Friday, April 20, 2012

Tips for saving at the grocery store

Picture from one of my awesome price matching and coupon shops; total out of pocket was 
$74.16 the total VALUE was $140.24 - I saved almost HALF of my bill!


I have talked a little in the past about coupons and price matching – but I wanted to give everyone a quick rundown of how I plan my shops.

When the flyers come in, I sit down and make a very vague meal plan (what types of meals I want to make that week – but I don’t pick nights for each of them) I try and make at least ONE meal that will do double duty for leftovers (but often 2) - this means that I only have to cook 4 or 5 nights out of the week.

After I have done my meal plan, I figure out what I have and make a list of what I need (I know the areas in the grocery store, so I start with foods from the front and work my way around the store that way – which means I don’t have to search my list for items in a particular section). After I have done my list, I look through the flyers to find the best deals and I mark the prices and where they are on sale.  Then, I go through my coupons to see if I have any that match up with the sales, or for items I NEED that are not on sale. (Don't get caught in the coupon trap of buying something just because you have a coupon - if you don't need it, don't buy it)

Sometimes while I am doing this, my meal plan will change slightly based on great deals.

A little tip – when it comes to paper towels – if the cost of the package is higher than the number of rolls, you’re paying too much. They go on sale often, and there are lots of coupons out there to be found for them, so stocking up when you find a good deal is the best way to go. Toilet paper, I stock up when I find it on sale – it’s something we always need – so if I have 4 packages sitting in the basement- I am completely ok with that.

Now for tips about the actual shopping trip – first, I suggest you find a store near you that price matches. This means that you can do all your shopping in one place. Bring your list with you (and you already have written down where the best price is) and the flyers. I bring one of my shopping bins and anything that I am price matching goes in the bin, everything else gets put in the cart. If I am using a coupon, I put the coupon with the item.

When I go to the cash, I have everything grouped together (PM from food basics items together with flyer, etc etc) - make sure to tell the cashier you are PM before you start. Next, I put all my coupon purchases (with the coupons on top) and last my items that I am not using PM or coupons for.

I am going to estimate that in the last 6 weeks, I have saved close to $150.00 by doing this

21 comments:

  1. I had never thought of using the price matching to do all your shopping in one place. Are they usually good with this, or is it a hassle? I'd be nervous walking up with a dozen items to price match.

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    1. you need to find out if your store price matches (a phone call or asking at the courtesy desk will tell yo) Stores that do require the flyer have the price and the correct date (so it would need to be a current flyer)

      Some weeks I only PM 1 item, and others I have PM 12....I try and go when it is less busy so that I am not holding up too many people. The first time I did it I was really nervous too - and I only did 2 items. Now, I would happily PM my entire grocery order if I needed too

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  2. Great tip on the Paper Towels, I never thought of it that way.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I hadn't either - but they were on sale last week for $4.99 (6 pack) and my mom told me about it....

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  3. Funny hubby and I were just talking about PM today, I'm going to encourage him to do it.

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    1. Once you get in the habit of it, it is super easy. The first time is the hardest (more because of nerves etc) but I actually get quite the thrill out of seeing how much I save every week (some weeks not much, but when you add it up over a few weeks - it's a huge savings)

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  4. I have used coupons for years. It always amazes me when I see people reach past a coupon and take an item from the shelf to buy but they don't take the coupon. I've saved so much over the years!

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    1. Yes - If the coupon is for money off I take it...if it is for buy this and get that, it depends what the other product is whether I will use it or not

      I am loving that the RCSS has the coupon zone in the front of the store - I check it over every time I shop to see what is there (and since the coupons are often different than the sales, I can price match and use the coupon to get an even better price!)

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  5. Wow great tips! I far too lazy to do all that and I guess I pay the price lol

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  6. Thanks for the tip on paper towels. I will never be a "couponer" but I do want to start shopping more thoughtfully.

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  7. I really need to do these. I know better! If this nudge pushes me, my husband shall be over to say thank you! -sass

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  8. When I discovered price matching, it was like the entire world of shopping changed for me.

    It cuts down the time I spend shopping, and makes my life SOOO much easier (and cheaper)!

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  9. Oops, forgot to mention, I'm visiting from SASS

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  10. I've never done price matching. My mom used to shop by the flyer - she'd get it in the mail and go through it for what was on sale and then make her list. We don't get flyers here (mailbox policy or something), so I usually go to the grocery store with a list and just watch for what's on sale. If it's not on sale, then I won't buy it (especially things like peanut butter) and if it is on sale, I tend to stock up (like cheese). Last trip, I saved 25% at the grocery store just by doing that. :) ~SASS

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  11. Thanks for the tips. With everything going up, every penny helps. I am always trying to save money and I tend to use most of the money saving tips I can find. SASS

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  12. Thanks for the tips! Do you know off the top of your head which stores do PM?

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    1. It varies - my local RCSS (real canadian super store) does - but it isn't the company policy; walmart, zellers, fresh co all do; I *think* canadian tire might.

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  13. Great ideas! I don't even know if my grocery store price matches...but I think I'll find out. :) - SASS.

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    1. good luck - and thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Love your tips - especially the paper towel one!
    Visiting from SASS!
    http://www.multitestingmommy.com/2012/04/lets-get-healthy-together-week-15-daily.html

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    1. Thanks - and thanks for stopping by!

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