Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My money saving grocery shopping system! It's LONG!

This subject came up in a group of mine on another website and thought I would post it here for everyone!

Step 1:  Find out what day your local grocery store ads come out and get them!  Also find out when your weekly coupons come out and get them.  You can also find coupons online!
Step 2:  Go through your cabinets, fridge, freezer everywhere you store your food and write down every single thing down.  Even toilet paper paper towels every single thing you would buy when buy groceries and such.
Step 3:  Draw you up a menu.  I take a sheet of notebook paper and draw a line down the middle length wise then draw 6 lines across it at equal distance!  So when done it should have 14 boxes.  Now in those 14 boxes you can divide those boxes in 2 or 3 sections which ever you like I do 3 (breakfast, lunch and dinner).  On the top left corner of each of the main 14 boxes put the day and date!  Then set this page aside for the moment but don't loose it this will be your "bible" so to speak for the next to weeks!
Step 4:  Now count the ads you have then add 2 to it.  Now take another piece of paper and draw you that many colums on it!  The first colum will be the item, at the top put the name of each ad then on the last one put coupon.  Now go through the ad's and write down the things you would normally buy or use in the product name colum, then go to the colum for that add and write brand/price.  Do this for all ads!
Step 5:  I recommend doing this on a extra piece of paper in case you change your mind.  List out all the meals you can make out of what you already have.  Do this until you have enough meals for all squares.  This is where double dutying meals comes in real good!  EX: Say you make a roast for dinner one night take the leftovers add bbq sauce and you have bbq sandwhichs for another meal.  Make sure you put the sides with the meals as well.
Step 6:  Plan when you want the meals by putting them in to your menu page. 
Step 7:  Go through your menu square by square and make out your grocery list.  Say you have fried chicken mashed potatos and corn one night, well you already have the chicken you just need the mashed potatos and corn, so the mashed potatos and corn go on the list!  To help you keep straight what square you've already done I put a tiny check mark by the meal.
Step 8:  Go through your coupons and see what you have coupons for on your list.  The less pickier you are about brands the more you will save.  Combine the sale ads with the coupons and you'll have more.  EX:  Suave deoderant normally is $1.19 but is on sale here for 0.99 well I have a 0.50 off coupon combine the 2 and you only pay 0.49 for the deoderant saving yourself 0.70 (may not seem like much but when you do this on multiple if not all of your items it adds up and quick)
Step 9:  (this is where my ocd habit with this comes in I have the layout of walmart memorized)  Go through organize your list by asile or section writing down what you need and beside it how much of it you need and if you have a coupon how much the coupon is and if its on sale and where and how much.
Step 10:  This is where discipline comes in!  DO NOT go shopping while hungry and DO NOT put anything in your basket that is not on your list!  Now go grocery shopping with coupons and list in hand!  Now if you notice the store brand happens to be cheaper than the ad/coupon combo then if you aren't picky and don't mind the store brand buy it! 
If you are buying potatoes buy the bigger bag it is usually cheaper all else fails do the quick math to make sure!
Carrotts are normally cheaper when buy the 5 pound bag compared to the 1 pound bag so if you are going to use a lot of carrotts buy the bigger bag not a bunch of little ones!
If you can find a produce stand buy your fruits and veggies there they are normally cheaper and fresher. 
All else fails buy frozen or canned veggies normally you can find coupons and they will end up being cheaper!

If you would like pics or diagrams let me know and I can put them up as well!  If your confused or have a question just ask!  I tried to make it clear but I may not have done the best of job at it! My mom did this the whole time I was growing up so I've lived in the system and now use it myself. So I know the ins and outs and sometimes its harder to write it all out compared to having you here in person to show you!  But once you figure it out it will become like and old tshirt that is comfy and wanna wear all the time you will be able to do this in your sleep!  But the system doesn't help if you don't put the time in to it! 

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