A few weeks ago, we had touched on how to organize your recipes and shopping lists. Today I’m going to focus on how to best save money when making your grocery lists.
Let me start by sharing how I do my own shopping lists and then after I will share how I do my match ups. My lists start with a plan of which stores I want to go to that week. I have a separate list for each store I plan on visiting during the week. Each piece of paper I write a list on, represents one store and match up. The next step I take is to visit my favorite money saving blogs to check my local stores’ match ups. By match ups, I mean I look for what are the best deals at that store. The best way to save money is by matching what is on sale with coupons that are available for that product. Sometimes you can stack 2 coupons, one manufacturer and one store coupons. Usually the listing tells you exactly where to find the coupons in your local paper or online. I subscribe to the Chicago Tribune and get the coupons in the Sunday paper. The printable coupons are found online and have a link to locate that coupon and print immediately.
I’m sure many of you are thinking that this probably takes a little time and the answer is yes, it can if you have a long grocery list or plan to go to more than 2-3 stores that week but it gets faster with time. I really can’t believe how much money I’ve saved over the past year using this method. You can go to any local money saving or deal finding blog and find detailed blog posts about how to save the most money, but I have learned a lot and am happy to share my knowledge with anyone that has questions.
The next step is matching your coupons to the deals. I print all of my “printable” coupons when I do my list and then write a little “clue” for myself under the other items of what coupons to find and use for each product. I’ll put something like “-use $1/1 2/28RP” which translated to myself means I’m getting $1 off of 1 product and I’d find that coupon in the Red Plum coupon insert from the Feb. 28th paper. If you organize your inserts by dates, this method is helpful.
Finally I grab a small stack of my coupons for each store individually and get ready to go. As I grab each item and put it into my cart, I put the coupon in my pocket so that I don’t miss any at check out or give the cashier the wrong ones.
Some of my favorite weekly grocery store and drug store deal blogs include:
There are a lot more but I don’t want to list them all. Search on Google or by what store you want match ups for and you’ll find some that you find useful as well.