These past few months my husband & I have attempted to adopt a more budgeted lifestyle. I think after looking back on 2012 and wondering what we spent our money on (answer: pizza, beer, dining out, impromptu hotel stays, and a new vehicle), we’ve decided to cut back on the “luxuries” in life and try to focus on necessities. I quoted “luxuries” because obviously my definition of a luxury & my husband’s would not be the same, I digress.
Regardless of what’s a necessity and what’s a luxury, I’ve slowly been teaching myself to save money and shop more conscientiously. Online shopping is almost non-existent nowadays, and I’m certain I was a problem case because the POST OFFICE LADIES commented: “We never see you anymore! No big packages anymore? No more online shopping? Good girl! I’m sure your husband is happy!” I am not joking. This exchange happened multiple times.
Most recently I’ve been thinking more and more about how to save money on groceries. It started when I spent a whole day planning 3+ weeks dinners in advance. In one day I prepped and froze over 20 dinners. Not a day goes by where I have to wonder what we’ll eat, how nutritious is it, are we getting our vegetables, etc. And buying a lot of groceries in bulk actually worked out to my advantage – imagine shopping for 21 dinners at once – it cost me $250.00. And that’s before I started couponing.
I’ve recently discovered whole blogs devoted to couponing, as well as places online to print coupons from, and companies that mail you coupons. I’ve started looking in the clearance bin at the store. I have trouble buying things full price now - I want to use a coupon! I want to save money!
….Who am I?
I wrote this post about Extreme Couponing, the TLC tv show, a while back – and I still watch it occasionally and am still always in awe of how these people shop. Now, you don’t have to worry, I’m not about to stockpile 72 bottles of mustard or 12 packages of paper towels, no no. But here is what I did today:
Shoppers Drug Mart was having a ‘secret’ Optimum points special – spend $50 & receive 18,000 points (which equals $10+ for your next purchase) with a coupon. So my goal was to spend $50 before taxes. I have a stack of organized coupons and I started shopping. Here are some of the deals I found:
- Downy Fabric Softener, reg $9.79, store sale $3.79 – $1 coupon: $2.79
- Huggies Baby Wipes, reg $17.49, store sale $10.49 – $2 coupon: $8.49
- Tide, reg. $10.99, store sale $5.99 – $1.50 coupon: $3.49
Basically I’ve ‘stockpiled’ coupons, sorted them into mini folders (Food/Baby/Cleaning/Pharmacy/Misc), then I go shopping for what I need. I needed wipes, I had coupons for both Pampers wipes and Huggies wipes, but the Huggies big box was on sale, with my coupon, it was a great deal. I just kept looking to see what was on clearance in the store, what was on sale, and matching it up with a coupon to get the best deal.
It took a while to check out, but at the end of my shopping trip, I spent $54, and saved over $45 – Meaning my total cost would have been almost $100 and I spent only $54. Plus I got Optimum Points for my next visit!
I sound crazy. I feel crazy. But I’m saving money, and it feels great.
Do you save money on groceries? Do you have any tips to share or questions?