Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How To Get Started

It's not hard to start saving money at the grocery store.  It will take just a little more time than the usual "make a list way" of doing things but the time invested will reap wonderful rewards if you stick to it.  To begin, the steps are easy:

1)  Start collecting coupons.  Here is where I would start~HERE, HERE, and HERE.  Here's the draw back to living in a non-metropolitan area:  we don't get a whole bunch of great coupons.  We can, however, order them on Ebay or The Coupon Clippers website.

2)  Make a list of the top 5-10 dishes you make.  Then make a list of the ingredients in those dishes along with things that you buy often (ie: soap, deodorant, windex, laundry detergent, etc.).  This will become the master list and these are the items you try to stockpile when you get started.

This is my stockpile of deodorant, body wash, and toothbrushes.

3)  Do you know how much you spend at the grocery store and the drug stores?  If you don't then I would spend one month shopping and holding onto the receipts.  At the end of the month add up how much you spent.  If you want a more accurate picture then add in all the lunches, dinners, cokes, and coffees that are bought and not made at home.  This is where it gets a little tricky.  My husband and I have "fun money" each pay period that we can spend on anything we want.  If you have "fun money" then don't count what you buy with that.  If you go outside of your "fun money" then count it.  Knowing how much you are spending will help you track how much you are saving!

4)  Once you have a collection of coupons (need to know how to keep them organized so you can find them, go HERE) it's time to go to the store with them.  Here's what I did:
     a)  Make your list as usual
     b)  Go to and click on the tab of your favorite store
     c)  Scan through the items she has listed on sale and the coupons that go with them
     d)  If any of the items on sale are on your list then pull the coupons and buy as many of that item                as you can
     e)  You want to try and buy 8 weeks to 6 months worth depending one how many coupons you                  can get your hands on

5)  This may sound odd at first but you will understand it when I get through:  keep the coupons                 of items you don't need or buy.  You never know when one of them will give you overage on                your bill, thereby making it lower.  ie:  you have a coupon for $2 off Dove Shampoo (and the                 coupon doesn't specify the size of the bottle) there are trial size Dove Shampoos for $1.50 each...          when you buy 1 trial size Dove Shampoo for $1.50, use the $2 off coupon and that gives you .50           towards the rest of your bill. Let's say you have 4 coupons that will get you $2 towards something         that isn't on sale or you don't have a coupon for.  This is how the smart couponers reduce their               grocery bill so much.  If you won't use the item you bought to get the overage then give it away!

Now you've got the basics so get out there and start stockpiling.  Keep it simple until you've got a better grasp of the whole system.  Simply set aside $5-$15 of your budget either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to start stockpiling.  You will be amazed at what you will end up with and how much money you start saving!

Standing on His promises,
Mrs. Bubba

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