I’ve been using coupons and shopping from store flyers for many years. While I’m proud to say I save anywhere from ten to fifteen dollars each week, I’ve finally kicked my savings into high gear. The supermarket I do the bulk of my shopping at tallies up your savings on your receipt. The other day mine came to $69.35, so much in fact, that the store has a policy that if it’s over $50 a supervisor has to check and okay it for the cashier. Here’s what I’ve learned from months of fine tuning my savings-
A Sale Isn’t a Catch
Last week I was in the store and wanted to buy tomatoes. I noticed that boxes of capari tomatoes, normally $3.99 a box which contains one pound were just 99 cents. I had to do a double take because usually this variety is the most expensive. Nope, my eyes hadn’t deceived me. Straightway I thought I’ll stock up and knew I could use my dehydrator to make sun-dried tomatoes. Tip one, think ahead to what you can do when you stock up on an item. What surprised me was a lady was also shopping for tomatoes and saw me filling my cart. She said she couldn’t believe how cheap they were but they probably weren’t any good for that price. I told her I buy them and they’re great but still she chose to pass on them and buy ones that cost $2 more per pound. Guess I wouldn’t make much of a salesperson but the bottom line is some bargains are just that, no tricks, no bad tasting food, just a good buy for you so don’t be afraid to take advantage of them.
Play the Match Game
One thing I’m getting better at is matching manufacturer’s coupons with store coupons and doubling the saving. Most of this week’s buys were purchased using that combo. It takes a little more time to play the match game but definitely worth it.
More Than One Coupon…use it
Another thing that worked for me this week was I had more than one of the same coupon on items that were on sale. No you can’t use two on one item but when I found a deal like 2 for $5 I bought three of that item and used two coupons. Lots of people don’t realize that you don’t have to buy two items when the store offers this type of deal (well unless they specifically say you can’t).
The previous week I bought six boxes of cereal, got $10 off on that trip to the store and was given a coupon for a free gallon of milk which I used this week. And as the same deal was still running, bought another six boxes, got another $10 off my bill and another coupon for milk.
Use Coupons With Sales
Speaking of cereal I also had one for $1 off two boxes of cereal and free fruit. I used it to buy three pounds of bananas that were on sale for 35 cents a pound… and yes, I thought ahead and I’m drying them for future snacks and an addition to a homemade trail mix.
Think Future Meals
I also think ahead to what I’ll be making in the coming weeks or even months. Summer’s around the corner which means, more salads, vegetables, grilling. So I took advantage of the sales, and yes, coupons too for items like salad dressings, dressings that can be used as marinades on veggies, and BBQ sauce. I even stocked up on mayonnaise knowing I’ll be making potato salads and more sandwiches during the warmer weather.
Plan for Holidays
And this week the store had lots of good deals because of the upcoming holiday weekend. Beans, pickles, tomato ketchup, all things that store perfectly in the pantry and can be used beyond the summer season.
What’s ahead on Budget Smart Girl?
Budget Smart Girl will take a break next week and then kick in with some summer features. The first delivery of my CSA box of veggies begins on June 6th. Each week I’ll be sharing with you what’s in there and what I’ve made from the contents. I’m hoping to get a Friday Freebie feature started…something that’s free that week to share with you. Also, what’s going on with my backyard vegetable garden and recipes I’ve made using this homegrown produce. And yes, as summer’s the time for more fruits and vegetables than you can only eat, I’ll be sharing with you tips on preserving foods for fall and winter.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.