|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