I'm too lazy to get up and find my receipts from ShopRite, but after 2 trips this week I spent around $37 and saved around $140. This week I will hopefully not spend that much, it's a slow sale week. I have to go to ShopRite instead of another store because I have $49 in catalina money and there's no way I am letting that go to waste! I'll use it towards milk, produce, eggs, bread and lunchmeat. Those are things I have to buy every week.
Ok so here are a few more tips for you.
*There are more ways to get coupons other than just printing them off the internet and getting the Sunday paper. You can buy coupons from different sites (legally, you're not buying coupons, you're "paying for someone's time to cut them") or you can do things like Cellfire and text coupons. Cellfire's website has different groceries listed - enter your cell # and birth year, pick your grocery and then you click the coupons you want to save to your store loyalty card. The great thing about this is that you can use a regular paper coupon on top of that. Target has text coupons - you load coupons onto your cell phone and show it to the cashier when you check out.
*Speaking of Target, you can "stack" a Target coupon with a Manufacturers coupon. Meaning, if you go to Target.com and print out the coupons you select, it is a store coupon. It says "Target coupon" on the top. When you pay, use that and also a like coupon that says "Manufacturers Coupon" at the top. ie - say Target has a $1 off of 2 Kraft cheese products coupon, and in the paper there was a Manufacturers coupon for $1 off 2 Kraft. That's actually then $2 off of 2 products...wait for a sale where they have Kraft cheese at 2 for $3, and you get 2 products (like string cheese, shredded cheese, etc) for $1. A good price!
*When there is a good sale - even better, a great sale - buy enough to last your family for at least a few months, unless it can't be frozen or is perishable. Of course this means trying to get your hands on a good number of coupons for the same product and also having the space to store it. Don't be a hoarder and get all crazy, but buy what your family will realistically use. This really saves time and your budget - you don't have to run to the store and you bought it at a much lower price.
*Make a list of everyone who you buy for at Christmas and throughout the year for birthdays. As items are on sale - especially if you have kids and they're invited to a lot of birthday parties! - buy it. For instance, at Christmas time, Target had a great Hasbro games sale and there were Hasbro games coupons online that I printed off. I bought a bunch for a few dollars each (like Twister, Operation, etc). Actually, post Christmas clearance is a great time to load up on your kids' friends' birthday gifts for throughout the year. A great way to see what is on sale without being at the store ('cause then you'd probably buy stuff you don't need!) is to subscribe to coupon blogs like A Thrifty Mom, Couponing to Disney and Living Rich with Coupons. They're my faves. They do a lot of grocery store coupon match ups, but they also let you know when there's random great deals, like getting 2 years of Redbook magazine for $5. Really!
*Eating out at restaurants is another way to use coupons. Or if you don't have a coupon, try to go to a place that has a 2 for $20 deal or something like that. Out with the kids, try to go on a night when they eat free - kidseatfree.com shows you what restaurants and which day of the week they offer free kids meals.
*Groupon and LivingSocial are ways to get basically what is a gift card, for more money than you paid for it. For instance, speaking of eating out, I bought a $30 gift card for Pasta Pomodoro in Voorhees for $15. I also bought a $200 Groupon for $95 to a local hair salon for a cut and highlights, and a Living Social deal where I got 2 movie tickets through Fandango for $9 total. Every day these sites have a different deal.
*Look at saving money like a part time job. It's easy to get frustrated with keeping up, cutting, printing and organizing coupons. I remember when we spent HUNDREDS of dollars a month (and I don't mean a few hundred) on groceries, toiletries, toys, renting movies and random things like printer ink. I save as much money now as I would make at a part-time job and I love it SO much more! I can do it when I want, for as long as I want, as much as I want...and at home with my babies. Well, they're not babies anymore which is why I have time. :) You mommies of little ones take heart if you'd like to coupon but the thought of breastfeeding and scouring the circulars at the same time doesn't sound appealing to you. Or even feasible. You will be able to someday...and every little bit counts.
More tips next week :) If you ask me a question, I can try to answer!