This can be a fast way to fix a budget…setting a goal for what NOT to spend at the store to feed the family. I have been averaging $100 a month and that feeds the 3 of us along with a cat and a dog.
There are so many tricks out there to pinch pennies at the store being shared these days…I am a huge fan of matching coupons to sales specials, but only on double coupon day!
Only one store chain around here doubles coupons – Roundy’s. That means I make a weekly forray to the local Copp’s store every Wednesday. You really need to know your own store’s policy before you attempt this…how many will they double? How high a value will they accept for doubling? Can you “stack” manufacturing coupons along with store coupons?
Here is an example of yesterday’s trip:
Quaker Oats were on sale from $2.85 to $1.49. There was a store coupon to bring them down to $.98. I had a $.50 coupon that was doubled so I actually got paid $.02 to put that in my cart and take it home. This will become oatmeal raisin cookies for us – a much more healthy option than the storebought cookies that will be on sale next week, LOL!
If you take the time to go over the grocery store fliers, and match up your coupons, you can fill your cart with deals like this! Yesterday I got $152 of groceries and paid $27.17, keeping well below my monthly budget!
I brought home 4 paper bags of groceries; sandwich making stuff, oatmeal for cookies, instant oatmeal packets, milk, brick cheese (for shredding for soups and slicing for snacks) peanut butter for ‘puppy chow’, turkey, 6 packs of yogurt, flour, eggs, butter, spaghetti sauce, red beans, rice (thinking a cajun inspired meal), and more!
The store I go to makes you spend $25 first, will take coupons up to a $1 value and will only double five. Here is how you by-pass the system: The $25 is shelf price. remember that oatmeal? It was $2.85…THAT is the total you put in the calculator as you build to $25. Have the cashier ring all your items first, THEN give your store card to drop the price to the sale total. THEN give the store coupons that they dont double. THEN give your coupons for that transaction, making sure the top five are $1 values so at least $10 comes off the top.
I know it seems like a hassle to only ring out $25 at a time, I divide my cart into two halves for two separate transactions. Put one transaction on the checkout belt, add a bar for the cashier to stop and then put the rest on after the bar. Depending on the sales that week, I might do a double transaction, take stuff to the car, then come back and do another double transaction. I might check out six or eight times as I create a stock pile of a certain item! That extra legwork IS worth saving that extra $10 – $20 or $30!
***Remember, it is NOT a good deal if it is something you won’t eat…but if you can still get it FREE, drop it off at your local food pantry to help someone else!
Until next time – be thrifty in YOUR way!