Here's what I bought. How much do you think this would have cost (without any coupons or sale items)? Look closely at everything I bought - Shampoo & Conditioner, Ziploc Bags, Milk, 3 Large Boxes of Cereal, Organic Cookies, a week's worth of Boar's Head Sandwich Meat, All Natural Chicken Sausages, 3 Kashi Frozen Meals, Organic Cranberry Juice, 2 Cartons of OJ, and more!
So, how much? Well, if I hadn't used any coupons or shopped the sales, I would have spent $77.47 BUT....I only spent $43.67! Here's how I did it.....
1. Always shop the sales! This may go against what you would think, but even if you don't need it, if it's something you always use and doesn't go bad....BUY IT! For example, we drink orange juice everyday. With only 2 people drinking it, do we really need 2 cartons this week? Of course not! But, it was on sale AND I had a coupon!! Since it doesn't expire until the end of the month, I bought 2! Do we need 3 large boxes of cereal, of course not. But they were on sale (buy 2, get one free) and I had a 3 coupons (one for $1 off 3 boxes, one for a free reusable grocery bag when you buy 2 boxes, and one for a free gallon of milk when you buy 3 boxes). So in buying the 3 boxes I got a free gallon of milk, a reusable grocery bag, and a free box of cereal!
2. Always use coupons! This goes along with #1. If something is on sale AND you have a coupon for it...BUY IT! Don't let your coupons dictate what you buy....let the sales! Some people fall into the coupon trap of buying whatever they have a coupon for, thinking they are getting a good deal. But, that's not always the case. Sometimes the item you have a coupon for is the most expensive. Make sure you do the math to see if it is cheaper to use your coupon or to buy a different brand. (That's why I bring Brian!) If something you regularly use is on sale, check to see if you have any coupons for it...if so, stock up!
One last money saving tip for you....NEVER pay full price for boneless/skinless chicken breasts. These can be very pricey! BUT....I never pay more than $1.99 per pound. When it goes on sale, I buy a BUNCH of packs. Then when I get home, Brian and I spend a few minutes preparing them for the freezer. First, we trim off any fat, then we pound them (this makes the cooking process faster when the chicken is thinner), then we wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and place the wrapped pieces into large ziploc bags and freeze them. Then, whenever we want chicken for dinner, I take out the number of pieces I need and defrost them in the fridge overnight. Yes, it would be easier just to freeze the whole pack as is, but when you only need 2 pieces or if you need 4 or 5, it won't work. The packs usually have 3 pieces in them. If we only need 2, we would be wasting the 3rd. Plus, we are doing all the prep work up front, which makes cooking much easier!
So, where do I get my coupons? Several places: The Sunday Paper, websites (coupons.com and grocerygame.com), company websites (I search for the different products that I buy regularly), store flyers (Don't pass up the flyer stand at the front of the store. Publix always has a bunch of coupons up there!), and coupon dispensers on the aisles. I have a very detailed and organized way of storing and sorting my coupons, but I won't go into that on here. But find a way that works for you. It definitely takes time to get used to using coupons and will take some trial and error in finding out the best way that works for you. But don't give up! You will love seeing how much you save each week! It's like a game for us now. We can't wait to see how much we can save! :) It definitely makes grocery shopping more fun!