Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pinching Pennies- Part 2- Grocery Store Style

Hey all! Kailly here! I thought I would give you all some tips for shopping in the grocery store! I don't have a recent trip with pictures on my phone, but I can give you a good break down on how I shop, and on average how much money I save our family!

On average, N and I head to the grocery store once a week. We do one huge shopping trip every two weeks, and sometimes we just need to go to the store for basics, such as bread, fruits, veggies, etc. We also had a milk delivery service, until recently, but decided to cancel until N is drinking milk, and not just breastmilk. We don't drink a ton of milk in our house. As much as I love it, it tends to upset my sweet girls tummy, so I don't drink nearly as much as I used to. And, L drinks it mainly as a staple with brownies or cookies. :-)

Let me share some tips and tricks about grocery shopping and finding the best deals, and then we will move onto a shopping trip for us!

~ We mainly shop at King Soopers (Kroger), or Target for groceries.

~ I love to find food on clearance. Target does this a lot when they are closing out an item at that location. For example, I just found us 48 pudding cups, both chocolate and vanilla, for $3.00. L loves to bring those to work as a snack and I find it easy to grab one during the day between chasing after N and doing laundry! And, the clearance food usually has a normal expiration date. It doesn't mean it's expiring in a day or two.

~ I print coupons, a lot of them. I use, and mainly.

~ Any coupons I do not use during my trip, I place by that item. I love finding coupons when I am shopping, and I love being able to bless others.

~ The most expensive products will be at eye level as you shop. Check out the bottom shelves for generic brands, or brands on sale.

~ I have no problem buying generic. There are very few products that I won't buy generic. Mayonnaise is one of them. I love Hellmans!

~ Coupons from print as manufacturer coupons, while Target coupons print just as a target coupon. Do you know what this means? You can use them together! Woot woot!

~ Target has AS IS items. You will see this on the mark down tag as shown here. When this is stated on food or clothing it does not mean something is wrong with it. It can actually mean one of a few things. 1. It may be the last item of it's kind available. 2. The product may have been delivered to the wrong Target store (they all tend to carry different things) so they just clearance it out. These items tend to have very high discounts!

~ I get super excited seeing clearance tags.

~Have you ever noticed the music in the grocery store? It's played for certain reasons. If you hear Samba music there is a good chance there is salsa on sale. If you hear italian music, there is a good chance pasta is on sale, etc. If you hear an upbeat tempo, there is a higher chance you will make more unplanned purchases. If there is slow music on, they want you to stay in the store longer for the same reason. It is all planned.

~ Some grocery stores also push scents through their vents to try to get you to purchase more of that item.

~ Also, and this is a big one. We've all seen the 10 for $10 sales. Rarely do you have to buy the 10 items to get the discount. Usually, each item is already discounted to $1!

~And, another I will add that came from my clothing post is how to read a clearance tag better so you know the exact discount, if you don't want to do the math. In the upper right hand corner, there will be a 15, 30, 70, or rarely, a 90. This shows the percentage off the original price it has been discounted.

~ Most stores will price match!

~ Target offers a RedCard. There are two kinds. One that hooks to your bank account and one that is a credit card. You use these to receive 5% off your WHOLE purchase, electronics and all. We have the debit card that attaches to your bank account. L and I do not have any credit cards.

~ Target also will print coupons for you based off your purchases. They are wonderful! I get at least 4 coupons every time I go.

~ Kroger/ King Soopers also sends us a coupon booklet! Our most recent one had a free pound of bacon, produce coupons, etc! I store these with my wallet in the diaper bag, so I never leave them at home.

~ I do carry a small coupon booklet. It isn't a crazy binder like you see on TV. Rather, a small pink coupon organizer. I got it at the dollar store.

~ Also, there is a number you can text that will send you baby coupons from Target as well as regular coupons. They come every few weeks, in two seperate texts, which I love with keeping baby coupons seperate. You show them your phone, and they scan the barcode!

So, for our shopping days, I tend to get up early and have L watch N. I'll run up to our home office and print off my coupons, clip them, organize them, and then I will look at all the store mailers that came. I will circle things I want to purchase, and put a star by them if they are a price match. This helps the check out go faster. I HATE holding anyone up in line, so the more organized I am, the smoother things will go.

First, I will head to the baby section! I have to check the clearance items :-) I will also grab diapers if we need them. We use the Up and Up brand. Size 3. We just started using these full time as I sold my cloth diapers just shy of two weeks ago. The biggest box has 180 diapers. I get them when they are on sale for $25, plus I usually have anywhere from $1.50 to $5 in coupons for them. I spend, on average .12 per diaper. Most people spend double that! Also, we used to use target wipes, and I bought five boxes before N was born because they were on clearance for $8. Plus, I had coupons, making 800 wipes, $5.50. It was an awesome deal! We now use an organic, all natural brand from babies r us that doesn't have certain chemicals. If anyone is interested let me know and I will grab the packaging and let you all know what chemicals we were avoiding, and what the new wipe name is. We buy these for $12.99 a box, plus they are usually buy one get one free, and I usually have coupons there as well.

Any way, after the baby section I go to the back of the store. They ALWAYS have clearance items on laundry detergent, dish soap, snacks, etc. And, you can use coupons! This is where I will usually score a few free items with my coupons and the clearance prices! With coupons, plus coupons, plus clearance you will sometimes even have a "money maker" item! Those are my favorite! I will do a happy dance.

After wards, we head to groceries. I hit our store from back to front. Our frozen is in the back, but this just makes me move faster, and I carry a cold item tote bag. Then, I rush through dry produce, breads, etc. Produce is usually where I move slower. I love fresh produce and I tend to look it all over closely. Do you have a Sprouts by you? They have incredible produce for great prices!!

Once I get in the check out lane, I will let the cashier know that I have a large coupon stack. They normally don't mind. I also get them involved. I tell them, if they can guess what my total will be, I will buy them a drink from the little soda cooler. Then, they get excited! A lot of them make a guess including change. Then, I will make my guess. Now, I do NOT add everything up as I go, or before I go. I will think things through as I go, but I never really know. So, they guess, I will guess, and if the person behind me is really friendly and interested, I will let them guess too! Whomever is closest, I will buy a soda! I can tell you, I have only ever had to buy sodas one time! People underestimate a blonde mommy shopper!

I tend to save anywhere from 30-60% each time I go to the grocery store! I love to get my full total, and then hand over my coupons. I do hand them one at a time, to make sure none get stuck together, and to make sure they all ring up correctly. By the end, I am usually jumping with excitement!

My most recent grocery coupon purchase rang up to $146.95, and after coupons I got it down to $76. 42. That is a great savings! I was so excited! The people behind were asking for tips, so I happily shared them. It isn't a competition! I want everyone to save money!! And, my husband, gets excited too! Originally, he didn't care. Now, he gets excited to hear how much I saved! I will send him a photo of everything I bought and make him guess how much I spent, if he is at work. Once he guesses, I will excitedly tell him how much I spent! He loves how thrilled and giddy I am, and I love how much money we saved!

Let me know if you all have any questions! I am happy to help anyway I can!

Thank you for reading! I hope you all have a blessed day.

Don't forget to comment on any blog post to be entered in our 1500 view giveaway! We are getting closer and closer every day!
Oh, I totally forgot to take a photo of my outfit of the day. I can tell you, it's nothing special. My princess has been a little under the weather, so after my shower this morning I jumped into flannel jammie pants, and a long sleeve shirt to match. My hair is in a messy braid and no makeup. I'll take a photo and post later. I'm not ashamed! Haha.

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