1) I subscribed the local paper when it was on sale for $1 so I paid $52 up front for the entire year. Then each month, our family allots $4/month to go towards renewing a Newspaper subscription for the next year. So $52 is invested. Done.
2) I set aside a day each week for clipping those lovely lil’ coupons (normally Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings). I clip them and then file them in my coupon binder. This process can take 30minutes to an hour of my time.
3) My coupon binder is a notebook with two packs of Baseball card holders and those lil’ A-Z dividers. I organize my coupons according to “type” and file them alphabetically. (For example, all of my coupons for Butter have their own page in my binder and the are obviously in the “B” section of my binder, “Cereals” are together in the “C” section, etc.) I do this for a few reasons: 1) It keeps them organized- I like it that wayJ 2) If I am in the store and need Deli Meat, I can simply flip to the “Deli Meat” page in my binder, compare prices & whala, I’ve saved on deli meat & it only took a few secondsJ and 3) The coupons listed on deal sites for “coupon matchups” aren’t ALWAYS what I receive in my paper. I’m able to clearly see what coupons I have & compare deals that way. Sooo all in all, I love the coupon binder method, but hey, I encourage you to figure out which organizing method works for you.
4) Usually Coupon deals for the week are posted online the day before or the day that a sale starts. To find deals, I check out www.moneysavingmom.com , www.southersavers.com , and any of the websites that their website links up to. I’ll check out their websites, find the deals I want & copy & paste them into my own lil’ word document. In all of 10-15 minutes I’m done finding my deals.
5) I meal plan. I first “shop my pantry” and see what items I have in stock and then I’ll plan to make recipes for that week based on the ingredients I already have. I make a list of the items I’m lacking as well as any other misc items I am in need of and then…
6) Go to the store(s). My top 2 faves? Kroger & Harris Teeter. When I walk into the store, I always take my coupon notebook with me along with my grocery list & deal list. As I walk through the store I grab the items I need, double check that my coupon REALLY matches (like the online website said it would- warning: they don’t always matchL but this only happens rarely). As I grab the items I need, I pull my matching coupons out of the binder & place it in a lil’ baggie so that I can keep up with them.
7) Right before I check out I usually try to make sure that my grocery items and coupons match up (I try to make sure that I’m not using more than 20 coupons at Harris Teeter (’cause they don’t allow it) and make sure that I got all the items I intended to get with coupons.
8) THE CHECK OUT LANE. I give them my store card, they ring up the items (I check to make sure the right prices are rung up), I give them all of my coupons at once AND I’m doneJ
Sooooo the total amount of time invested each week from Coupons to meal planning to grocery shopping is anywhere from 1:40min to 2:30min. My lowest grocery bill has been $0/wk (cause I’m all stocked up) and my highest has been around $60 (on a REALLY bad day) and my average? $30/wk. Not bad for a family of two. Also, my “groceries” include all toiletries, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, etc. Sooooo instead of a $330/month budget, our budget is now $174- that’s a savings of $156 per month ($1,872 per YEAR)! AND we get MORE food that’s YUMMY! Crazy huh? By the end of this blog you’ve got to be either tired or inspiredJ I hope at least coupon enlightenedJ