When my husband and I started on our debt free journey, we really started looking for ways to cut back on spending. We chose Netflix over cable, got our cell phone bill reduced, and cut back on eating out. But I really wanted to tackle our grocery bill without giving up the quality of our food.
I was introduced to the world of coupons by one of those crazy coupon ladies who had a small stockpile in her basement. I started printing coupons off the internet and bought the Sunday paper just for the coupons. I began getting all my toiletry items from Walgreens where I could save the most money. I would wait for our brands to go on sale, use a coupon that I printed, a Walgreens coupon, and then get a military discount. At that time, Walgreens was the only store that I knew that would let you use a paper coupon plus a store coupon on the same item for double discounts. I would usually end up saving about 75% of my bill by this method. This is always a good thing to ask about at the stores you shop at the most. Most won’t do it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Now, I do most of my shopping at Kroger so we can get the fuel points to cut back on our gas budget. The first thing I do is to check my pantry and freezer to see what I already have on hand. From there, I look at the sales ad on my Kroger app. By buying items that are on sale or in season has proven to drastically cut my grocery bill. Once my menu is planned for the week and my grocery list is made, I look at my coupons. Kroger mails me coupons every month that are usually for items that I buy the most. From there I’ll log back into my app and look through all their digital coupons to see what I can add to my rewards card. This process does take me some time, but the money I save it worth it. I’m able to provide my family with healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the week with just $100.
Another trick I have started doing is buying my meat from the discounted manager selections. These items are usually marked down because they are nearing their expiration date, but I put them directly in my freezer when I get home to use the following week. This is why I always “shop” my pantry and freezer first because I usually have extra. For example, I got a 5 lb. pork loin for $7 (it was originally marked at $25). I then cut the pork loin in half, added some marinade, and put it in the freezer. If you can get ahead of your meat purchases this way, you’ll be able to save a lot of money. If you have any additional grocery hacks that have helped you save money, I’d love to hear about them!!
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