>> Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I have had a few people ask me about saving money. I have only been trying to save money for a few months, but I have learned a bit in those few months. We were spending way too much money on groceries. Once I quit working I knew that had to change. Here are some rules that I believe are essential for saving money on groceries.
Rule #1: Know your prices. If you don't know what a good price for something is, then you won't know if a sales price is really good or not. For example, Publix will have their chicken breasts "on sale" for $3.50/lb. This actually is not a good price on chicken breasts. Kroger often has theirs on sale for $1.99/lb. I believe Publix and Kroger have the best priced sale items. You just have to know that the best is. If there is something you need but can't find on sale, then Wal-Mart or Target is your best bet.
Rule #2: Stockpiling. Our old way of grocery shopping is that we would go each week and buy one of everything that we needed, at Wal-Mart (my least favorite store). Our way of grocery shopping has changed dramatically. Now we stockpile. To build up your stockpile it will take probably a couple months. Once you have your stockpile, however, you will see your grocery bill decrease dramatically.
How do you build a stockpile you ask? This does take a little bit of time and effort. First thing you have to do is scan the sale ads each week. You don't neccesarily have to buy the newspaper, because every store will have their sale ads online. You do want to buy the newspaper if you want to get the coupons though (more on coupons later). The store with the overall best sales, in my opinion, is Publix. They have buy one get one free sales every week. Their sales run from Wed. to Tues., unlike most stores, which run Sun. to Sat. The way to get your stockpile is when you see something on sale that your family would eat, buy it. Don't just buy one or two. I would suggest buying at least three or four. If the item is buy one get one free then you are getting it for half price anyway.
Rule #3: Don't shop at one store for everything. This is time consuming, but I believe it is worth it if you can make it work. For example, each week I will usually go to Publix to get their buy one get one free items and milk and bread. Then if there is still more that we need, I will go to Target for those things. I probably go to Kroger once or twice month, when they are having good sales.
Rule #4: Make a weekly menu. Go through your cabinets and see what you already have. Then base your menu off of that. Be creative with what you already have at home. It is ok sometimes to have grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. If you have bread and cheese (maybe some lunch meat) and a side, then you have one dinner already taken care of. Search the internet for meals. I have been surprised at how many meals I have been able to make with stuff that we normally keep on hand at our house.
Rule #5: Make a list. Know what you are going to buy before you go to the store. If you go in and just buy what you see then you will spend too much money. Only buy what is on your list. You can make exceptions if you see a good sale on something that you didn't previously see in the sales ad. Other than that, stick to your list.
Rule #6: If you are just starting out in trying to budget, don't try to do too much at once. Take baby steps, or else you will burn yourself out and give up.
Coupons will have to wait until tomorrow. A certain baby is demanding my attention. Here are some websites I frequently visit:
www.twothriftysisters.blogpot.com (This website will have local deals bc they are in Athens)