Monday, July 14, 2008

Frugal Shopper

This post was submitted (at my request) by my friend Megan. She has two kids and her husband's a teacher so they are pros at budgeting and value shopping. If you want to learn more ask through the comments or I can forward her through my e-mail. Thanks Megan!

I like to think that I have three jobs. I'm a stay-at-home mom; I teach voice lessons two to three hours a day and third I buy healthy food for my family at DIRT CHEAP prices. I cringe when the person in front of me at the grocery check-out pays twice as much for their small pile of groceries than I do for my over-stuffed cart. Just the other day a lady was in front of me who paid around $200.00 for a cart that was about ¾ full of food. I only paid $125.00 for my two over-stuffed carts (my husband was there to help push the second). My third job makes me feel like I am saving my family tons of money (which makes my husband and I very happy), but it is a job and it does take time and if you are willing to sacrifice a little to save a lot then here are my suggestions for getting started.

1. Create a monthly grocery budget and don't go over it!! My husband and I buy all of our groceries, diapers, house supplies, and food storage on a budget of $150.00 every two weeks. To stay true to your budget write down all the prices of what you put into your cart as you are shopping. Then add up your total BEFORE you get to the register. It never fails if I am lazy and don't add up my total before I purchase my groceries then I almost always go over.

2. Create a menu for the days you will be shopping. I go shopping every two weeks so I plan for two weeks of Dinners, Lunches, Breakfasts and Snacks. I then post the menu up on the fridge so if my family wants a snack or to fix their own breakfast they know what is available to them.

3. PRICE MATCHING!!! This is a HUGE key for saving money. I could probably write a whole blog just on price matching and how it works so I will be as brief as possible in this section. I have not bought any of my meats, cheeses or fruits full-price for over a year now because I live by this principle. Every week the local grocery ads magically show up in your mail box. DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY! THEY ARE YOUR NEW FRIENDS!
a. Look through them and make a list of the sales that fit your needs.
b. Compare different store ads then find the cheapest sales
(a lot of the stores will have the same items on sale at the same time)
c. FIND A STORE IN YOUR AREA THAT WILL PRICE MATCH WITH OTHER
STORES. If you don't have a store like this sorry you will have to drive a little
more to get the deals. For those of you in the Las Vegas area the Wal-mart
Neighborhood Market on Warm Springs and Eastern will match ALL store
ads INCLUDING the Hispanic Market ads that always have dirt cheap prices
on their meats, vegetables and fruits (i.e. I just bought 8 lbs. of oranges for $.99
original price at Wal-Mart was $.64 an orange. I also bought these ribs originally
priced at $10.54 for $3.50). You don't ever have to buy your meats or
produce again for regular price!! (Megan has also told me to make a list of your price matches to read to the checker and bring the ads if they want to see them)
4. Look out for HUGE SALES! If you live in Utah or Nevada around every General Conference Smith's has Case Lot sales that are perfect for buying canned goods for your food storage at extremely low prices. Some stores will have 8 hour sales that are to die for as well. Check out selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com for more ideas on saving money at the grocery store or elsewhere. If you have any other questions you can leave a comment or have an e-mail forwarded through realmomsrule@gmail.com.

2 comments:

Jodi Jean said...

wow ... i'm the one in front of you spending whatever the tag says ... i better look into this more!

Angie said...

These are great tips! I will say that I very much miss the price matching advantage of the Hispanic markets in Las Vegas. We have 2 grocery stores in town...Walmart and a store comparable to Albertson's. Not a lot of steals here. Bummer!