I don’t watch very much television. I mean, I have a few shows that I consider must-see-tv and I have no issue admitting to you that Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Long Island Medium and Honey Boo Boo are on this list.
There is just something about that Boo Boo of a family that cracks me up.
I know Mama June ( who I cannot even grasp is younger than me) is an extreme couponer but I just cannot do it, no matter how I have tried.
Coupons are lovely and all but if you eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables, nutrient-dense foods, organic foods and more natural products, you aren’t going to find much success with the mainstream clippable savings.
If you watch Honey Boo Boo, you already know that if one of the clan utters a curse word, the punishment is to eat a vegetable.
In my latest attempt to save money in order to support my Red Mango and summer-dining-out-way-too-much habit, I have been looking for new ways to cut corners.
I always take a look at my monthly bills/expenses to see what I can eliminate or reduce.
Since I can’t give up electricity, I finally bit the bullet and canceled my old-fashioned daily newspaper subscription.
The main reason I was still holding on to newspaper delivery was for my favorite Sunday grocery coupon booklets.
Each Sunday I would get all excited to clip away only to be disappointed week after week to see only brands and foods I seldom eat or buy for the house.
I know we can print many a coupon from brand websites but I have also come to learn that this route doesn’t always save me much because I just end up buying more products or different products than I normally would costing me more money.
Not to mention, it’s time-consuming seeking out internet coupons and then printing them.
I got to thinking about other ways to save money on groceries without using coupons and wanted to share my thought-process/plan with you this morning.
Track the local store circulars:
Overall, Trader Joe’s will give me the best value if I need to pick one store to get the grocery shopping done.
They don’t accept coupons and don’t run sales but their regular pricing is decent enough that you are not overpaying when compared to other grocery store pricing.
However, if I have some time to hit an extra store or two, usually I can save some money by seeking out the weekly grocery store specials by sorting through the circulars each week.
I jot down a quick list of the sales for the foods I may want in a language only I understand and keep the list in my planner.
I hate running to multiple stores but if the sales are significant, I am so there.
I currently have six pints of blueberries in my refrigerator for $6.99. You can’t beat this deal and no, not one berry will go to waste.
Target Cartwheel app: If your local Target has groceries (which I think most do) check out the Target Cartwheel App for special savings.
I usually scan through the deals each week on my phone, click on what I think I may buy and then all you do is show the bar code to the cashier in order to receive the discounts.
If you have a Target Red Card too, that’s an additional 5% off of the total price. It may not sound like a lot but really, it all adds up.
My Target Red Card is set up as a debit card, meaning, it comes directly out of my checking account rather than act as a credit card that runs up a bill.
Limit grocery store trips:
This is a tough one for me. Keeping fresh fruit and vegetables in the house requires a few trips to the store a week.
However, popping in just for strawberries often leads to buying other things as well which costs more money than you intended to spend.
I am going to work on skipping over a shopping trip or two that I think I need but really don’t.
I don’t need it all, all the time:
I just don’t need it all. I don’t need spinach AND kale AND romaine lettuce.
I don’t need broccoli AND cauliflower PLUS eggplant AND zucchini.
I am going to force myself to make my selections based upon what’s on special, skip the multiple types of produce and that’s that. No exceptions. I never have a vegetable go bad on me but I also don’t need to eat so many varieties in one week.
The organic food debate really deserves its own post entirely. Do you buy organic or do you avoid it because it costs more?
I do a little bit of both. I do what I can afford while keeping the Dirty Dozen list in mind.
I have read so much on this subject and the bottom line is, of course you want to buy organic when you can but the nutrients in the foods outweigh your risk from the pesticides.
I won’t try to convert you to a plant-based diet but you should know that swapping out a meat based meal for plant-based will absolutely save you some money.
A can of organic chick peas which offers about three and a half servings will cost you around $1.19 (at Trader Joe’s). A package of chicken cutlets will run you at least six dollars depending upon store and brand.
Honoring Meatless Monday as well as going meatless a couple more times a week definitely saves money and is good for your health too.
Use up what’s in your freezer before restocking:
Sometimes when I am grocery shopping I get all load-the-cart happy and throw things in that I will need….eventually.
I have stopped doing this and now try to wait until I use up what’s in my freezer and even my pantry before buying another bag of frozen vegetables or granola bars.
You have seen my freezer. We both know I don’t need another frozen item for a good month.
Costco and BJ’s isn’t always a money saver:
Buying in bulk gives you more food at a time but that doesn’t mean it works out cheaper.
If you aren’t going to eat five pounds of broccoli before it goes bad, you are spending more money on food than you should.
On this same idea, I buy the smallest container of skim milk because most of the time, we don’t even finish it.
And, if we run out, I can always buy more.
It sure beats buying a half-gallon, paying more money and spilling out half of it.
I don’t meal plan. I don’t like having to decide what I for dinner Tuesday night on Sunday.
Rather, I keep the house stocked with my staples and throw it all together each day according to my mood.
I know that people love their meal planning and it can certainly help you to save some money buy shopping specifically for what you plan to make and eat.
Ironically enough, my son likes a meal plan during the summer. He comes home from camp really hungry and he enjoys planning out what I will have ready for him for dinner each night.
I think I will get a bit more into detail regarding our recent summer dinner meal plan next week but one of his favorites is “The Big Sandwich”.
He requests a big roll (whole wheat which I get at Whole Foods) with turkey, cucumbers, lettuce, pickles and mustard.
Cheaper (and healthier) than Subway.
If you ever wonder why I never run out of things to say, it is mainly because once I start typing, the thoughts start flowing. And, once I start writing one post, more post ideas develop.
From writing this post, I am now thinking we need to address the following:
- Must-have foods (regardless of price/sale/special)
- Organic, Hormones/Antibiotics in animal protein and the Dirty Dozen
- Meal Planning
- Easy Meatless Meals
I think I will get to work on those posts today!
Are you a coupon clipper?
Favorite reality television shows? You can admit them, I won’t judge.
How do you go about saving money on groceries?