Good morning! If you happen to be here after this morning’s Mornings with Fox 43 then welcome! If you want to keep up with all the deals I post then follow me on Facebook here or here, follow me on Twitter here and if you want to check out some of the crafts, recipes and some other fun things then follow me on Pinterest here.
Now that I am not speed talking here are the tips and deals we talked about this morning. We talked about getting started couponing and also some tips to help you save without coupons…
Shop less, plan more….
Grocery shop with a budget, a purpose and a list. Even if you are not using any coupons, you can save up to 40% on your grocery bill if you have planned your meals for the week using items that are on sale, made a list of what you need and completed all your shopping in one trip (even if you visit multiple stores – just get it all done in one day).
Cut your grocery bill with or without coupons by
- Making a plan for the week based on the sale ads – include breakfast, lunch and dinner
– Once you have a list, shop once and then make do with what you purchased.
– Keep a running list on your fridge and turn that into your weekly shopping list.
– Shop alone (or at least as alone as you can – I know this one is near impossible sometimes )
Don’t just shop for the week or the next few days, shop for the next couple months. If you find a great deal on canned goods, pasta, personal item, household items or other items that have long shelf lives then stock up. Don’t buy just 1-2, buy 5-10. Sales cycle are 4-6 weeks so make sure you have enough until the next time it is on sale again.
Create a list of family favorite meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) - these are meals that you frequently make. Identify the items that you need to make these meals and make sure to stock up on them when they are on sale. These are your go to meals that you could make with your eyes closed.
Consider Freezer Cooking – This is life changing!!! Grab a friend, search Pinterest for the recipes, make one big trip to the grocery store (make sure to check the ads as you make your list of recipes to make sure you are using items that are on sale) and knock out 2 weeks of cooking in 1 day. I have done this a few times now (see my post here for my favorite session so far) and it just changes how you think about feeding your family. You can make super healthy meals that take little to no effort to heat up.
Getting started with coupons
Start by collecting coupons and organizing them
- Sunday Paper – Buy 2-3 per week
- Coupon websites – Coupons.com, RedPlum.com, Target.com, Common Kindness
- Manufacturer websites and their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (great for organic items)
- Digital Coupons and Mobile Apps (find a list here)
- Grocery stores – make sure to register any loyalty cards online to start receiving store coupons by mail
How will you keep them organized?
This is where it ALL falls apart. If you can’t keep it organized then you won’t stick with it. The initial organizing may take a few hours but once you find a system that works you will be a machine!
- Binder (check out how I made mine here and get a FREE printable organizer!)
- Whole inserts
Only clip coupons for items you want to purchase and consider switching brands
So we all watched TLC’s Extreme Couponing – I watched in horror. These giant “hauls” for almost $0. Ummm… what in the world is someone going to do with 50 bottles of mustard? Or 50 bottles of antacid? And while I had much love for ramen back in my college days, it is just not good for you to eat it everyday – even if it was free. Just because you can get a good deal on something doesn’t mean you need it or will even use it. The majority of food coupons are for processed food items (yep, I said it), if these are not items you want to feed your family then don’t buy them.
What I do recommend is stocking up as much as you can on household and toiletry items. When you can match up a sale with a coupon then you should buy, buy, buy! Toothpaste has a long shelf life and many times you can pick up Crest or Colgate for FREE. Dental floss never goes bad and is another easy one to pick up on the cheap. If you are not super picky about your shampoo, body wash or laundry items then you can take advantage of a ton of deals. In my opinion, these are the items that really make a grocery bill go sky high so if you only ever coupon for these items then you will see big savings every month.
Where should I shop?
While you are starting your collection decide which stores you will shop at, when their sales start and end and what their coupon policy is.
- Kroger ad starts on Wednesday. Kroger doubles coupons up to $0.50 (check out Kroger 101 here)
- Publix ad starts on Thursday. Publix doubles coupons up to $0.50 (check out Publix 101 here)
- Target ad starts on Sunday. They do not double coupons but they have a bunch of gift card deals, Target Cartwheel, store and digital coupons that can be used with manufacturer coupons for great deals (Check out Target 101 here)
Now for the fun stuff… Here are the deals we talked about for Easter and some other great deals and FREEBIES you can take advantage of right now
- Staples - $10 off a $20 Crayola purchase (in-store and online)
- Retail coupons to save on Easter clothes (Kohl’s, Children’s Place, Famous Footwear..)
- FREE $5 Target Gift Card with $25 Easter purchase through April 4
Other deals this week
- 6 great garden FREEBIES (FREE planning guide, seeds and plant food)
- FREE Home Depot kids workshop this Saturday (April 4) at 9am.
- The kiddos will be building a Chalkboard Planter Stand. Workshops are FREE but you will want to pre-register online to guarantee a kit for your child.
- Toys R Us Bike and Trike Trade-in. Save $10-$50 on a new bike when you trade in your old one!