Saving money…let me share

Time to make a public update on my money situation. In the end, Oct was an okay month with my money, but I think I shared that recently. What I want to share is how I have started saving cash at the store, now for some of ya’ll this is kid’s play but you gotta understand for me this is huge. Like many folks I have always poo-pooed the idea of using coupons after all, most of what I see for coupons is stuff I would never buy since we don’t use a great deal of convenience or processed items. Yet recently I have been reading more and more about folks who shop the sales and combined with some coupons end up saving a great deal.

Well times are tough, money is tight and I have a lot of plans in the coming months chiefly some trips to visit family and friends and since I haven’t seen my raise yet and still don’t know exactly what it is going to be, I know I need to reduce my spending.

So last Sunday, I actually took an hour with the sales papers from my local grocery store along with a few coupons and decided rather than making my usual grocery list that I was going to only buy what was on sale, stock up on those items and plan my meals based off what I bought rather than my usual way. Normally I make the meal plan and shop based off what I think we re going to eat.

Well in changing things up I have saved over $120 this past week and stocked up on quite a few items. Now I mentioned this to a few folks and there seemed to be an assumption that I must have a crate load of junk food. No, darling not at all. Examples of things I bought in volume only using the sales would include 5 lbs bags of King Arthur flour that I got for $2.50 a bag. King Arthur is a decent brand and generally pricier than the cheaper stuff, I now have 15 lbs in the cabinet. I also stocked up on sugar, shredded coconut and other baking goodies. I rarely buy chicken breast but the store had a buy one get one free deal on Purdue Split Chicken Breast, so I stocked up on those too.

The only processed items that I stocked up on were Annie’s Mac and Cheese, the girl child will not eat my homemade mac and cheese no matter how much I try to make it look like Annie’s and frankly there are times I don’t feel like cooking. Also the boy will be home soon, and he likes to snack on these as well, so I took advantage of the 3 boxes for $4 sale.

In the end, I spent maybe an hour and a half poring over the sales and creating my list and clipping coupons for toilet paper and paper towels. (I tried to give these up but it created more laundry and sadly juggling family and my outside job, creating more laundry is not an efficient use of my time)

I even took advantage of the new chain drug store opening up and saved a bit there on items I would normally purchase with their $10 off a $20 purchase coupon. At that store I stocked up on laundry soap (el cheapo brand I use for linens since due to skin sensitivity, I can only use 1-2 brands for my clothes) toothpaste, and other related items. The Spousal Unit has been teasing me that I have become one of those women, but I admit I kinda like getting deals especially when its stuff I would buy anyway. Yes, it took time to actually read the flyers and plan but if saving money and switching up things means I can head home for a visit soon its all good.

I admit, I doubt I will ever be the lady getting $200 worth of food for $5, since unless coupons start coming out for fruits, veggies and meat, there are still only limited items that I can use coupons for. However by shopping the sales it seems I may be able to reduce our grocery bill by at least $100 which is a plus since currently it stands at close to $600 which is a tad insane for 3-4 folks.

So I share this with you to say if this not the way you shop, it might be worth looking into, after all what might you do with an extra $100 a month?

6 thoughts on “Saving money…let me share”

  1. i love the fact that you not only are sharing your journey, but also give us updates on what progress you’ve made. you aren’t alone either. my friends think i’m crazy but i only buy items on sale because here in NYC everything eventually goes on sale. i haven’t gone the coupon route though, but definitely keep it up. the savings are great and you’ll always have something in the house to eat/cook.

  2. It’s great that you’ve had success with the coupon route. I mostly shop by sale, but I do it through the Associated Buyers coop. I stock up on large items (50 lbs flour, evaporated cane juice, whole wheat tortillas, peanut butter), etc and so I’m not buying those items each time and it’s easy to anticipate the next sale. We still spend an enormous amount of our income on food, but really, Americans spend so little compared to other countries, and we’re mostly buying crap food with the little we spend.

  3. That’s great! I save bits and pieces here with coupons but $2.50 for King Arthur flour is out of this world. Wow. Maybe I’ll get into coupons too . . . if I could squeeze out the time. I’m glad to know that you’re able to get quality foods using coupons.

  4. Natural Nubian, I hear ya. I have friends in larger cities and to hear then tell it, nothing is ever on sale. Now I know that isn’t right since my Mom used to shop going tp 3-4 different stores to catch deals. Personally back in Chicago I could have spent less on food since I would be able to go to a wide variety of shops.

    Amy, I have toyed with trying to connect with a coop but haven’t made the connection. It sounds like you are able to get deals that way, definitely something to think about in the future.

    Chi-Chi, I gave up some of online time to do it. 🙂 I had the Spousal Unit take the child out so I could spread things out (you have small kids you know what I talking about) so I could really look and compare things. Like I said, its time well spent. King Arthur flour that cheap is a deal, only reason I stopped at 3 bags is because I knew I didn’t have any place to store it.

    Thanks Wildflower, I figure if I am gonna put myself out there with my financial issues, the least I can do is try and share some practical tips.

  5. Wow, Shay!!

    That sounds fantastic!

    I am definitely one of those sistas who….for YEARS…only stepped foot in a grocery store three times a year (at most). I only went into the grocery store three times a year to stock up on beverages.

    I ate out for every meal…or ordered in. For years and years. I don’t even own any pots!

    This year, I have tried to change all that.

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