Monday, October 13, 2008

Money Saving Monday #2

Prices keep rising in the grocery store, and I do all that I can to keep our grocery budget as low as possible.

I shop at multiple stores. I realize I'm lucky that I can do this, but we have 4 major grocery stores within 5 miles of our home. The grocery ads are usually in the mailbox on Tuesdays, and the sales start on Wednesdays. I look through the ads, noting the good sales, and start making my list. I start my list by listing the different stores, and putting down the sale items.

Then, I plan our meals for the week. I confess that sometimes it's completely in my head and other times I fill out a chart that has spaces for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Things go much better when I plan it out that way, but I just can't always think of all those meals in one sitting.

Once I plan the meals, I add to the list other things we need that aren't on sale.

So, where do I buy the things not on sale? That's where my price book comes in handy. I keep an Excel spreadsheet that lists a number of items I usually purchase. I track the item, the price, the store it was purchased in, the date and the unit price. This way, I'm able to look at see that Store A offers the best deal usually on flour. I'll break up the shopping between the stores I'm visiting.

I also use coupons. I know most people either hate coupons, or love coupons. Many of the local stores offer double coupons, so I can usually save a dollar on different items. I only cut coupons for things I buy, which means that I usually don't have very many coupons. The few dollars I save, though, are worth it to me!

I think the number one savings tool is my price book. It allows me to know what a good deal is, and gives me the knowledge so I can stock up when an item is at a great price.

How do YOU save money at the grocery store?

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