Saturday Saving Tips

Welcome to today’s edition of Saturday’s Saving Tips! Here’s some tips to stretch your food dollar and get the most out of your grocery purchases.

  • When family-sized packs of ground round go on sale, grab a couple extra packs. Divid them into one pound portions and put them in plastic freezer bags (I also wrap mine in foil first – just for good measure) and freeze them. They are good for up to 3 months.
  • If you always have extra meatloaf left over, freeze individual slices. Need a quick lunch for work or school? Grab a frozen slice and some bread. It’ll be thawed by lunchtime for a delicious meatloaf sandwich!
  • Start a pricebook for the stores you shop at the most and the prodcuts you buy the most. This will help you spot a good deal and know when you need to stock up on an item. see more about pricebooks at the bottom of this post
  • Are you going to be on the go for most of the day? Pack healthy snacks and bottled water in the car. When I spend my Saturday’s running errands and shopping I’m gone for a good portion of the day. If you’ve been in the “coupon blog world” long enough, you know that pinching pennies matters. If you leave the house with $40 and that’s what you’ve got to go pick up items at three different stores, it’s real easy to blow that budget when you stop for a fast food meal, or grab a bag of chips and a coke at the store. I keep bottled water with me (I especially love this time of the year, b/c the water stays cold in the car!) I’ll also bring snacks from home. That way I’m not tempted to grab something and blow my budget (and my calorie intake) for the day. If I am going to be out at lunch time, I can usually get by with grabbing a chicken sandwhich from a fast food place and combining it with my drink and snack I already have with me and saving the money I would have spend on the whole meal.
  • Subscribe to All You magazine. Seriously, it has so many great coupons in it! And you can get it for $15 right now at Amazon (which is a great price). If you only used two coupons out of each issue, it would still more than pay for itself!

More about pricebooks:

Honestly, I was overwhelmed by this at first but then I assured myself that I did not have to enter every item in the store on my first visit! I started with the things I purchased the most at the time – diapers, wipes, baby food. Then I did boxed dry goods (mac-n-cheese, instant potatoes, etc) and canned goods. Then on another visit I did paper and cleaning products. And so on…

I keep a small pocket sized notebook (the kind that opens like a book, not the flip kind) in my purse. I put columns down the page and at the top write the names of the stores I shop at the most (Target, CVS, Winn-Dixie, Aldi, Wal-Mart, etc). Then on the rows going down I write the products. I try to keep items grouped together by category. Then on each shopping trip I fill in a few more items.

You don’t have to record every item you buy. But if you end up with about 75 – 100 of your most commonly purchased items, you’ll begin to see a difference in your grocery bill because you will be able to easily compare prices. Hmmm, do I need to stock up on these 47c cans of green beans or can I get them cheaper somewhere else?? If you had a pricebook, you’d know the answer to that question!

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