Friday, December 5, 2008

Rules of the Game

I wanted to make sure that we talk about a few necessary rules and tips. It's ok to feel slightly overwhelmed in the beginning. Our first trip to the store we only saved around $30.00 and that was saving almost 50%, but as time went on our savings increased. Our highest savings was when we should have spent $229.87, but only spent $47.02. That's $182.85 in savings!! This is just like training for a marathon. At first it is hard work and many times you might not be in the mood to do it, but if you push through you will win!

1. Do not stray from your list.
No matter how delicious that tortellini that's on sale sounds if it is not on your list don't get it.
I really can't say it enough that sticking to your list really does help you save. Some "sales" can be only .20 off and that's not very good compared to what you could get if you wait it out. Your list has all of the best sales on it so don't get caught up in the excitement of "SALE" signs. If by chance the store is having a clearance or a great sale that they did not advertise then make sure to look at the price and only buy if it really is that great of a deal.

2. Be flexible with your menu .
While you do want to set a menu you should adjust it depending on sales and coupons. If we are planning on having sun dried tomato pesto one night and I do have a coupon for the pinenuts, but its not on sale I'll move it off our menu until I can use my coupon when it is on sale. I may notice that they are having an awesome sale on meats and I have a store coupon for $5 off meat at that store, and I happen to have all of the other ingredients already to make Tastes Like Lasagna Soup. That recipe now replaces the pesto.

3. Keep a budget.
Remember that number that you got from cutting your average grocery cost in half? It's important that you strive to stay within that budget. By sticking to it you will be forced to search out the best deals and not do unnecessary buying. Soon enough you will have spent even less than you had budgeted. I promise that having a budget not only is good for your bank account, but it really will help you to be a smarter shopper.

4. Stockpile.
If there is an awesome sale and you have coupons then you need to buy up a few of that item. This rule actually helps you to save more. Let's say we are running low on deodorant and there happens to be a great deal going on. I will grab a few of them so that I never get stuck needing something and having to pay more for it. Last month I bought 8 deodorants and spent just over $5.00. The lowest it has been since that time is more than double what I paid. At the same time, I had not kept up with our medicine cabinet and when we all got sick we found our selves still saving a little on the medicine, but we paid more than we should have if I had stockpiled last time.

I'll touch a little more on everything in the "Tips" post next week. Please also feel free to ask any questions or share any concerns. I'll answer those in a question and answer post. There is so much to touch on so I will try my best to cover a lot, but some things you learn by doing it yourself.


  1. Do you have any tips for saving money on produce or seafood? What is your take on buying things from Costco? or bulk on Amazon?

  2. This is perfect advice. I have been trying to cut spending and save money and just really wasn't able to really get it together. Thank you for the tips.

  3. Yay. Thank you so much for this series. I have been contemplating couponing recently, but haven't known where to start. i am excited to hear what you have to share. for a long time, i shopped sales diligently, and went to multiple stores. but Here is my dilemma --- now, I shop monthly. I have four small kids that shop with me, and honestly the less I have to go to the store the better :) What would be your advice for someone like me? should i just focus on what happens to be on sale at the beginning of the month and seek to stockpile from there? i have found that monthly shopping does help me save some - cuts out unnecessary trips and helps me combine ingredients for meals (i plan out the whole month of dinners). i do end up going out once mid-month to buy milk and cereal, so i could see maybe hitting some sales then. any advice for making this work? i would appreciate it! sorry for this email length comment! thanks :)

  4. These are good tips. I know I need to stick to my list, but it's easy to stray!

  5. I have been couponing for about 2 years and am really disappointed that the stores (Vons and Ralphs) who used to double coupons will only double them up to a dollar now. I used to save about 70-75% off my bill and now if I get 40% off i am lucky...but I guess that is better than nothing!
    Sometimes it is better to just go to Walmart and use them there since their prices are cheaper than the grocery store.
    But it is truly addicting!

  6. is THE BEST site for this in UT and NV. Best deals, comprehensive, accurate, and SO easy to use.

    plus, they teach FREE CLASSES so you can really learn how to do it right so you save the most, and it isn't so intimidating!


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