|photo courtesy of gettyimages.com|
I know I stated this before, but this time... it's time to coupon. I have a subscription to the paper and everything. I joined a local group of coupon enthusiasts and I'm just about ready to go. I'll have to stockpile a little bit before the coupons really start to stack in my favor, but I'm prepared to shop the sales and meal plan according to the circulars. Here's a few tips on what I've started at my own home to save some cash.
Every Thursday the new sales flyers go out. I'm a partial shopper to Publix, so I look up what's on sale through their website or I peruse a site like www.southernsavers.com to see what the weekly sales stack against the coupons. (A handy Google search of coupon matching sites with your zip/area plugged in should net you the same results. Please note, the ones that ask for subscription fees or "signup" are usually bogus. Go with the free ones.)
This week didn't net me any great deals on the coupons, so I started making my list according to what's on sale. Here's how it looked:
Chicken breast, on sale for 1.99/lb, got nearly 2.5 lbs for three large breasts
Lean ground beef on sale for 3.99/lb, got approx 1lb of ground meat
Eye Round Steaks on sale for 4.79/lb, got approx 1 lb of steaks
Deli Sliced Smoked Chicken breast for 7.99/lb, I got half a pound for chicken roll ups
3lb bag of Gala Apples, 2.99
Blueberries and Strawberries, 2 for $5
Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta, Buy One, Get One (saves 1.89)
Kellogg's Special K cereals, all varieties, 2 for $5
Chobani was 10 for $10
I got a few extra things not on the sales circular, which happened to be two cans of Hunt's diced tomatoes for two different meals that week.
The total at Publix for approximately one week's worth of food: 49.00
Then we hit Aldi. If you haven't heard of Aldi, you're missing out. No brand names here, but the quality is amazing. All the things you love, the taste the same and a fraction of the cost. Here's what we got at Aldi.
Milk, 2 gallons at 2.99 each
Whipped Cream Cheese at 1.49
Trail mix bags, 2 at 1.49 each
Mixed Nuts, 2.49
Large chocolate bar (husband's sweet tooth) 1.29
Loaf of bread with no HFCS, .89
Cinnamon Raisin bagels, 1.49
Package of whole mushrooms, 1.29
18 rolls of toilet paper, 5.99
String Cheese, 3.49
Honey Nut Cheerios, 1.49
Paper plates, 1.49
Total at Aldi: 33.00, that means I spent 82.00 on food that was either on sale or at Aldi.
That will net me at least three meals with meat for the week and one without (aka Spaghetti night). That keeps us stocked for breakfast, lunch/snacks for the kiddo (all fruit, vege or string cheese for him) and leftovers for the nights I'm too tired to cook. Not too bad, sans the coupons.
Here's another cost saving method that's been introduced to my house: a list on the fridge. Not a grocery list, but a list of what's in there. You know that thing that husband's do, where they say they can't find it, or we're out and you buy more only to find that you still had like, 3 left? Yeah. Now there's a list. Unless it's been crossed off, it's in there. It lets me know what runs out first, what I need to add to the grocery list and what we have left to cook with for the week. I even added a column for freezer foods. When I make a big batch of something like chili or soup, I freeze half and leftover the rest in the fridge. That way I have in between meals for work, or for nights that I'm too tired to stand at the stove. It's a great way to reduce waste and make sure you're not throwing hard-earned money down the trash tube. (Not to mention stockpiling for the two months when this baby gets here and cooking will not be top priority!)
What's your favorite cost saving measure for your house? Do you meal plan? Freeze? Once a week cook?