OK, I’ve had several people ask me how in the world I’m saving so much money on groceries these days, so I wanted to do a slightly more detailed blog post on this week’s spending.
First off, I don’t think I could save what I have been without the help of sites like www.fiddledeedeemom.com, http://attentiontargetshoppers.blogspot.com and www.publix4pennies.com. I especially love the Publix 4 Pennies site because it not only tells me about the sales and coupons, it also lets me select the items I want to create a printable shopping list.
Another thing those reading should know is that I do most of my shopping at Publix, with supplemental trips to CVS and Target. Publix accepts manufacturer coupons (the kinds you can find in a newspaper or print online), competitor coupons (such as printable online grocery coupons from Target) and in-store coupons (these are usually found in the magazines and sales papers at the front of Publix, right when you walk through the door). I try to buy things that are on sale, especially buy-one-get-one-free, which Publix has a lot of.
Something to remember about buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) items: You can use a manufacturer coupon on both. So if I wanted to buy two packs of crackers that were BOGO and had two coupons for $1 off one pack of those crackers, I could use both those coupons to get a total of $2 off.
Publix also will stack one of each type of the aforementioned coupons, so you can use up to three coupons on each item. On those BOGO crackers, in addition to the manufacturer coupons, if I had a Target printed coupon for $1 off each pack and an in-store coupon for $1 off each pack, I could stack all the coupons (6 total) and get $3 off each pack of crackers.
Keep in mind that not all Publix stores will take competitor coupons because it is generally at the discretion of the manager. Many Publix stores also double coupons up to $.50 (for some reason, though, none of the Florida stores do), so when you are using small-value coupons, keep in mind that they will double when you are figuring out your grocery budget.
Beyond knowing how the system works and figuring out where to get coupons, the biggest thing for me is just making some time to sit down and plan out my shopping trip. The Publix 4 Pennies site helps greatly with this, but I also usually sit down with the Publix weekly ad (which comes out on Wednesdays) to start my planning. I probably spend a couple of hours a week figuring out what I will buy and how much I will spend. The good news is that this is helping lower our monthly grocery budget. This week, as opposed to budgeting $75, I budgeted $40 – so far so good. See my next post for the details on the shopping trip.
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