This week's question at Multiples and More is about shopping. Grocery shopping.
How do you save money at the grocery store? What are your best tips and tricks?
I love to shop. Even shopping at the grocery store was fun. I think that comes from when I was little my Mom went to the grocery store with a carnival inside it. Seriously, it had rides, games, cheesy popcorn, etc. I couldn't tell you why, but I can tell you that I went almost every week with my Mom. Most of my allowance went to the skee ball machines. I got really good. I was saving up my tickets to get a tv for my room but then we moved.
When we got married, the guy who married us gave us some advice. He told us to go grocery shopping together. And I think we always have. Except when I was on bed rest with the twins, then Juice went by himself. But now we take everyone and make it a fun family outing. Butterfly knows all about coupons, sales, and which stores have the best carts and free samples.
As for saving money, I go through cycles of coupons. Sometimes I LOVE them and I once got $200 of groceries for $68. I kid you not! But I get tired and frustrated with them all sometimes that I stop using them. I always go back to them eventually.
Currently I am in a no using phase. But here are a few tricks from when I was using. (Sounds like a drug, and sometimes it is!)
- Match up your weekly ad with your coupons. Sometimes stores have coupons inside their ads that you can stack with your manufacturing coupons. Watch for the stores that are doing double or triple coupons! GO THERE.
- Match your meals with what's on sale this week in the ad. If chicken is on sale, plan on eating it that week. If London Broil is at an amazing price, plan a few meals around that.
- Keep a "rock bottom price" list for things you always buy. Grocery stores cycle through sales as well. If you can stock up a little on sale price chicken, you won't have to buy it at full price later.
- Stretch those meals. If you bake a whole chicken (delicious with olive oil and rosemary!), save the left over meat for chili the next night. Toss the carcass in a big pot with leftover veggies and water and make your own chicken broth. There are so many different ways to use one thing for several meals. Be creative!
- Make your own. This is something I'm exploring right now. I can buy ingredients to make my own pancake mix that would cost much less than the ready made mix. I can make as much or as little of, say, salad dressing as I want. It tastes SO much better and is much healthier for you.
These are just a few tips that seem to have worked for my family. Here's a few websites for you to look over. I got most of my ideas from them!
Deal Wise Mommy
Freebies 4 Mom
Money Saving Mom
Beyond grocery shopping, the site I use the most is called Swagbucks. It is a free site to use. You just search the web through their portal (very similar to google) and they give you 'bucks' for searching. Add up those bucks and you can redeem them for free stuff from their website. It's kind of like when I was saving up those tickets from skee ball when I was young. Only instead of turning in the tickets for a tv, I'm turning in my bucks for amazon gift cards. So far this year I've earned over $100 for doing nothing that I don't normally do on the web. Seriously, it's amazing. Try it out! You have nothing to loose! (Neither do I, I get a bonus if you sign up.)