We are gearing up for the holiday season and will be doing plenty of cooking and baking. The Publix receipt on the right is a great example of how coupons save us money. I stopped by Publix on the way home on Monday and spent $6.98 on items that our family uses. I got things like Kraft Mac&Chesse, Mott Apple Sauce, olives, and Lysol cleaner.
Now Mrs. Ozz recently joined TheGroceryGame which helps us maximize the effectiveness of our coupon savings. The game helps match up coupon with store sales so that we get the most product for our money. TheGroceryGame has been around for a number of years and has been featured on many major news programs and in numerous publications.
I will admit that I was skeptical of the “game” when we first began “playing”. Now that we are having to rearrange our kitchen and part of our garage to store the larger amount of food that is being purchased with the same grocery budget, I am rapidly becoming a believer. I’ll add some pictures below of our stock pile. Once we get our stockpile built up we can ramp down on the amount being purchased and begin to spend less per month. The folks that are experienced at the game say that it takes about 12 weeks to make it through a full cycle of coupons. I am beginning to see what they mean because we are seeing some coupons for the first time for things that we have not yet seen a coupon for since starting the game over a month ago. Let’s go back to the receipt on the right again and look at the Lysol. It normally retails for $2.69. I got a single bottle at half price since they were on sale as by-one-get-one free. I then applied a 5o cents coupon that the store doubled. That means that I was able to purchase the 32 once bottle of spray Lysol cleaner for 35 cents. The key to finding this deal was by using the Grocery Game. I got $16.22 worth of stuff for $6.98.
As we learn more about using coupons in our shopping we have noticed is that there are differences in what coupons you get in your local area newspaper. And better yet, we are seeing that you may get different coupons (or none at all) depending on whether your local news paper is being delivered to your doorstep or the local machine at the donut shop.
TIPS on using coupons
1. Get the whole family involved. We have enlisted our six-year-old son to Riley to “practice his cutting skills” and he loves it. Last week we clipped over $90 worth of coupons from one copy of the local newspaper.
2. Talk to your grocery store manager or customer service center to find out when they offer double coupons and what their store specific coupon policies are.
3. Go get an extra copy of the news paper on weeks where there are a lot of coupons you can use.
4. Make a list of things you normally buy at Sams Club or Costco and include the price, size, and units. (i.e., Domino Sugar, $4.49, 10lbs) That comes out to 49 cents per pound and you can easily determine if the price “on sale” in another store is a good deal.
5. Create a binder with 4×6 or 3×5 photo sheets to organize your coupons. Add a few extra 8 1/2 x 11 pages to hold notes for things like the list in #4 above.
6. Always carry a calculator to be able to break down prices per unit if the grocery store shelf sales tag does not offer that information.
7. Don’t freak out if your stock pile gets out of hand. You WILL get more food for your money and you should consider donating some to your local food pantry that serves the poor and less fortunate.
Here’s a look at our stock pile. These areas were not being used primarily as food storage areas a month ago.
I mentioned above that I found differences on the local paper. I have emailed the paper to ask them if the less number of coupons is normal in the home delivery version of the Sunday paper. If the Sunday paper delivered to homes is lacking in coupons by design, I will just have to cancel my subscription and get a copy of the paper from the store on the way home from church. Or better yet, maybe I can find a neighbor who will give me their paper when they are done with it.Subscribe to our RSS feed