We pay a premium at our house for things like delivered organic produce, specialty groceries, and pre-fab dinners from Supper Central. Those things are important to us – but because we are NOT rich, I feel some responsibility to help balance that spending. I am no crazy coupon lady (in fact, I used to have a personal ‘no coupons’ policy because I thought it was lame), but I’m becoming more and more interested in finding ways to save money on essentials. Without looking – or actually BEING – crazy, of course.
And so, I spend an hour or so online every month ordering + printing coupons. I check Simply Frugal once or twice a week to find sales. I make grocery lists off store flyers that I look up online. We buy certain things at Costco, when it saves money to buy in bulk. And I generally pre-plan our weekly menu. (I seriously have no idea how people survived pre-internet.)
This week, we did a bigger shop than usual because Geoff will be working a lot and it’s sometimes hard for me to get out of the house alone with Briony – plus we needed some higher-value items like Night Time Pull-Ups, a couple of clothing items for Briony at Superstore, and some make-up for me. And my modest little coupon collection – combined with smart shopping off the flyer – saved us more than 25%: $225ish down to $160ish.
I still feel a little bit stupid for pulling out my little stack of coupons, but HOLY COW did I ever get over that quickly when I saw our bill shrink like that.
This week’s most awesome deals included:
- Van Houtte coffee – regularly $7, but I paid less than $2 (and it came with a $3 off coupon for my next purchase on the can… so if I were a savvier couponer, I probably could have gotten it free)
- Two bottles of Tylenol Arthritis – regularly $15 each, but after a sale + a coupon, I paid around $5 each (plus I got 25 bonus Air Miles on them)
- Organic 3% milk for Briony – regularly $7, but on sale for $1 off *plus* it had a $1 off coupon attached AND I had one for $0.75 off (this is nerdy-exciting because organic milk basically NEVER goes on sale)
WOW. That just sounded really lame. And borderline crazy.
But it’s something, right? I will never buy things just because they are on sale, but when I can save money on the things I wanted my family to eat anyway, that makes me feel happy. It also makes me feel like a 1950s housewife. But a HAPPY 1950s housewife (hehe).
How do you keep your grocery bills under control? (Or are they out of control?)