Friday, January 21, 2011

How to Save $$

So I know the title of this post kind of sounds... obnoxious/ know-it-all...  That is definitely NOT the intent!!!!!

I just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of some great tips (things I use all the time) to help save money.  With both of us in school and unemployed ok so I forgot for a moment... we are not both still in school--I am D.O.N.E.!!!  AND super exciting news *squeal* I was able to sub for the first time today!!! :D  We just constantly pray that I will be able to find a subbing job every day!

Anyway... I know there are a lot of Wal-Mart haters out there but you are just going to have to get over it or at least ignore the feeling for my suggestions to work!

I collect all of the grocery (and other) ads for the week.  And then I sit down and go through them... yes this takes some time.  To start off, I only look at the things on the front page of each stores ad.  These are the best bargain and "steal" if you will.  While I am looking at it and seeing what is cheap (like a week or two ago one store had a whole chicken for $0.59/ pound!!!! --those things are normally at least $1.20-$2.00/ pound.) then I look through my cookbooks (meaning I found a recipe that would use a whole chicken--rotisserie style chicken in the crockpot!) and plan meals around that.

Now this is why you have to get over your Wal-Mart anxiety... they price MATCH!  So I plan meals around what are the steal of the deals at all of the local stores.  Here is the trick--you have to plan a head!  Make a list of everything you need to buy for the meals you planned out and then hunt through all of the ads to see if anywhere has that thing on sale.  Stick to the list.  (I learned this the hard way.  One time I was shopping and decided to add bananas and they were $0.93/ pound!  OUCH!!  I didn't know of anywhere that had them on sale when I checked out and paid for my pricey splurge.  I later found out a store had them on sale for $0.33/ pound that week... make your list and stick to it!)  You can also use Grocery Smarts (passport for Utah: g84csg) and it will tell you what things are on sale too.  This website does help but... I think the passport is sometimes more for SLC county and not entirely accurate down here.

The next tip, is to take coupons.  Yes they are slow and annoying and if you are behind "coupon lady" it is so irritating because it takes forever.  But be that coupon lady!!  I try to price match and use coupons on the same item (one week I got two boxes of Special K cereal for about $0.75 a box--and we are talking large, family size boxes!).

The other tip is to stalk freebie websites.  In the past, I was able to get some coupons which would give the regular sized product to me for FREE as like a "sample" type deal. Even if it is only the trial size they often still have coupons for other savings in the future.

I have posted a link to all of these Frugal Living ideas on the "Links" section in our blog.  (Can't find the "Links" section?  Look up... right under our Values billboard.  Click the tab.)

Happy Bargain Hunting! 


Lisa said...

If you have any other ideas/ websites, I would love to know about them! :)

Robyn Hathaway said...

I've heard is good, but I've only been on it once.

Spidergirl said...

Walmart has great off-brand stuff, too. We do the ad-shopping and coupon-clipping too, but a lot of the time the Great Value version of what we want is cheaper anyway.

We look for coupons on before we shop, too. There aren't always usable/worthwhile ones on there, but we frequently find coupons for Yoplait yogurt (which is one thing we prefer the name-brand on) or for $1 off any 2 lb block of cheese, for example.

We've also cut back on our meat intake. Meats get so expensive.

Planning out meals for sure helps. I'm trying to get better at that because it's frustrating to try to come up with an idea for dinner when you're hungry! Plus, if you take into account what you have and what you need, your grocery bill can be whittled away quite nicely :o)

Glad to know we're not alone in pinching pennies! Good luck ;o)

Lisa said...

Robyn... I am going to have to check that website out when we plan on traveling/ eating out!

Spidergirl (it is SO weird calling you that... you are pepper in my book!) I should have mentioned this but I just learned that Wal-Mart price matches the great value brand to any western family/ kroger/ etc brand. That is how I am able to get most things for the best price.

Vicki said...

We buy a lot of meats in bulk. I am rather picky about the quality of meat we eat, so I like to buy it from Costco (at least the chicken and salmon). We cut the salmon in portions and freeze them individually for easier preparation later (and so you don't have to cook all of it at the same time). As for beef, we buy a 1/4 beef each year. The downside is having to pay such a large chunk up front, but it ends up being a lot cheaper, plus we know who raises the cow and the meat ends up tasting a lot better than the store bought.

Lisa said...

Where do you buy 1/4 beef? What is it? My guess is you buy 1/4 of the meat from a fresh cow but what would you do with all of that??

Julie And Adam said...

The grocery smarts website code is actually g84ckv. You have csg. Just wanted you to know. :D

Lisa said...

Julie... I just tried the ckv code and then tried the csg code and they both work and say Utah. The only (obvious) change between the two is by Ku'uipo Vea and the other Stacey Gill... I am going to have to investigate further and see if either are a different region??

Jocelyn said...

I've been meaning to do this will Walmart price matching but kept forgetting or didn't feel like it, etc. I've finally started doing it and it's amazing how much you can save! Granted, you may just want to stock up on stuff you don't need right now but will later, but in the end, it totally works!

Thanks for reminding me to finally start doing this!

Lisa said...

Jocelyn... it takes time but holy cow it is worth it! :) And remember they price match their store brand to other store brands--that is where the best deals are! :D