Monday, March 9, 2009

How to Reduce Your Monthly Grocery Bills...Part 3

Continuing on from Part 2 with the question and answer format........

Q #6: How long does it take to do this whole "Coupon Craziness" each week?
A: This is a hard question because the time can vary so much depending on the person. When I first started I spent ALOT of time (several hours) cutting the coupons out, filing them, scanning the ads, making my lists, then pulling the coupons I need, and then shopping.......Don't be discouraged! Once I found my groove, this whole process went much faster and was a lot less complicated.

Q #7:Where do I find out about what is on sale at each store each week and what the coupon match-up are?
A:This is were I would spend SOOOO much time before, but now I rely mainly on a few other blogs to do that work for me. I visit other GREAT women bloggers who alert me to the sales and what coupons to use....then I scan over the ad to see if I want to ad any other items to my list. I visit MEGAN at
and also I go to
I know there are lots of great other blogs who post the deals as well but I use these two mainly!

Q #8: How do I keep all the different store deals straight and separate all the coupons and lists?
A: This is also a personal preference thing I think....this is how I do it. I am by nature an organized freak (although I am by no means always organized in every area of life).....and also a very forgetful person if its "NOT ON THE LIST"! I have an envelope for Kroger and another for Meijer. I will make a list of items needed with the quantity listed beside those items (If needed I will separate them by transaction 1 and transaction 2), then as I make my list I will pull the coupons from my binder as I go along. When the list is complete and all the coupons are pulled I stuff the list inside the envelope with the coupons so everything if kept together.

Q #9: Is all this really worth my time?
A: This is something that each person has to answer. I think for my family it is...If I can feed 6 people for $200 a month I think that is worth....even with my paper cost added to that $200 it's still worth it. For me I don't figure in "time cost" because saving money is something I enjoy and shopping for groceries is something I have to do anyway. I am spending less money yet my cabinets are overflowing with name brand food products each week. I am one of those die hard bargain shoppers, kinda girls so this is also a bit of a game for me!!! I get a kick out of finding the deals (especially when I get it FREE!) and planning the menus.
I really DON'T LIKE cutting and filing the coupons, but I realize this is a necessary step in the process.....I think I need to hire my 7 1/2 year old to do it for me (at least the cutting part.....I am keeping my options open :)

Q #10 Any words of advice to someone just starting this process?
A: First, whenever possible shop without the kiddos! I know this is not always possible maybe never possible for some of you. It is easier to pay attention when checking out, be sure to check the items as they ring up because it happens often that they ring up at the wrong price. Also while inputting your coupons you want to make sure each doubles or triples. If you have to bring kiddos try to be as organized as possible and that should help out!
Second, DON"T try to cut and file coupons, go through the ads, make lists, and shop all in the same day!!!!!! It is way to much!!!!! For me, I try to cut coupons on Sunday afternoon, make up my list for Meijer the day before I am going, and the same is true for Kroger. Aldi's is easy to they don't take any coupons so I just make the list right before going, and since I only go their once or twice a month it is no big thing.
Third, Don't think you will cut your budget down drastically in a took me six months to get our budget down to $200 a month. You'll find as you stockpile, the list of needed items while start to shrink.
Fourth, Don't feel like your family of 6 or less has to eat on $200 a month. This works for us, but maybe $500 works for you......and that would be better than the $800 you used to spend! The name of the game is find what works for you and your family and then reduce your monthly food costs. Even if you reduce 30% that's money you can use elsewhere or put in the bank! Maybe just by simplifying your meals you will save a bundle....maybe preparing meal ahead of time and freezing them will keep you from stopping by the fast food joint....
Lastly, MAKE A PLAN!!! Start somewhere.....Meal Planning is a good place to begin!!

You know I LOVE hearing from you!!!!!! Feel free to leave questions for me in the comment section or email me


Megan said...

Great post! Good job explaining things!

Also thanks for the link!!

Graves family said...

Danielle-your coupon tips have been very helpful. We are tying to get organized so we can save some $$$. Thanks for your comments too!

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