Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Secret to Saving Money on your Groceries

The biggest, most important, secret to saving money on your grocery bill is to stockpile. It took me 13 years of running my household to learn this because I am extremely hard-headed. You don't need to wait that long. I am going to tell you what a friend told me and to whom I should have listened to the first time.

Grocery stores will put something on sale for a rock bottom price almost every week. These sales come in a cycle for example oatmeal is lowest in January.

This is important stuff. Remember it. We will come back to sales cycles.

Most Weeks the Saturday evening edition and the Sunday edition of the newspaper contain coupon inserts. The coupons are the same on Saturday and Sunday. Find a place to purchase the paper or ask your neighbor if they use their coupons. If you have a dollar store (we do in Indianapolis) you will want to check there before purchasing because the papers are only a $1.

Now you may be wondering why I am so concerned about saving $.75 on a newspaper that I will drive 7 miles to the nearest dollar store?

Here's the answer.

Buy lots of papers.! Don't buy just one paper. Buy in multiples of 2 in case there are any great buy one get one sales. When the coupons are on foods you like buy lots. It is completely worth it to buy 8 copies of the paper on a great coupon Sunday. Your dollar investment might yeld you a 20 dollar return or more. To preview the coupons before buying try this site.

Ok, so what does this have to do with a stockpile and what is a stockpile anyways?

After the coupon appears in the paper the item will almost always go on sale. It may take several weeks so hold those coupons. Watch for a rock bottom price. Not every sale is a good sale.

Remember sales cycles with our oatmeal example?

I want to match my coupons with the oatmeal when it is on sale for its lowest price and then buy the oatmeal. I am going not just to buy one box of oatmeal but instead buy enough oatmeal to last until it goes on sale again. I have been doing this long enough now to know oatmeal will not be on sale again until September. Since we like oatmeal I will try to cash in all my coupons and buy at least 24 boxes of instant and 8 canisters.

Have you ever seen a teen eat instant oatmeal--4 packs at a time--it's a little scary!

My canister oatmeal will likely be free with the coupons and the instant will hopefully be $1.25 a box. Your prices will be different of course depending on were you live. Here small canisters of oatmeal are about $2.25 in the summer and instant Quaker oats $4.00 a box or more. My stockpiled oatmeal cost me $84 less than the non sale price.

As long as I have instant oatmeal in my pantry I will never have a need to pay $4 a box. Imagine how much less your grocery bill could be 6 months from now with a nice stockpile. Eventually all you would need to buy would be fresh produce, eggs, and perhaps milk and what ever super cheap or free item was available that week. A stockpile is always being used and

This is how I am now beginning to shop. You can do this too!

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