I promised a follow-up post on the saving money luncheon I went to. It was awesome. It wasn’t what I had thought it would be though. I was under the impression it was holiday saving and strategy on tackling the shopping season, but the primary focus was on groceries. This is still beneficial though. I learned a lot about area grocery stores and couponing.
Personally, I’ve never been a couponer nor have I ever had the drive to. It’s simply not something I’ve wanted ever to do. I don’t have the head or calendar space for the time that goes into it and I absolutely don’t have the room in my house for 18 bottles of shampoo. Perhaps I’m a minimalist in the sense that I don’t want things I don’t need. Why get something for free just because it’s free? Yes, this may go against much of the thought process of the American way of life, but I’d rather invest in something that we will need and use. If I wasn’t going to buy 10 razors without the coupon why would I do it with? That’s time and energy for something I wasn’t even interested in before. Furthermore, time is money and in the sense of the time spent couponing- holy cow it’s expensive. With all of that being said however, she did provide some good insight and now I have a local resource that I can cross check every week for Triangle deals. Here are the helpful tips and tricks I did learn:
*$20-25 a week, pp is the average amount that Americans should be spending for groceries
Great news for us because our budget is $300 a month. FANTASTIC! I am happy to report that without extreme couponing I was able to plan a month’s worth of groceries for a family of 4 and a holiday feast for 7 for under $350. Not to mention I got a 20lb turkey for $9.22 HAPPY MAMA!
*Make time to go to multiple stores for the biggest bang for your buck.
Yes, I said that I don’t have time for extreme couponing, I don’t. However I do make grocery shopping a Mommy’s Day out when I can and plan out my route and where I am going for what. It does help to maximize my budget and with almost every store having some sort of gas rewards we have multiple rewards for use rather than just a one-fill up savings. Not to mention it’s a couple hours in what I refer to as the amusement park for moms. Seriously, it sounds funny but I never appreciated the quiet serenity of a grocery store shopping trip by myself until my two beautiful girls showed me what the opposite looks like 🙂
*Make lists: Menu lists and grocery lists
The presenter actually shops from her pantry and freezer first and then goes to the grocery for the best deals. What I typically do is the flip. We wind up using all of our food then I shop the best deals and only make my menu items from what I have. My perspective is that this keeps me from having to restock half way through the month on the essentials. Her perspective is that food doesn’t get wasted. I may start doing both.
*BIG TIP! Walmart is the only legit grocer that will pay you back. This means if you have a coupon for $1.00 off that boxed cake mix but it’s on sale for $0.75 they will give you the difference back or apply to the rest of your balance.
I think this is huge. Now a key, and entertaining question, was do their cashier’s know about it? lol The answer was well, some may not but the extreme couponer giving the presentation actually keeps a copy of the coupon policy in her purse. I don’t know if that’s worth it but with today’s technology you could probably access it pretty easily.
For any area readers check out the News and Observers Centsible Saver
weekly for updates. It’s a really informative blog written by a journalist who actually is paid to save. Pretty cool.