How I’m Cutting Grocery Costs
Caution: I’m about to become one of those crazy bloggers who posts pictures of her groceries.
In January I wrote about how I was able to cut my grocery bill almost in half. Since that time, I’ve made even more progress in cutting costs and I have planned an update post for early next month. But for now, the bottom line is this: my initial learning curve is almost over and I’m becoming pretty passionate about this new way of shopping and the savings involved. With that in mind I thought I’d share a little bit of what’s possible when you combine coupons with loss leaders.
These pictures are from a shopping trip I made over the weekend. I hit three stores in about an hour and a half and I had a very specific list with coupons for each store. My husband came along with me on this trip (we lead very exciting lives) and he was significantly impressed with how much we were getting for such little money. He jokingly asked, “Is this legal?” Here are some of the highlights:
Purex laundry detergent – 33 loads – on sale for $1.88 with a $1 off coupon = 88 cents/bottle
Colgate toothpaste (6.4 oz tubes) on sale for 88 cents with 75 cent coupon = 13 cents/tube
Ronzini Garden Delight pasta on sale for 99 cents with $1 off coupons = 2 boxes free
Target brand Ibuprofen 99 cents with $1 off coupons printed from the Target site = 2 boxes free
Milk Bone dog biscuits buy 1 get 1 free + 2 $1.50 off coupons + coupons for 2 free chewy bones with purchase = 4 boxes and 2 packages of chewy bones free and the other four boxes at over 40% off.
As I mentioned these are just the highlights. The total for our three stops that day was $94.13 before tax and our costs without sales and coupons would have been $206.94.
I don’t share these pictures with you because I think your life will be changed by a 13 cent tube of toothpaste or 88 cent bottle of detergent. But the savings on this one week of shopping totaled $112.81 for things our family needs and uses. That amounts to $488 a month. That’s the kind of money that can make a significant difference and it has me excited.
I plan to blog more on this topic because, frankly, there’s a lot to share. But if you’d like to get started slashing your grocery bill, here is some of the basic information you’ll need:
- Start a price book.
- Find a coupon matching blog to follow. (For those in KC, I highly recommend Kelly at Kansas City Mamas. She takes pictures of her groceries too. )
- Start slow and try not to become too overwhelmed. As I said, there is a learning curve involved, but once you have it down the time invested is pretty minimal for the kind of savings you’ll see. I estimate I spend about 10 hours a month on this new way of shopping. At a savings of $488 a month, that’s like earning a tax-free salary of $48/hour.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments or email me at email@example.com. And if you have success stories or advice to share, I’d love to hear about that as well.
This post is part of Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family and Kitchen Economics at Family Balance Sheet.