Wednesday, December 8, 2010
My brother Danny just recently developed an interest in saving money. When my Mom brought over the Sunday paper last week, he tried fighting me for the coupons. Weird. Danny has never really cared about money. I take that back, he has always liked spending money, just never cared about saving money. So, when he asked me how to save money on groceries I referred him to some coupon websites, some great deals at grocery stores and where to buy essentials like laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. But I thought perhaps putting all of my grocery savings ideas down in one place for him was a good idea. And I figure anyone can benefit from a refresher on grocery savings.
First, plan your menu for whatever time period you would like to shop for. I prefer to shop for meals two weeks at a time. So before I shop, I sit down and plan out dinner for the next two weeks as well as looking around the house to check on items like soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent, trash bags, etc. Planning a menu prevents the excuse that there is nothing for dinner and forces you to eat at home. Which, as we know, saves money. So Danny, plan what you are going to eat.
Second, look for coupons. There are websites like coupons.com or smartsource.com. You can also go to the exact product websites for savings. For example, I registered on Horizon's website and received a coupon for $1 off the organic milk we buy. Target also puts coupons on their website, so if you shop at Target you should check their website before going shopping. Obviously the Sunday paper is also a great place to look. Danny, don't be fooled by coupons. Sometimes the name brands cost more even when you use a coupon. Some items you can buy generic. Also, be willing to check out the money saving queen. She posts high value coupons pretty often on her website. Like her on facebook and they will be added to your home page.
Next, stick to a budget. That is right. I said BUDGET. Make one and stick to it. Use cash if you can for food, including out to eat. When the cash is gone, you don't go out anymore or buy anymore groceries. It is called eat what you got. Jason and I did this in college. We had some interesting meals made up of canned goods and leftovers. If you make a grocery budget and stick to it you won't let your food spending get out of control.
Lastly, for today, if you are really crazy, buy what is super on sale and plan your meals around those items. People do it all the time. They are the people on TV talking about how they feed a family of 19 for like $5 a week or some crazy crap like that. I am not that person and luckily don't have to be on that strict of a spending plan for groceries. But, if you were, you could make it work. Danny, the lesson here is, maybe if you need to be an extreme couponer, have Katie do it!!! This amount of saving requires some time dedicated to looking at ads, looking online and perhaps shopping at multiple stores. I know you work a lot and go to school so you probably won't have the time or dedication for this level of craziness.
I know all of these ideas have been mentioned before, but for my brother's sake I thought they were worth repeating. Hopefully he will actually check out my blog and read them!!! If you do, leave a comment Danny! Love you.