You always hear stories or watch television shows about people who are extreme coupon clippers and get incredible deals. I’ve always wanted to be like them, but I’ve never been one to be willing to spend a ton of time each week scouring ads, searching for online coupons, or clipping Sunday papers. After all, time is money too!
So, this week, I want to share the “hidden” savings I’ve found and strategies I’m using to save money on groceries:
#1. Shop and plan your meals around sales. I shop at Pick N’ Save and their weekly ad comes out every Thursday. Since I’m single and just cook for myself, I don’t have to shop very often and usually just need to pick up fresh items. But, I watch the ad to see what is going to be on sale and make meals around those sales.
#2. Register for store rewards. I primarily shop at Pick N’ Save, Walgreens, Aldi and Trader Joes. The first two have rewards memberships and, trust me, I use these rewards to my advantage! They also both have special coupons available online that you can “attach” to your card. Below are tonight’s purchases. I spent $26.08 in total, having reviewed what was on sale (#1), using coupons from the Sunday paper, and using all the special coupons and store rewards I could find (without spending a ton of timing looking, though). I am especially proud of my Walgreens purchases- $1.59 in total. Yes, $1.59!!!
My Walgreens purchase= $1.59
Total of all of my purchases= $26.08
#3. Stock up on regularly used items and essentials when they’re on sale. You may be laughing at some of the stuff I purchased. I now have enough mac n’ cheese to last me into fall and ice cream to last me all summer, but those purchases cost me only $10.50 and they are items that I will certainly use; this same purchase at “regular” price would have run about $22. Tissues were on sale at Walgreens for only $1 a box. The coffee was on sale for $2 off a box, then there was a mobile app coupon for another $3 off and a coupon from the Sunday paper for $1.50 off. Lastly, I am very particular about the type of contact solution I use, which unfortunately tends to be quite expensive. So, whenever I see this type on sale, I buy it. The brand I bought tonight is a new product that is being launched, so the manufacturer was giving a $4 off coupon to encourage people to try it.
#4. Watch for incentives for things you do anyways! Last week, Lincoln (my cat) and I got summer haircuts. The cost? Technically, (gasp) $148. Yes, this may seem like an extravagance, especially when I’m supposed to be on a tight budget. But, Lincoln is much more comfortable during the summer when he has a summer shave, and since I’m not using air conditioning this summer, I would be a mean cat-mom to make him endure the heat with his long hair. So, what am I trying to prove? Wait for it… I got my yearly physical back in March and my insurance gives you a $150 gift card if you send in proof of your physical. So, actual amount spent for the cuts: $0!
Our new summer cuts= $0
#5. Learn to love the dollar store. Since going on a tighter budget, I am learning all about the deals available at the dollar store. I had been struggling a bit the past month because there were certain items that I wanted to purchase, but couldn’t justify buying them because they weren’t “necessities.” For instance, this seems so silly, but I really like floss picks. But, they were $2.99 for 90 at Walgreens; at the dollar store, I found a bag of 150 for… $1! I also recently got four items for a gift I made for someone from the dollar store. I estimate that had I bought these same items at Target, I would have spent about $20 for the items… so, $16 in savings!