Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Money Saving Tips - Getting Started

You will need to menu plan and then shop.  If you don't menu plan before you shop, you have tons of food without any kind of plan.  This creates a recipe for disaster.  You will have saved a bunch of money on all different things, but have missing ingredients for everything you want to make.  Decide where you want to shop.

I used to shop at Foodlion, Sams and Wal-Mart.  Now I primarily shop at Harris Teeter, Sams and Wal-Mart.  Occasionally, I make it to Aldi too.  Your stores will be different from mine depending on what is in your area and what is close to you.  Here is how I start my planning for the month.

First I decide what recipes I want to cook.  I look at the calendar and make sure I have picked out enough recipes and then assign them to each day of the month.  You can do this weekly, bi-weekly, or when you get good once a month.  I find it easier to just do it all at once now.  But it was a bit overwhelming at first.  Start out weekly and move up to just twice a month as it gets easier.  I have magnetic pad on my fridge with the days of the week on it.  That's where I write everything down.  You can get them at Michael's Craft Store for $1.00.

Once the recipes are decided on, I make my list of what I need.  Then I go through the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what I already have.

Next, I look at the store circulars and see what is on sale.  I match my coupons with what is on sale, what I need, and what I will use at a later date.  There are several websites that help me do this faster now.  I will post them as well.

Once I have my list, coupons, and sale items I am off to the different stores.

Sams is where I get bulk items.  Cereal, nutri grain bars, bread, tortillas, cheese, sour cream, milk, lunch meat, whole chickens, and sometimes other meat if it's not on sale at the other stores.  Most of these items above will last the whole month for us.

Since Harris Teeter doubles, triples, and super doubles coupons that's where I like to shop.  Everyday, they double up to 99 cents.  Then if you watch they will triple or super double which is doubling up to $1.98.  These are awesome weeks when I can use a $1.50 coupon and it's really $3.00 off that item.  And if it's already on SALE, that is an awesome find.

Here is a picture of what I bought last week for $55.00 and I saved $62.00

Because you can only use 20 coupons a day at Harris Teeter I did make another trip this week.  It was a smaller purchase, but I saved again more than half of what I spent.

Wal-mart or Aldi is where I get everything else I don't have coupons for.

This can be frustrating to go to several different stores at first, but it's worth saving the money.  Since Harris Teeter is expensive to shop without coupons that is why I don't buy anything else there.  If you plan out your route properly and take a cooler if you know you are going to have items that need to stay cold, you can do this in one afternoon.  Or just get you plan together, write a list for each place and do it over a few days.  Whatever works for your busy schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Your photograph of the food you acquired is great =D Photos are so nice in blogs, break up text and give something for the eye to explore =D Your photograph here reminds me of a book I've seen called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. The authors travel the world and photograph for all these different families exactly what they eat over the course of a typical week.