Sunday, March 7, 2010

How I save on Groceries

photo from Open Salon

I've said before that income is limited and living expenses are high. Therefore, my ability to attack the debt without lots and lots of snowflakes is limited.

The budget is so tight. One way I've saved on groceries the past few years (at least five years, maybe more) is my subscription to The Grocery Game. I am lucky to live in an area with several grocery stores on the Grocery Game list. I pass by two of those every day on my way home from work/church. The third is less than half a mile off the beaten path, so I'm not driving out of my way to hit these stores for the best deals every week.

Coupon Mom has a lists that are free and I use her lists for Walgreens and CVS (both of which I also pass by during my daily commute). I also have some of my favorite frugal blogs in my Google Reader and get reminded of deals by Money Saving Mom, Faithful Provisions, The Frugal Girls, and Publix Penny Pincher.

You might wonder why someone on a limited budget would spend $20 every 8 weeks ($2.50 a week) for Grocery Game's weekly lists of deals for 3 stores. As a working mom with 2 busy little kids, paying for someone to take the time to give me a list of the best deals and the coordinating coupons is well worth it. I have found the Grocery Game lists to be more inclusive than the free lists, plus I prefer the way the deals are laid out (in order you'll find them in the store). The list lets you know exactly which weekly coupons to pull. I'm not one of those people who feeds my family of 4 for $40 a week, but I budget $105 a week for "groceries". My definition of groceries is pretty broad. It includes all food, paper products, cleaning supplies, personal care and over-the-counter medicines. There are limited hours in the day, and if I can pay someone to help me save 40-50% on my grocery bill I will.

For example, my last two shopping trips:

Publix - Paid $11.24 ($1.37 of that was sales tax!) and Saved $22.63.

Kroger - Paid $63.18 ($6.24 of that was sales tax). Took advantage of $32.02 of store specials, $19.16 of coupon savings, and $10 voucher for free groceries. So full price would have been over $125 when you consider sales tax at full price.

As you can see, I saved so much more than the $2.50 I paid the Grocery Game in just two shopping trips in one week! If you'd like to take advantage of the Free Trial, I would really appreciate if you would credit me with the referral. The email address for my GG account is: my back porch at gmail dot com (take out all the spaces).

I've gotten to where I HATE paying retail for anything at the grocery or drug stores. My kids automatically know we don't buy it unless it's on sale. The pantry is always stocked, and we never run out of anything except milk or bread or eggs. Like I said, I've been using this list for a long time. It took me a while to develop the system that works best for me and my crazy, busy life. If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them!!

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