Now that you all have mastered befrugal and ebates, on to the store!
I know all the men are grumbling, as they all seem to HATE grocery shopping. My good friend tells me it’s ‘man law’.
Regardless, everybody has to eat! So why not save on those weekly trips to the store. I pride myself in setting a budget and competing with myself to go under. A strange savings game. Here are my top tips.
- ALWAYS ALWAYS Plan your meals. That’s right, you should not be just rolling to the grocery store an picking up whatever randomly while on an empty stomach (especially not on an empty stomach…everything looks good).
- If you are cooking three meals a week then plan those three meals out.
- Plan your breakfast item(s)
- Add your snack of the week
- add your fruits of the week
- Make a budget and stick to it. If you are unsure go through your banking history and find an average amount spent to start.
- Write an estimated price next to each item on your list.
- Reduce waste– we’re all guilty
- LOOK in your fridge and cabinet for anything which may be expiring soon. What can you make using that to reduce waste and save money?
- Cross use items. The tomatoes you are buying can be used in tacos, a steak salad, burger night, and spaghetti at the end of the week.
- If you don’t use it all FREEZE it if possible. Frozen tomatoes, kale, spinach work well in spaghetti sauce too. Frozen mango, grapes, apples, etc that’s all smoothie mix to me!
- Compare ads- This I where I may lose some men.
- Choose two stores (or more) to get groceries from after comparing ads AGAINST your meal plan list. I am aggressive and all four of my stores are within the same 1 mile radius, three are next and across the street from each other. The two with best deals, go with. More stores if you are aggressive like me and have the time.
- You know the stack you are getting in the mail, sometimes there are coupons in there. Coupons which only come in the mail, you cannot get in the store. Aldi has sent 10 off purchase of 40 or more to me, 4 times. This week Albertsons had a mail only coupon for cereal for 1.79 a box of three Kellogg’s brands.
- If an item on an ad is not on your list but too good to pass up, GET IT. Today I score 75 ounces of laundry detergent for 1.99. Limit was 1, but you can rest assured I would have grabbed more if allowed. It was not on my list, but one of the best deals for laundry soap you will find.
- Technology-There’s an app for that
- Ibotta-To date i’ve earned about 45 bucks with this app. After you get home with your groceries check Ibotta to see if you bought any items from their list, they will often give you .25 cents for an receipt you upload. Once you find the items upload your receipt and send it in for processing. Besides grocery they also have clothing stores, beer, wine, and restaurants. Cash out the money to your paypal! it’s that simple! Referring people does earn you money as well, and you can build teams and earn bonus cash. If you want to try it out, here’s my referral Link which will also give you 10 bucks for signing up.
- Checkout 51- This app is similar to ibotta, but just groceries. However, the coupons differ (and sometimes they are the same!). There are many more apps like this, but keeping up with two is enough for me. You also cash it out when you hit the minimum for paypal money! I’ve earned 9.05 with them since opening. Those 1.79 cereals I mentioned earlier…I also received 1.00 cash through Ibotta. Effectively costing me 1.29 each. If you want to try it out here is the website, but it’s also a phone app website
- Albertson has an app, where you can electronically clip coupons for savings over what the ad shows! The best part is you only have to put your phone number in at check out. This app is the reason I spotted the 1.99 laundry soap.Be Knowledgeable–You’re smart!
- Convenience foods are typically only convenient for the store, not you. Money in their pocket, and less in yours. In a few instances it may be better to buy the convenience item.
- Items on the outside of the store are typically better for you and your pocket. Produce anyone. You always hear people say, “it’s so expensive to be healthy’, start with the produce and calculate your shopping as you go. You’ll see where the prices jump! The more time you spend there the better for your pocket.
- Try a meatless night. Meatless Monday could save you money, as meat is often an expensive item. And if you say “what about protein”, consider yourself fooled. Fruits, veggies, and grains all contain protein. Animals receive protein by eating these items. So will you! Pinterest and the internet offer endless options to consider (homemade veggie pizza is my favorite, also taco pizza with a layer of refried beans, taco sauce, etc).
That’s all for this week on recouping some dollars.If you do nothing else, plan your meals and reduce waste. The other areas are bonus for more savings. What do you do to save at the grocery store? Share so we all can save. Recoup your dollars so you can use them on what you really want to do, for me it’s travel! #conquer.
*Feature Picture: My grocery haul this week (except for my fresh garden rosemary) 55.19, not including the checkout51 and ibotta cash.