Friday, October 24, 2014

Shopping The Sales

I do what's called, "shopping the sales."  I buy what's on sale, and I create meals from whatever I purchase.  Now, I don't go crazy and purchase things I've never heard of or don't like, but I do try something new each week.  This form of shopping has definitely enhanced my cooking skills, and recipe repertoire!  Here are the details:

I purchase 4 Sunday papers (I buy 4 papers for coupon purposes).  Once I separate and cut out my coupons, I then look through the sales papers.  I mainly focus my energies on Kroger, Martin's, CVS, and Target.  I circle the items that I am interested in buying.  I will buy anything that we normally eat/love or buy anything that I want to try and make a meal with.  For example, I don't eat yogurt every week, but if greek yogurt is on sale at a particular store i'll buy it and have it as a snack for work.  Another example, Kroger normally has some sort of fresh veggie on sale for $0.99/lb so i'll buy that (it's normally eggplant, squash, or greens).  So whatever is on sale, I figure out meals from what I bring home from the store.  Here are a couple of pics of my Kroger shopping trips:


So after I have wrote down all of the items and their prices of things I plan to buy, I then match up the coupons to what's on sale.  This part is pretty quick for me.  I am familiar with what coupons I have on hand, and also familiar with what coupons normally come in a paper. For example, if I received a P&G coupon insert, and Febreeze is on sale at Kroger, I know I more then likely have a coupon for that.  This part will get quicker with time.  Once you pull your coupons, and match them up with what's on sale, you can then finalize your list with which store has the better deal.  A lot of the time, if a coupon insert comes out on a hot item, all of your stores will have it on sale, in hopes that "us" couponers go and purchase the item from their store.  

If you have items that are on sale that you wish you had a coupon for, Google the product. There are websites like that allow you to print coupons.  Also, many bloggers out there will have links directly to the coupons that you want to print.  Some of my favorites are:  

Once this is done, I write my shopping list on a piece of notebook paper that sits in the front of my coupon binder.  You can use whatever you like, smartphone, or printed list from you computer.  Here are a few downloadable sheets to get started.    

Going to the store is easy at this point.  If you have a Walmart in your area, they do price matching.  All you need is the circular from the other store, and they will give you that item, for the competitors price.  Some restrictions may apply, I suggest calling or going into your local Walmart to verify.  So if there are any name brand items on your list, you only have to shop at that one store!

Recently, I have seen that I get the most for my money at Kroger.  "Shopping their sales" has cost me $50 every two weeks.  Now that's for the bulk of my shopping.  I normally buy meats when I have extra money and only buy meats if they have been marked down (I'll throw em in my deep freezer) or if they are $0.99/lb or less.  

The price tag on this baby was $0.67!!!!!
This also really helps with bringing variety in our diets!  I try to keep rice, flour, and pasta of some sort on hand.  The rest is brought regularly.   How do you normally shop?  Has anyone tried bulk shopping and if so, how is it beneficial to your food budget?

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