I don’t know about anyone else but I do not have the patience to cut out, categorize and track the expiration dates on coupons while I wait for sales and double coupon days.
I do however like a bargain and with a little thinking outside the box, save 50% or more on my groceries while almost never using a coupon. It is not hard but it does take a little creativity, flexibility and thinking outside the box. I don’t even use a shopping list!
Think of shopping as a mini treasure hunt and you can even have fun snagging some incredible buys. Here’s what I do, and so can you. Unless I need to buy something I need right away, I enter the supermarket with a completely open mind. I shop the perimeter of the supermarket and buy only what has been reduced. While this is not for everyone, with some planning it can work really well. An added benefit is that you will actually be eating better while spending less.
So, for instance, I will walk into Winn Dixie and start with the Produce Department. There I spotted 5 lb bags of Russet potatoes marked down to $1 a bag. I bought 3 bags because I don’t always find potatoes marked down. Then, I bought apples and oranges marked down to .59 a pound along with slightly touched tomatoes for .59 a pound. There is almost always something marked down if you are willing to be flexible about your weekly menu. Don’t think these items are over-ripe and badly bruised. Some items look as good as the stuff still at full price. Using this method I have gotten squash, fresh green beans, spinach, eggplant sweet potatoes, onions and just about any other type of produce sold in a supermarket. All of it purchased at a fraction of retail.
I then headed to the meat department and saw roaster chickens reduced by 50% of their original price. So it will be chicken and potatoes for dinner tonight. Again, I bought 3 and two went in the freezer. I have gotten ground beef, pork roast, steaks, turkey sausage and ground turkey this way. I always buy enough to freeze so that when pickings are slim, I have a stockpile. All of the meat is fresh as of that date. I just freeze what I am not going to cook that night.
Heading over to the dairy and bakery departments I do the same thing. I have gotten organic yogurt for as little as .25 a container and milk for as little as .59 a quart.
I fill in canned goods, condiments, rice, cereal etc with a trip to the grocery salvage store! For those of you unfamiliar with the concept you are missing out on one of the best kept money saving secrets. I try to get to my favorite grocery saliva store at least once a week because you never know what they will have. Recent scores include Ken’s salad dressing for .10 a bottle, chicken legs and thighs $5 for 10 lbs, Duncan Donuts coffee for $3.99, Barilla pasta for .25 a package. I could go on for pages but I believe I have made my point. For a listing, of Grocery Salvage stores in your area a Yahoo search will yield numerous state by state directories.
So, even without the grocery coupons you can shave 50% or more off that rising grocery bill. Be flexible. Plan ahead and stock up on non perishables you use all the time or use your freezer more. Plan your menu around what you find available. Try it and you can eat better and spend a lot less than you could ever imagine.