Friday, March 4, 2011

Shopping: Once an enjoyable pass time...

Shopping was once an enjoyable, therapeutic pass time for me. Especially when I found a good bargain. Lately, I've found myself getting depressed when shopping for anything from food to toiletries; shoes/accessories and clothing. Well, mostly the food/toiletries shopping...you can still find good bargains on shoes and clothes and if you can't you can always pass it up. For me that's not always a necessity, however, eating and personal hygiene is.

Upon my recent shopping trips to the grocery stores, WalMart, Target, etc., I've noticed that their prices are definitely increasing and, in some instances, size is decreasing. The reality of my situation is that I never really had to shop for food. I would give my mom money and she would always do that for me. She did all the coupon clipping and circular flipping. She was that lady you see at the supermarket with two shopping carts full of stuff and ends up paying like $20.

So I figure there may be some people out there like myself who need a crash course in saving money at the grocery store. I found these helpful tips and websites and wanted to share them. I'm gonna start clipping and flipping myself and will let you know how much I save on my next visit to the grocery store.

TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY ON GROCERIES

• Go shopping alone
• Have a budget and stick to it
• Make fewer, larger trips
• Don’t shop hungry
• Plan your meals in advance
• Scan your cupboards, pantry, and fridge before leaving
• Keep a running list of items you need on your fridge
• Break your list down by store and plan your outing accordingly
• Plan your trip through the store to minimize wandering the aisles
• Don’t forget your list when you head to the store, but…
• Be willing to deviate from your list for great deals
• Don’t be afraid of store brands
• Buy the Sunday paper
• Keep an eye on the weekly store circular
• Clip (and use!) coupons for name brand items
• Check the store’s website for printable coupons
• Be on the lookout for “double coupon” days
• Stack manufacturer and store coupons
• Learn your store’s sale cycle (sales are often cyclical)
• Stock up (within reason) when things are on sale
• Get rain checks when sale items are out of stock
• Visit multiple stores to get the best deals, or…
• Avoid non-grocery items that can be bought for less elsewhere
• Joins the store’s affinity program and flash your card
• Be on the lookout for “shrinkage” (e.g., 1.5 quarts vs. half gallon)
• Cook large batches and freeze for later
• Don’t waste leftovers
• Eat less – seriously, many people eat way more than necessary
• Cook from scratch, avoid processed foods
• Avoid frozen/prepared entrees
• Eat more fruits/veggies, cut back on meat
• Eat in season fruits/vegetables
• Hit the local farmer’s market
• Drink more water, fewer costly beverages
• Be on the lookout for pricing errors at the register
• Be sure they scan instant coupons that are attached to some items

HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL SITES THAT HAVE PRINTABLE COUPONS!!!

www.couponmom.com
www.coupons.com
www.coupons.redplum.com
www.101waystosavemoney.com

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