Good Afternoon Everyone!
Hope you all are doing well, joyfully springing ahead and saving some dimes!
Now that we have spoke of de-cluttering, menu planning, stretching your food budget and some homemade goodies. We can slowly dive into saving & couponing. When I say slowly...it's because again this takes some time and organization. Of course, you CAN just read a flyer, cut a coupon, save a couple of bucks and be done. You may do this from time to time and trust me ANY money saved is great, but if you take a little bit of time and organize yourself you will see that it will pay off. One of the things I utilize is a pricebook...I will post a photo of an example soon. (I need to update mine, so this is great!)
The best way to do this is to get yourself a small notebook, something you can easily tuck in your purse while shopping. And from your list of staples and menu plans, write down your most commonly purchased items along the left hand side of each page. Beside each list make 3 columns...at the top of each column write the initial for the stores you commonly use. For example my pages all have "H", "S" and "W" at the top. (Hannaford, Shaw's and Walmart)
Now comes the part that is a little time consuming, but well worth it. Spend some time at each place, you can go and do this some afternoon or each time you happen to stop into these stores you shop at simply make a few entries. The goal is to have an idea of how much an item costs at each of the stores so you are well equipped with this knowledge when sales arise and coupons are released. Once you see an item is on sale, you can then refer to your price book to see if it indeed is a bargain. You won't be tricked into thinking it's a deal, you will know! If a coupon comes out for an item you know you use, you can check and see where you might save the most money. Not to mention some stores double coupons and some don't. Here near my home Shaw's doubles coupons up to $0.99 so if they show an item on sale and it's the same price as I would purchase it at Hannaford, BUT I have a $0.75 coupon AND they DOUBLE that, well then I am definitely getting a deal. We will work into coupons but for now, gather your information and do your research...
Does it go without saying...check unit pricing? If there is an item you KNOW you are going to use alot, PLEASE pay attention to unit pricing. (example: 24oz of chocolate chips: $3.68, 48oz bag of chocolate chips: $4.68) if you know you use chocolate chips on a regular basis it saves you some dimes by buying the bigger bag and pay less per ounce.
While I do think it is important to compare prices, I do think it is wise to group purchases and shopping trips together so that you are not chasing small savings all over town. With the price of fuel these days it may not pay off in the end.
I plan to work on updating my price book this week, when I have it ready I will post a picture...keep on saving!
I hope this is helpful, if you have any questions please let me know...
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!