Good morning, readers! Ready to start learning how to slash your grocery bill by half?
What's that? It's too early?
Here. See now, I've come prepared and made you a nice cup of coffee. I even let you use my favorite mug. Better? Good.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get started. And we are going to start at the very beginning. And at the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Oh and also at the beginning, there are no coupons.
Does that surprise you?
Here's the thing. I truly believe so many people get lost and frustrated with coupons because no one has taken the time to properly explain the big picture of what you're trying to achieve with using them in the first place. So let's leave the coupons aside for now, there will be plenty of time for that soon enough. This morning, I want to talk to you about your grocery habits.
No, don't get scared. This isn't about shaming you or giving you a guilt trip. It's a chance for you to honestly reflect about how and why you go to the store.
So let me ask you: what does a normal shopping trip look like for you?
- Is it well planned and organized?
- Does it include any impulse buys?
- Do you often leave feeling frustrated by your grocery bill?
- Do you find yourself back at the store not even a couple days later because you forgot something?
- Do you sometimes feel "tricked" into paying full price for something you need?
If, after reflecting, you see that there is room for improvement, I can help. The thing is, I'm still navigating these waters myself. I'm still a work in progress when it comes to my own shopping and spending. And it IS getting better all the time!
So here is how I used to shop, just one year ago. I would make a list of meals for the week, and try to come up with meals that involved the least amount of ingredients as possible. Let's say one of my meals was spaghetti. Then I'd buy generic pasta, generic sauce, 1 lb. ground beef, and some frozen vegetable. Was I saving money? Probably so. But I was also bored to tears with my meals. What's worse, I was only buying enough food for the meals our family would eat that week, so the pantry was almost always low. I carried the same philosophy through to our household goods and toiletries. On more than one occasion I'd head to the store with my baby wearing her last clean diaper! NOT GOOD.
When I started couponing, I learned fast that I would have to start stockpiling too. This is the "new way" of shopping you must adopt if you are going to drastically reduce your grocery bill. When I started finding deals on soup, I'd buy 10 cans, not 1 or 2 as before. If there was a crazy good deal on cereal, I'd buy 10 boxes. Did this feel weird at first? You bet it did! I'd never shopped like this EVER. I was navigating uncharted waters. But it quickly has become very normal for me.
"But wait!" you ask. "Why on earth would you buy 10 boxes of cereal? Isn't that expensive? Aren't you trying to save money here?"
Good question! The truth that you'll find as we get going is that a good sale (and I do mean a GOOD sale) won't put a significant dent on your grocery bill NOW, but it will save you huge on your grocery bill LATER.
Let me illustrate.
Say you normally buy a box of cereal for $2.50. (And that's buying the cheap, generic stuff.) Your family goes through that box in a week's time. So in 10 weeks' time, you'd have spent $25.00 on cereal.
Now, let's say I help you find a deal on cereal for $0.50 a box. Instead of buying your weekly one box, let's say you buy 10 at $5.00.
What have you accomplished? You've potentially saved yourself $20 over the next ten weeks (and bought the cereal you really wanted in the first place!). You also have one less item on your grocery list for 9 weeks. Cool, huh?
(Buy the way, if you think I'm crazy, think again. Just go back through the deals on my blog and you will see that on numerous occasions I have found great brands of cereal for $1 or less. Even free. This IS doable.)
So I know that you need to get a move on your day and your coffee's now gone, but I hope I've gotten you thinking a little bit about changing up how you shop.
Confused? Overwhelmed? I can recap the point of this post in two sentences. Ready?
Your goal is to now stock up when items your family uses can be found at a low price. As much as possible, you are going to try to move away from paying full price for grocery and household items.
Now, get the laundry done, the carpet shampooed, and for Pete's sake, take the ferret for a walk. That thing has been cooped up all week long already. Then come back later this afternoon. I'll be ready to chat with you again and we're going to talk more about stockpiling.