Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stephanie Chimes in....

I am a bargain hunter at heart! I found a last year Jan and its become a hobby since the day I learned about it. I hit the financial hardship right after I got married. I have 3 kids that like to eat for some reason!! LOL So getting married and now having to grocery shop for 5 people every week got really expensive and each trip was running around 250, ekk. We couldn’t afford it anymore. Through using coupons I have gotten my grocery bill down to 40 bucks a week.

The website lets you search by store to find sales and even provides coupon match up to sale items, making them even cheaper, but I think more than anything the key is to check ads, use coupons and stockpile.

I buy 6-7 coupon inserts a week. I cut, sort and staple like coupons before organizing them in my coupon folder. (I have a 2 wipe containers that I keep them filed in and the wipe containers have there own purse, and my coupons go everywhere with me) Granted I coupon at a high level and I think most family’s just shopping for them could do 2-3 inserts a week. I ALWAYS stock up when an item is on sale. The key is to never pay full price for items that you can get on sale!

A good site for the new couponer is “THE GROCERY GAME” it’s like 5 bucks a month, but you and a friend could split it and just use the same log in. The site lets you select specific stores and shows when an item is on sale, if there is a coupon for it and also color codes the items. Black items are on sale, but this is not the lowest sale price they offer. Green items are called stockpiling items. That means this is probably the lowest price you will see this item matched with a coupon. The perfect time to buy as many of the item as you think you will need before the next sale. You can also order coupons online if you want to buy more of that item. And green items are free. Who doesn’t want free stuff? It’s free after coupon of course!!!

People will laugh when they come to my house. I always have things on hand like, a mayo in the fridge and 2 in the pantry. (Any type of condiment/rice/bean/cracker, etc or toiletry I have at least 3 on hand, sometimes more? My mom will say why do you have so much. Because it was on sale, I paid 1.60 a piece, well most of us know a name brand mayo can cost upwards of 4-5 dollars. I bought 3 for the price of one. Do things go bad sometimes before I get a chance to use it? I guess this could be a problem but I always find a way to use something if it’s going bad. Example if my mayo was expiring next week, we will be having tuna sandwiches for lunch, making egg salad and potato salad. I will find a way to use it or give it away before I have to throw away money!!!

I also use my crock-pot a LOT. If I don’t plan then we eat out and we all know a family of 5 eating out now is a minimum of $40-50 and this is even take out sometimes!!! EKK

Also stocking up on meat in your freezer. I think this is a big one, because its one of the most expensive things in meals. Buy on sale. Example ground beef usually is on sale for 1.99 and a great sale is .99 I always stock up and have the butchers package them in sizes I would use. I have about 30lbs of ground beef in my freezer all in 1lb packages. (you can freeze meat for a year, says my dad, who use to be a butcher) Do I have a lot, yes, but when there are no good sales I don’t have to go out and pay 3.79 a lb.

People laugh at my addiction, but it works out better in the long run. When my son had to go to the emergency room last month and have CAT scan that was big unexpected expense. Since I have such a big stockpile at home I probably spent 20 bucks on groceries the whole month because we were low on funds and this was just stuff that you have to buy regularly like milk, veggies and fruit. Thank goodness I had a stockpile because didn’t have to touch savings to pay for the unexpected expense or charge my groceries on a Credit card!

My fav deal blogs: ( get all my stuff from CVS for FREE, I am not lying, Stephanie Bonomo can attest to it!)

And my number one Favorite!!!! It’s a group of moms who talk about deals and family. I really feel like we are big bunch of friends. Please join us.

I hope this helps someone!!!

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