I find that people are constantly trying to reign in their grocery purchases, so that they can stay in budget. When I ask them how / if they are couponing they usually respond with “I’ve tried it before, but saving 55 cents off a jar of tomato sauce, doesn’t really make a difference … and it is so complicated and time consuming” I usually reply by saying “Well, that is because you are couponing wrong!” Then I share with them my philosophy:
People usually have the best of intentions, and they try really hard to stay on budget – but the first time you create your meal plan and know your budget, but then you realize that you also need to get laundry soap, dishwasher soap, garbage bags and kitty litter – all of a sudden you have completely blown your budget! They don’t want to feed their family rice and beans 3 nights that week, so they do what most people do and just go over budget. THEN – they start to feel defeated, and completely give up on trying to keep a grocery budget.
Well, that is because you should be paying little to nothing when it comes to items like Laundry soap, Dish soap, Kitty litter, Toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo / conditioner, garbage bags, etc! Seriously, with little to no effort, you will never have to worry about those non-food items blowing your grocery budget again!
Couponing – so how do you do it?
Honestly, couponing is pretty easy. There are full time bloggers who have made careers out of posting the best deals. Sites like the Krazy Coupon Lady even have apps that you can use while in the store! I have shared before my favorite apps that save you money in the grocery store. Apps like Ibotta and Checkout51 that give you cash back on purchases. (You just have to scan your receipt!).
- Follow the pros! – Keep an eye out for the deals that the professional deal sharers post. You might have to go to more than one store, but if I can get 5 bags of Tide Pods for 4 bucks, you can bet I am going to stock up! (Seriously, laundry detergent, runs us $17.00 without a deal) That drastically cuts into my grocery budget!
Some of my favorites to follow (on Facebook) are: The Krazy Coupon Lady, Dream Catchers: couponing group, Raining Hot Coupons, and Passionate Penny Pincher.
- Rebate Apps- Use the rebate apps. Enter your receipt into the Wal-mart savings catcher. Peruse Ibotta BEFORE you checkout to see if there are rebates. If you shop online use Ebates!! It might take you a few extra minutes, but the savings really adds up. And lord knows, just a few bucks can make or break your budgeting success!
- Stock up- If you are new to the coupon game, give yourself $20.00 to help you “stock up” on the best deals. When Tide goes on sale, for $1.04 (with the use of coupons) make sure you get more than one bottle or bag of pods! Start a stockpile, so you never have to pay full price for those type of items again!
- Store Cards- I am not talking about credit cards – but rather loyalty cards. Make sure you signup up for them, and register them! I have login accounts (online) for all my stores – and there I am able to keep up to date with my point balances (Points = cash!), add electronic coupons to the cards (no cutting or printing required).
- Beyond the Newspaper- I rarely get the Sunday paper. I get my coupons online from coupons.com and the specific stores. If I know I am going for Ziplocs, I will go to their website, and search for coupons. If there is a huge deal and the coupon is in the Sunday paper, I go to Facebook and ask my friends if anyone has coupons from that Sunday, that they are not using. There are always people happy to hand them over!
Main Take Away
When you think about your grocery budget 95% should go to food. When you use coupons for the non food items, you not only save way more money than if you used them for food, but you are also able to splurge and buy what you want – more of what you want – and always have what you need on hand!
How awesome would it be to never run out of trash bags, laundry soap, or conditioner again? OH, I know!! If all of those items were not only stockpiled in your home, but also only cost you a few bucks!