Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Groceries... Groceries... Groceries... Part 1

**Not any pictures in this one... sorry, Momma! ;)
Okay... I'm not going to say that I don't grocery shop, because that would be crazy.  Of course, I've been grocery shopping, and I go grocery shopping once a week (usually Saturdays).  I just don't know how to grocery shop effectively.
I've always hated coupons because I felt like I was buying things that I wouldn't normally buy just because I could save a couple of cents on it.  So I've mostly ignored them.
I'm not super organized when it comes to getting them all cut up and arranged in "department" order, and there are just so many that I don't EVER use.  So I've mostly ignored them.
I never know what it means to "wait for double days" or any of those other things that couponers say.  So I've mostly ignore them.
BUT I'm finding that there are LOTS of things that I want to go and do and LOTS of things that I want to experience, and I want my kids to experience, and almost all of those things costs money.  In addition to the fact that we believe God is calling us into adoption, something else that costs money.  SO the time has come to look through every option I have, and no longer can I "ignore the coupons".  So I'm starting a series about how I'm going from a grocery shopper to a GROCERY shopper! :)
I've done a few things so far to get this going.

1. Found two phenomenal websites that I've devoured every bit of information from in the last two days.... houses cleaning... what house cleaning??
Anyway, here they are:   Once a Month Mom, where you can get a specific menu almost every month and pick and choose your recipes and then get to cooking!  There are so many different ways you can use this website, and they are all fantastic!  I'll be talking more specifically about this as I start the actual cooking.
The other site is: The Grocery Game, where they have some kind of database that searches out the stores closest to you and gives you lists of the best deals for each week of the year.  They use the coupon inserts in the Sunday newspaper to get the best deals, and there are even some items that are FREE each week.  I'm blown away by this.  Things that I actually USE that are FREE!  Not things that I wouldn't normally buy, but I buy them because I have a coupon... NO, they are useful, and FREE!  Okay... did I say I'm blown away?? This one actually costs money, but if it does what I think it's going to do for us, then it will still save us WAY more than it will cost.  It also has a 4 week free trial, which I'm taking advantage of right now, so there will be more posts about this coming up.

2. I scoured... umm... scowered... umm... skowered... umm... searched my house for coupons, and didn't find many.  I did find a 25% off a food processor (just what I had first on my wishlist), so I used that today and came home with my dream machine!), and I found a couple of trash bags (which we needed) and one for ziploc bags (which I'll need for the Once a Month Cooking)... all-in-all, I saved $18.50 on things I would've bought anyway without the coupons!

3. I searched online to find out WHERE all these people are getting their coupons.  It turns out that they still get a NEWSPAPER... IN PAPER... NOT ELECTRONICALLY!??!  I couldn't believe this was the real way that people got coupons.  So I searched for the best Sunday paper to get coupons from.  I ended up with a lot of choices, but because I live where I do, I decided to go with just the Sunday edition of the Washington Post.  I might get a little smarter while I'm using my coupons also!  My subscription for the paper was $30 for the year. Not bad, but I am keeping up with all these things I'm buying to get started saving to make sure I'm getting my money's worth out of it all.  I know this isn't the only way to get coupons, and I did find LOTS of coupons online, and I'm using some of those as well.  The inserts in the papers just fit better with The Grocery Game lists, so that's what I chose to primarily use.

That's what I've done so far, but I feel much smarter and much more motivated to see how much money we can save on groceries.  As I learn more, and become a GROCERY shopper, I'll bring y'all along to watch.  It should be interesting... Our first stop... a grocery store named Harris Teeter (yes, those of you in Arkansas, that is actually the name of a grocery store).  I'm going in a couple of days to "scout it out"... I know, crazy... I'm intimidated by big grocery stores that use big words I don't understand.  I'm going to get one of their "VIC" cards and just walk through the store and absorb... definite comments coming after that trip!  Stay tuned!


  1. You can also get coupons through and a few other places (i heard ebay for the high value coupons). P&G usually puts out their big coupons once a month, around the end or beginning of the month. The website has the informatin. I'm doing the same thing here. Food Lion also had some good sales and you should also have Safeway in that area. Costco or Sam's might be good if you want to buy in bulk and they also have their own coupons. Good Luck!

  2. Food Lion is literally closer to us than the commissary is. They have some good deals, but this Harris Teeter seemed to do more "double days" and other things... they also will accept online and paper coupons on only one item, thereby doubling the effect... I'm excited to try it out! Thanks for all the tips...