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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shopping Cheap

I am all about saving money wherever I can. I also am big on eating good and healthy food. So with grocery shopping, I have found a happy medium. Our budget for all essentials (including diapers and wipes, and dogfood) for a family of 5 + 2 dogs is $200 a week. Now, those of you who have a family my size knows that it takes some work to keep the cost down, especially when buying healthy foods to make delicious meals. First of all, we rarely eat out- I pack my husbands lunch every day. This of course cuts way back on money because it nearly always costs more to eat out than in. Second of all, I use coupons. I dont have a ton of spare time, so I use The Grocery Game. It only costs me a little over a dollar a week, and helps me save anywhere from $50-$100 a week. So, it's an investment well spent. I also buy a newspaper every week that has coupon inserts (I got a deal where I am only paying $1 a week for the paper).

Not going to lie, it takes some commitment. I spend about 1 hr a week cutting coupons and compiling my list, and 2 hours shopping. But to me, 3 hours a week is worth the $100 average I save. In essence, I get $300 (and many times much more than this) worth of food and essentials for my budgeted $200.

For those foods/essentials that don't usually have coupons, or those that are still cheaper by bulk even with coupons, I go to Costco. I usually end up buying Dogfood (only $25 a bag for really good quality vs. the $40 we were spending), diapers and wipes (ends up being the same as the best deal I have ever found on diapers with a coupon at regular store), cheese, sometimes meat,peanut butter, and printer ink.

I will try to post my next week's shopping experience to give examples on how these all work together to bring great savings!