Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday's Tip


Hop on over to Little Window Shoppe to learn about some great new stores and enter to win my Soy Linen & Body Spray!

And onto Tuesday's Tip. If you are a frugal shopper like me, this is probably old news. I was watching Oprah last week & they had the Coupon Mom on there (who happens to be a Georgian like me!) and they were giving out money saving tips. I started using some of them, along with things I already do, and have been saving money already.

Ways to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill:

1. Price Matching
A friend of mine informed me last year that Wal-mart will price match any ad. I have used it every week since then! They won't match the BOGO offers @ Publix, etc., but here is how I do it.
Our main local grocery stores are Kroger, Publix & Wal-mart. So, each week I go online & look up Kroger & Publix's weekly ads. I have my grocery list made out and find items in their sale papers that I need that are on sale & jot down the price of the item & which store it is at. Then, when I check out, I tell the cashier how much it is on sale for @ Publix or Kroger, and they will match it. The kicker is if you have the ad with you that's good. If not, they keep the ads up front @ the manger's desk. Sometimes the cashier just trusts me, sometimes they go up front & get the ad to verify.

2. Buy When It is on Sale
The Coupon Mom said she buys things when they are on sale, and plans her meals each week around what is on sale. I have an extremely picky family so what is on sale is not what my family will always eat. So, I try to plan around what I already have in my kitchen. If I have some hamburger meat in the freezer that I didn't use last week and some spaghetti noodles in the cabinet, I might just buy a jar of spaghetti sauce, bread sticks, and salad, and there is a meal for 1 night. So, if you can't plan around the sale items, plan around what you already have.

3. Meal Planning
Speaking of planning around what you have, I have also started meal planning and found that saves me money as well. I used to make sure I always had hamburger meat, pork, and chicken on hand & then just fixed whatever we were in the mood for. Now, I plan (based on what's on hand or on sale as discussed above) my meals for each night & it has saved me tons, not always trying to have some of "everything" on hand.

4. Clip Coupons
The Coupon Mom goes and buys 2-3 of the Sunday papers in order to get all those coupons. I don't go that far, but I do clip coupons when I get the weekly ads in the mail. And that saves me money as well. There are also lots of sites online to sign up to print coupons off of too.

Take advantage of Buy 1 Get 1 Free sales to stock up on things you know you your family will eat.

6. Are "Bulk" stores really saving you money?
We used to have a BJ's membership, back when it was just my hubby & I, and the only thing we bought there was gas. We did the math after a year, and discovered we were not even saving $30 per year and the membership was $30, so it was not worth it.

However, now that we have a family of 4, it might be worth it. We got 2 free months membership in the mail from BJ's so we decided to try it out. The only things I have found I can really get cheaper there is milk, granola bars, and gas. They recently went up on their milk, so now I only save $1.50 per week to go there for our milk. (We go through 4 gallons of milk a week so I am an expert on milk pricing) Some weeks that is not really worth it with my 2 year old in tow, if all I need is the milk from there. If we buy a big box of granola bars it saves about $1.50 and lasts 2-3 weeks. Gas....the jury is still out. Their prices fluctuate so much and sometimes are a lot cheaper, and sometimes higher.
Long story short, we save about $150 per year on those 3 things if we go to BJ's. So, that might be worth it.....if I can stand going to 2-3 stores to get everything. If that's not worth it to you, or you only go there for 1 thing...sit down and calculate what you are actually saving by going there....MINUS the annual fee...to see how much you are really saving, to see if it is worth it to you. I just think a lot of people go there and think they are saving lots of money, but if you know your prices and figure in the annual fee, you may find otherwise.

7. Kids Eat Free
It might be wise to find out what restaurants in your area have "Kids Eat Free" days. If you are looking for a night out, these would be the nights, or days, to go. For example, kids always eat free at IHOP, and our local Moe's restaurant has a Kids Eat Free day on Wednesdays.
And we are staunch regulars at our Chick-Fil-A Dwarf House on Tuesday nights. They have a BOGO Chick Fil-A sandwich night. My hubby & I each get one ( and have 2 free ones that he takes to lunch the following 2 days), we split a large fry, and get a soft drink if we're feeling really frivolous ! ~giggle~
The kids share a 6 pack nuggets kids' meal and we have a family's meal out, plus 2 lunches for my hubby for about $12. AND, you can trade in the kid's prize in the kid's meal for an ice cream that you all can share! I know, that sounds a extremely frugal, but we may save $ on that and use it for something else fun during the week.
This site claims to have all the "kids eat free" restaurants in your area: KidsMealDeals.com
but you can always call some of your favorite eateries and ask them to be sure.

Well, I am no expert, but I am a maven, love to help people when I can, so I thought I'd share. I know there are tons more knowledgeable people and sites out there on this matter, so please leave a comment and share any tips you have with us!

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Heather said...

I have actually been in line behind someone who brought in all the ads for her shopping (which, going by the wait time and the amount of stuff in her basket, she only did once every month). One thing I have to request for people who do the price-matching is to go to the store when hardly anyone else is there. :-)

lilyk said...

Thanks for the great tips! I'll try them out! =)

Haasiegirl said...

im so bad at coupon clippping. I always go shopping on saturday and forget the week before to get a paper.


The Pear Project said...

I posted something similar on my blog you might want to check out!

BPOTW said...

Great tips! We have a list of restaurants that serve free meals to kids and use that when we want to eat out. Have you ever read/heard of Shop, Save and Share by Ellie Kay (sp?)? She talks about strategically clipping coupons as well.

Thanks for submitting another post!

krissy said...

These are great tips! As prices go up, I can totatly understand the coupon thing, even though I've never been a couponer. And, I have met two people in the last week who plan their meals a whole month in advance. I don't know if I can go that far, but I like your planning tips!

CouponDiva said...

If you want a really simple to use list of kids eat free restaurants - here's a great one sorted by night of the week:


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