Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tips

A few of you have stopped me at church, at the store and other places to tell me you enjoyed my coupon blog. I was shocked, I didn't realize that it would get around so much and be so well received. Even more surprising was when my mom informed me that her friends had been telling her about it. I am very flattered that the blog has spread like it has. Hopefully this information is helping in your attempt to tighten your budget and build your family pantry.

Click here to review my intro to coupons post, coupon post or meal math post.

A few more tips I think you will like:
  1. The first week of the month always has the best deals. Occasionally I will skip my shopping on the last week of the month so I can purchase double the following, first week. I did that this week. I did my shopping yesterday. My total was $123.87 after $179.04 in coupon savings. I also walked away with two "$5 off your next shopping trip" coupons (=$10) and 10 free movie rentals (worth $10). Two of this weeks great deals: Albertsons pasta is 50 cents a pound until Tuesday. I bought 20 pounds for $10! Tide was also on sale for $10.99 a jug and I had $1 off Albertsons coupons and $1.50 off manufacturer coupons. Purchasing 2 Tides qualified me for one "$5 off your next shopping trip"+5 free movie rentals (essentially $12 for 2 Tides and 5 movies). Can you go a week without shopping so you can double up on the great first week of the month sales?
  2. Go Shopping between the hours of 8am-1pm or 7:30pm-10:30pm on weekdays only. These are the slowest hours. Slower hours means fewer distractions, more product on the shelves and better customer service when you need it. I like to visit with the grocery workers; I want to make sure they know who I am. This helps when products aren't on the shelf or the advertised meats aren't in the quantity I want. I can ask them about it and they have the time to go look for the product, or package the meat how I'd like it. Or this week there was a coupon with a limit of 1 and I wanted 3. I talked to the front end manager. He said "I'll clear it. You're in here all the time and it's fun to see how much your gonna save." They are happy to do this because they know that I am a loyal weekly customer. When I occassionally must buy ice cream for a class party or something else that is not on sale, I still go to Albertsons. The cashiers see me and know that I am not just using them, I am a loyal customer. (And, I'll be reimbursed by PTA anyways. :)) What time of day works best for you?
  3. Do not take your children shopping if you can help it. They beg for things. They distract you. They have to go to the bathroom. They beg for things. They get hungry. They slow you down. They whine and cry. They want to choose what to buy. They disregard the list. They beg for things. Can you tell that I don't like shopping with my children? My kids are better now than they used to be. They know that I only buy things on sale and on the list. I know that they will have to use the bathroom and want to sit on the bottom of the cart. I will take them all occassionally but if I can find a way to shop alone, I do it. Do you have someone to watch your kids for you?
  4. Write your list and shop the store in order. If I go into the store on the pharmacy side I get all screwed up, I have to start on the produce and work my way across the store. I write my list in the same order I like to shop to eliminate confusion and to make the shopping smooth and easy. This is my order: First produce, then cereals, canned goods, baking supplies. Then I go to the butcher block, cheeses, frozen foods, eggs, milk, and butter then I cut across the front and over to the cashiers. I only walk isles that have what is on my list. I never walk the alcohol, convenience frozen foods, or cards and gifts isles. I rarely go down the junk food, health and beauty, cleaning supply or paper goods isles--only when it is on my list. What order do you like to shop your store?
Hope these are helpful. Happy Shopping!

2 comments:

  1. Hey Dani! do you have any ideas on what to pack in kid's lunches? I always have a hard time keeping them healthy (less junk food), cheap, and appealing to my picky eaters!

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  2. I'm sorry Christina, I don't have anything exciting to give you on lunches. My kids get pretty much the same thing for lunch every day: A Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich on homemade bread, a fruit, a vegetable, & a capri sun when I've got them. I estimate my cost for this at 50 cents a lunch. We occasionally change this up by substituting soup, chili, cheese sandwiches, or tortilla wraps for the sandwich. After Halloween they will get one piece of their trick-or-treat candy in their lunch every day (that just ran out last week). I guess the biggest money saver on lunches is I don't buy anything special for the lunches. No pre-bagged apples, no mini carrots, no fruit roll ups or lunchables. They're just too pricey. Instead I write notes on the kids napkins or put a sticker in the bottom of their bag to make them feel special. No complaints yet.

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