After I heard how Syracuse mom Kara Riedl spends only $200 a month at the supermarket, I knew our grocery bills were much higher than they needed to be.
Yes, it’s true we just had a fourth child and I’m still getting to know the system here, but I knew I could do better.
So when anchorwoman Megan Coleman of the NBC news show, Today in Central New York, asked me to do a weekly money-saving segment — starting with a trip to the grocery store –- I knew it was time to get back in the game.
Here’s how I did it, and how you can too.
1. Peruse the Store’s Weekly Sales Flyer
Find it in the Sunday paper, at the store, in your mailbox, or online; usually valid from Saturday to Saturday.
When you have some downtime at work or the kids are tucked in bed, take a minute to jot down good deals on foods that you like or would like to try.
Most supermarket websites will let you make up your shopping list just by clicking on sale items.
2. Focus on the Deepest Discounts
Select as many “Buy One, Get One Free” offers as you can.
Then focus on deep sales ($4 off per pound vs. 10 cents off).
Keep in mind that most stores do not require you to buy 10 items to take advantage of a “10 for $10” sale, but check your store’s policy.
3. Spend 10 Minutes (At Most) on Coupons
My store, TOPS, offered four $1 coupons that would double the value of $1 manufacturer’s coupons.
So I went to Coupons.com and quickly printed out four $1 coupons for hummus, canned tomatoes, sliced deli meat, and eggs, saving me a pretty painless $8.
And that’s it.
I paid $82 for $147 worth of groceries.
I saved $62 or 45%.
The time I spent?
About 20 minutes on writing down a shopping list based on the sales flyer and printing out 4 coupons.
The food I bought?
- Navel oranges
- red grapefruits
- cherry tomatoes
- colored peppers
- pre-washed salad
- baby carrots
- Tilapia filets
- frozen shrimp
- New York Strip steak
- all-natural sliced deli turkey
- Italian bread
- canned whole tomatoes
- mixed nuts
- frozen mozzarella sticks, and