Lately, I have had to make due with stretching a 20 dollar bill as tight as I can, last month only spending about 70 dollars on shopping for two people, including toilet paper, razors, and other necessities that I need. So there are certain things that I have to do to make sure that I have enough stuff to last us by saving money:
1. Shop Generic
Unless you have a coupon or a store deal that makes the price of the name-brand item cost less than the store brand product, just purchase the generic brand. In many cases, even with a coupon, it was always cheaper to buy the store brand products. At the Food4Less where I shop, I can buy name-brand pasta for 1.50 a box, or store-brand for 89 cents a box. Why spend extra for the same product?
2. Shop Sales
Do NOT ignore sales if you have the money, in many cases store sales can save you TONS in the long-run! A few months ago they had a sale where Creamette pasta was a dollar per box, PLUS if you bought 6 you saved 3 dollars, so each box of pasta was 50 cents each, so I stocked up on pasta, and STILL have much of that Pasta.
3. Shop Discounts
Just the other day at my local Food4Less several boxes of microwavable breakfast sausage, valued at 3 dollars a box, was about to pass their Freeze-by date, so each box was discounted to 50 cents a box. I bought 8 of them, that’s a 20 dollar savings right there! I have been able to buy wheat bread at 50 cents a loaf, fruit for 1$ a pack of 4 or 5 slightly bruised apples, and even meat!
Most of the time, unless I REALLY need it, if it is not discounted or on sale, I don’t buy it. I also buy based on weight. If there is 30 oz of frozen chicken tenders for 6.99, I will buy that over 20 oz of discounted chicken breast for 5.50. I just get more food for less money per oz.
4. Shop Shops!
Most food items I buy are at Food4Less, but if I ever wanted to buy a particular product for cheaper, I can check out other stores in my area, such as Dollar General for Powerade, Gatorade, or Razors, which are much cheaper there than at Food4Less. Dollar Tree has some awesome deals as well, but it is sometimes MORE expensive at Dollar Tree than it would be at another store. Luckily I have a variety of stores to choose from, so I can get a lot of really cheap goods.
For me, buying food is almost exclusively done at Food4Less, while razors and can openers and anything else I need is done at Dollar General and Dollar Tree.
5. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk saves you money in the long-run. Yes, you can buy Apriva, store-brand Splenda, for like, 1.49 for 100 packs, but the 200 pack is 2.79, which is a 21 cent discount and it lasts longer. If you have the extra dollar, buying in bulk is definitely better than buying individually. Or if there is a sale where something is extremely cheap, buy a LOT of the so you don’t have to buy more later.
6. Use Coupons!
ONLY use coupons on items that you will actually use! Otherwise you are just wasting money, not saving it! What’s even better is if you combine coupons with sales or store coupons. Let’s say Powerade is 89 cents, and Buy 1 Get 1 Free at the store. Making each bottle 45 cents each. If you had a manufacrer coupon for 30 cents off, each bottle would only be 30 cents. 30 cents for a bottle of Powerade is pretty awesome!
My local Food4Less, which is owned by Kroger, has these Free Friday coupons that only come out on Friday, and can be cashed out within a few weeks, each item can be valued for up to a few dollars each, last week I saved 7 dollars on Freebies. If you do Coupon Clipping, there is a chance that you can get free products
If you are also going to spend a lot of money at the store, using store coupons, like Dollar General’s “Spend 50 save 5” deal. So if through the use of discounts and sales you pay 50 dollars for 75 worth of product, you can expound upon that with the 5$ extra discount.
You can also make some money shopping if you use rebate apps like Checkout 51, or Ibotta. You won’t make a lot, but anything you earn can be subtracted off of what you paid for the products, sometimes allowing you to MAKE money if combined with coupons and sales. For more about THAT, you can visit an awesome site called KrazyCouponLady.com.
By using all of these methods I was able to save over 95% on my grocery bill while still not sacrificing flavor or variety. I still shock myself sometimes when I go to the store with only 10 dollars to spend and walk out with 3 or 4 bags of groceries.
Just remember though, coupons don’t make up much in my shopping trip aside from Free Friday deals or store coupons. Sales and discounted goods, along with store-brands made up the majority of my purchasing decisions, saving me the most money. Coupons help me purchase a lot of stuff for cheap or free at places like Dollar Tree. Free stuff is the best stuff! I will start posting shopping trips and stuff here on how I saved money during some of my bigger shopping trips.