Next in our series on rounding up that grocery budget is to start looking around for the best deals on your items. I like to base my menu for the week off of what is on sale at my favorite grocery store. The easiest way to do this is to get an account with Food On The Table. It is available as a website, and as an app for your iPhone or Android, so you’ll always have your grocery list with you. It even divides up your list by category so you do not have to go from aisle to aisle looking for things and then back to another aisle for something you missed. It even has recipes and a blog for you to follow to get even more tips to save money at the grocery store. Who doesn’t like saving money?
I use the website first (www.foodonthetable.com), and look at all of the deals in my area, then I start adding items to my list. Even those miscellaneous items we always seem to run out of, like butter. Then, I read the store flyers. These come weekly in the newspaper, but if you don’t have the paper, just go to your local stores website and view their weekly circular online. Make notes about what you want, or just switch tabs and add it to your list.
Now, I like to shop around, at all different stores to ensure that I am getting the best value for the week and getting the most bang for my buck. I defiantly take advantage of my store cards, and use up all the offers that they give me. Sometime with these store cards I can save $2.00 – $3.00 a pound on meat, or more than $5 on bulk items. I make my base list with Food On The Table, and then individual lists of the deals and steals in my local stores. I write the price from the circulars on my list to ensure that I am still getting the deal at the grocery store and I didn’t miss something, or read something wrong, I write the quantity of the item I want, and the day of the week I will be using that item. Here is an example of what my grocery list looks like for the week:
Chicken Leg Quarters ($0.69/lb) – 1 pack [Wednesday and left overs Thursday] Chuck Roast ($3.77/lb) – 1 [Saturday]
Lettuce Mixes (BOGO) – 2 bags [Tuesday and Thursday]
Spinach Bag (BOGO) – 1 bag [Monday] (You can usually get one bag half price with these BOGO deals!)
Whole Chicken ($0.69/lb) – 2 (I don’t need them for this week, but at such a great price I can’t turn it down. I will cut one up into pieces to fry, and leave one whole for either stock or roasting)
Broccoli (BOGO) – 2 heads [Wednesday and Saturday]
Sweet Onions ($0/77/lb) – 8 onions [all week, Tuesday]
Shredded Cheese ($2.31 ea, BOGO) – 4 bags [Friday, Tuesday, all week (I LOVE cheese!)]
Eggs ($1.77 for 18 pk) 1 [Monday, all week]
Red Peppers (10 for $10.00) 2 [Monday, Friday]
Yogurt (10 for $6) 10
Ground Beef ($3.99/lb) 1 pack [Sunday]
Milk ($2.88/gallon) 2 gallons
There are a few extra things I add to my grocery list each week, that I don’t necessarily count towards my $40.00, like yogurt and flour (if I need it). I like to do the bulk of my shopping at Food Lion. For the most part (other than meat), it has the best deals in the area, and the exact same quality for food. A gallon of milk is gonna be the same at Food Lion or Harris Teeter, so why spend $2.00 more per gallon for the store? I just love saving money. The next step I do is look for coupons.
By NO means am I an extreme couponer, or should I ever be. There isn’t a need for it, and unless you got a big ‘ol place to store all of your goods, and know all the tricks of the trade, it ain’t saving you any money. Only things that I multi-coupon on are diapers and formula. If it wasn’t for couponing them I’d be pooooor! I check my weekly flyers for coupons of items that I frequently use, and for certain cleaning and laundry items. I cut them out, and then put them with my grocery lists. I then check in my coupon stock for the coupons that I set aside each week for the other items on my list.
Like I mentioned above, I like to do the bulk of my shopping at Food Lion. Unless I see a great deal on the items at my other local stores, Food Lion offers the best deals for the same items. Now, so that you don’t feel like you are reading a thesis on saving money, I will end right here with you. Sunday is grocery day for me, with all those coupons flying in from the newspapers, it’s a great way to start the week.
Time for your homework. Yes, again. Easy though, I want you to plan your menu and create your grocery list. Try Food On The Table’s great resources. They will defiantly make your menu planning experience a breeze and a half. I just love how convenient it is, and how accurate the sales are. They even have a feature that you can add the items that your family eats the most, like chicken, ground beef or butter and will show you those sales and recipes first. They totally deserve a big ‘ol pat on the back for such an awesome app!
Happy Meal Planning!