I downloaded a course on saving money at the grocery store from Crystal Paine about a week or two ago. I've been slowly working my way through the course and it's pretty good. I have to admit that I've already been doing many of the tips that she shares in the course but if you are new to saving money, this course would definitely help you. You can look it up at SupermarketSavings101 . The biggest thing that she talks about, that I've never been good at, is coupons and going to different stores. I've been trying to incorporate this into my shopping, but I have to say that I keep overspending. Another thing that is different than what I've always done is stocking up on things when they are on sale. I know that should be something that I do but to tell the truth, I've always just stuck to a menu, shopped for that menu, and kept myself from deviating from the menu.lol If I do this, then I know how much I'll spend. When I try to stock a pantry, I seem to overspend.
That said, I overspent this week. I REALLY need to get a handle on this!lol
Here's what I did this week....
First, we went to Foodlion on Saturday night. We only needed milk, diapers, and Cheerios but I brought my coupons just in case. They had Cheerios on sale 3 for $5.00 and I had a coupon for $1.50 off 3. I also had diaper coupons which I used and got free wipes. They had 3 cans of baby formula on clearance for $3.50 a can and I decided to pick it up in hopes of giving it to someone who can use it because it's never that cheap for name brand formula! Anyway after all was said and done, I spent $82.97 and saved $31.39 in coupons and $15.90 in MVP savings. Yes, I was able to stock up on things that will last us over a month and it was cheaper than if I only bought it as needed but I still needed to do a grocery run for everything else on my list for the week.
Next, I went to Publix. They were having sales on Pasta, trash bags, sauce and I bought our fruit from here too. Last week I bought our fruit from Food Lion and we had a massive Fruit Fly invasion. Jon made a better fly trap and was able to reduce our fly population down to only a few per room but still, I can't do that every week. YUCK. All said, I spent $86.33 and saved $33.95.
After that, I should have stopped but I wanted to take advantage of the sales at CVS so last night at 9:30pm Eric and I had a date.LOL Now here's the neat thing. Whatever I bought earned me more money in extra care bucks and I only bought things we needed although I bought more than I would normally in hopes that I won't be going back for a while. I'm going to use the ECB's for milk or diapers for the next week or so and that will help our budget.
Shampoo and got $10 back
Aquafresh toothpaste with two coupons and earned $2.00
Lever with coupon
3 tylenol products with coupons and earned $2.00
Easy up diapers were on sale $8.99 and I had a $3.00 off coupon
Burt Bees shampoo samples were on clearance and I got them for .25 a piece
Sunlight dishsoap on clearance .70
Once I was done, I spent $81.65 and saved $76.60 and earned $17.00 for my next purchases and got a coupon for $3 off a $15 purchase.
Basically, I went overbudget. I ended up spending $250.95 for the week total. That's what I normally spend for a week but was really hoping to lower my weekly bill instead of keeping it the same. I know that I have a lot of food stocked up now, but I wonder if I'll ever not have something that I'll need to stock up on? Will it ever really lower my bill or will I always need to buy a month's worth of something in order to get the better deal? I'm on the fence. I'm also having a hard time finding places to keep everything.LOL
So far this is how things are turning out;
Week 1: $147.00 (just buying sales, generic, and sticking to my menu)
Week 2: $212.51 (buying sales in bulk for a month, couponing)
$49.29 (shopping at CVS and earning ECB's)
Week 3: $82.97 (Food Lion)
Total for week 3: $250.95
I'm already seeing that I was saving more by buying just what I needed for the week based on the sale ads. Maybe I won't finish out the month with this trial. I don't think we can afford it right now.
For me, going to just one store, making a grocery list and menu based off the sale ads, buying generic when I can, and sticking to my list saves me the most money. Yes, I've gotten things much cheaper the past two weeks and they will last me for over a month but I've not saved money for THIS month and that's what I've needed to do. I've lost sight of that and will go back to my goal this next week.