Sunday, June 27, 2010

Save BIG on groceries! Here is how...

I have been disappointed in myself lately because I use to be so good about clipping coupons, meals planning and making sure I was saving my family the most money possible. Now we have been going to the store every couple days and spending WAY too much on food.

With some organization, planning, and with help from sites such as Deals to Meals and The Grocery Game grocery shopping and meal planning does not have to be a chore. It can be quite fun!

Deals to Meals is a site I found recently that I am very excited about. It was created by a mom. This mom teaches you how to stock pile and prepare for emergencies. Her Deals to Meals service is only $4.95 a month and each week she tells you all the grocery deals of all the grocery stores in your town (or most of them). She tells you which sale items to buy to save more then you would at Cosco, Sams Club and Walmart. She tells you which items to stock up on for your food storage and freezer, how long those items will last, and how much to buy for your family. She not only provides you with the information to snag all the killer deals but also gives you a menu plan complete with recipes each week based off those deals. This is a HUGE time saver and great for those of you (like me) who are in a dinner rut and need some fresh ideas. I am using her menu plan this week. See my Menu Plan post here to see what it looks like. Very yummy stuff! Deals to Meals also offers a weekly grocery list that you can pick and choose which sale items you want and then print them off. They have printable food storage inventory sheets & more that you can download. For 2 weeks you can check it out for free (This is what I did).

I have been saving all the coupons out of my Sunday papers and today I actually sat down and clipped them all. I organized them into categories and put them in envelopes (I have a real cool coupon holder I bought coming in the mail here soon, I can't wait). Then I went online to Deals to Meals and printed out their Menu Plan with recipes for this week and also their grocery list of all the deals at two of my local grocery stores. Then I went to Grocery Game and signed up again and printed off the coupon deals for those same two stores. After this, I compiled a master list of everything I needed. Yes, it was a time consuming chore but it will get easier as I get use to shopping this way once more. Most of my time was spend organizing since I have not done this in a while.

That's a lot of groceries!

Lastly, I headed out shopping! I first went to the natural food store to pick up some bulk grains and vegetables for bread and baby food making. Then I went to City Market (same as King Soopers) and did the rest of my shopping. 3 1/2hours after I left my house I was done! Whew! At City Market I saved 47% off my groceries. My total was $180 but I saved $137 with shopping sales and using coupons. I bought a bunch of sale priced meat for our freezer, a few stock pile foods (Including healthy cereals for only $1.50 per box) and got all the food for my menu plan, lunches, etc. I will need to make a Safeway trip tomorrow for a few of their sale items but that won't take long (hopefully).

My goal is to have a stockpile of at least 3 months worth of groceries. Deals to Meals suggest 1 year, but we have limited storage space and no garage. I know if I stay consistent in my deal shopping that I can make this happen. I am tired of throwing something together each night. It feels so good when I have a plan and my family is blessed by it as well.

What do you do to save on your families grocery expenses? I would love to hear your tips!
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6 comments:

Michelle - Mom of 3 Munchkins said...

A great way to save on beef is to find a place where you can buy a 1/4 of 1/2 a cow. It is expensive up front, but will save a lot in the long run and will fill up your freezer for a long time!

HappilyDomestic said...

I know..I really want to do this. The money is the problem at the moment. :-(

newmami_rgv said...

holy cow... pun intended. We actually don't eat that much cow, so it would probably last us more than a year. But i'm going to have to try this out. I don't like to print, so i'd only write down what i know we will eat. Thanks!

Tamara said...

I also like planning a weekly menu. I currently gather all the grocery flyers and scan them for the best deals, but it sounds like grocery game does that for you? I'm gonna check it out! I love coupons, I saved $41 over the weekend on a trip to Haggen! I was so proud of myself!!! One thing I've found helpful is multipurpose meals. My Rachel Ray cookbook does this. You cook a big lot of meat and then use it for two different dishes for the next two nights. Another tip I found that I really like is to spend a day cooking a bunch of different meats, like Italian, Mexican... and put it in labeled ziplocs in the freezer. Then, you can just pull 'em out and add the veggies or whatever and you have a meal.

BGreen said...

That is great that you saved so much. My mom was quite the coupon clipper when I was growing up.

Jill said...

We shop at Aldi a lot for food stuffs. I've found that lately clipping coupons means I will hold onto something that looks good, but we probably shouldn't buy, and end up buying it, even if we don't need it, just to try it out. I'm often disappointed, so I'm going to stick to clipping coupons for just the things we actually buy regularly like toilet paper and such and try and get most of our groceries (canned foods, fresh produce, bread, milk, eggs) from aldi because it's a lot cheaper than Walmart, which is pretty much our only other option.

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