't get the Sunday paper, or even if you do going to www.smartsource.com, www.redplum.com, and www.coupons.com can yield you some great coupons.
~4~ Deal sites. My favorite site to get the deals off of is moneysavingmom.com. She organized them by store and deals so it makes it super easy to plan your trip. I always go on there before heading to Target and check over the deals she has posted so I can get the best deal, or pick up any item I may have missed while planning my trip. Another good one is www.momsneedtoknow.com. On Saturdays she does a post about what coupons you will find in the Sunday paper. That way, if you do not get the paper you can decide if it is worth the few dollars to go out and buy one that week.
~5~ Store Coupons. Often times stores have special store only coupons. Target for example has store coupons that you can print off from here. Store coupons are great because you can pair it with a manufacturer one (that you clipped from sundays paper or from an online site). This is the way you save the most money. The other day I got quite a few things for almost free by pairing up store plus manufacturer coupons. And a few of those things were Dove products. Just so you know it wasn't no-name brands or things you may not use.
~6~ Menu Planning. Once I know what is on sale and what coupons I have, I plan out our menu. I plan for 2 weeks at a time and shop accordingly. I spend about 1 hour planning out our meals. First, I go through our pantry and deep freeze and then look at what is on sale and base our menu around that. We are blessed to have a great garden which saves us a ton on produce and herbs. We do not grow any fruit so I tend to spend about $10/week on fresh fruit but all our vegetables are home-grown and cost pennies on the dollar. I also visit the local farmers market to stock up on any extra vegetables we want that we don't grow.
~7~ Planning out your trip. I have tried to get better at this part. Basically I go through the ads for the week and see which things we need to get. Then I make a list by store. Pretty much I do all my shopping from either Target or Hy-Vee(our local grocery store). I get their ads on Wednesday then pair the best deals with my list and head out. I go to target about every week and then Hy-Vee every other week or so unless they have a great deal.
I save on average between 20-50% a trip. I am not one of those people who stockpile, mainly because we do not have the room for it and I don't like driving all over town just to get one item for free. I have also found that almost everything goes back on sale at some store in a month or two and I can wait. We don't go through more than a stick of deodorant in a month so I don't find the need to have 10 laying around. I also buy lots of fresh fruits, which rarely has coupons with it so we don't save as much there. But a 20% or 50% saving is still a huge deal to me and it has helped our family save quite a bit each month. My method of couponing may not be best for you, if you want to get rid of your grocery bill completely. My goal though is to stay under our $300 budget for the month so that's what I shoot for. Last month I was $80 under that. I find that pretty great. That's $80 we have in our savings account that we would have otherwise lost. Almost $1000 at the end of the year. If you count all the money I saved a target last month on toiletries and other necessitates it is closer to $140 I save last month. Not too shabby.
I am sure we all can think of things we can use that money for instead. I hope this helps you see how easy saving a few dollars is each month. And please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or I left something out you were wondering about.