- Shop the sales and menu plan. Each week when I start planning our menu, I shop my cabinets. I like to see which meals I can create from what I already have on hand. My next step is check out the specials in my store’s ad. Based on what I find on sale, I build my menu. Shopping the sales allows me to save each week.
- Contact your favorite companies. Companies love to know how much you enjoy their products. They will often reward you with coupons for emailing them or calling them. I keep a list of companies that I contact and their response to my compliment.
- Sign up for the newsletter of your favorite companies. Each month I receive coupons from some of my favorite brands. These companies may or may not offer coupons in the Sunday paper. When I find a sale that I like, I use the coupon to optimize my savings. This coupon will make organic salad free this week at my local Harris Teeter.
- Sign up for Ibotta. You do not receive the savings upfront from Ibotta as you would a coupon. This cash back app along with others such as Checkout 51 and Savingstar can still be helpful at saving on groceries. Since I joined in 2012, I have earned $534.94. If you would like to start earning, download the ibotta app and use referral code wb37q.
- Sign up for your store’s emails. Some stores offer special discounts to customers signed up for their emails. For instance Harris Teeter offers deals called evic specials that are cheaper than the sale price. At least twice a month they offer free items just for being signed up.
- Find a blog, facebook group or instagram page for the stores that you shop. Finding deals and couponing is easy to do when you let someone else do the work for you. There are blogs dedicated to specific stores that only post deals on that store. Likewise if you hashtag your favorite store, you will find deals for that store.
- Know your store’s policy. Some stores allow you to use competitor coupons. These are coupons such as $10 off $50. These coupons are a great way to save with very little effort. Some stores such as Harris Teeter and Whole Foods offer a scan guarantee policy. If an item rings up for a different price than advertised, you get the item for free.
- Don’t throw away those catalina coupons. Companies often offer high valued coupons so that you will try their products. If you wait for the item to go on sale you will maximize your savings. Catalina coupons are manufacturer coupons that can be used at any store that accepts them. For example: If you receive a catalina from Food Lion, you can redeem it at Walmart.
- Know the best price on items that you buy often. I am loyal to few brands, Scott 1000 sheet toilet paper being one of them. I much rather purchase it when I find it on sale for $5.49 for a 12 pack vs. $8.99. Having a price list even if it is a mental list will help you to save. When you purchase items at the lowest price you can save money for other groceries.
- A deal is only a deal If it is useful. I make it a habit to only purchase items that we can use or donate. By passing on deals that are not useful to me, it eliminates wasting money. Even if an item is free after a coupon, you still have to pay tax. This can add up especially on items that you don’t need.
So these are my top ways to save. My grocery shopping has certainly changed since I was first married. We mostly purchase organic fruits and veggies. We also limit our consumption of processed foods. So even though I no longer heavily coupon, I do love to find a good deal! I hope that you find this list helpful.
December started with a bang! We had over 10 inches of snow to fall and it was stunning. The photo above is of our oldest playing in the backyard. We traveled to spend time with family and had a really great time. We wrapped up the year with snacks and the countdown at home. Each year it is becoming harder to stay up for the ball drop! Anyways here are our actual numbers for the month.
Tithes $840-We are so thankful that we get to give each month
Rent $1050- Our plan is to rent until we are debt free.
Duke Energy $60.73- We actively try to keep our temp at 66 during the day and 64 at night.
PNGas $37.29- Our water is heated by gas.
Spectrum Internet $14.99- We have the lowest package but it works great.
Total Wireless Cell Phone $26.31- This is for one cell phone. We have another cell phone provided by B’s employer.
Water & Sewer $74.90- Another month of water issues but we are still delighted to pay this bill.
B’s Life Insurance $41.43- We feel very strongly about having a good term life insurance policy.
Fee $1- Our credit union charges a monthly fee, but uses the fee to fund scholarships in NC.
HP Instant ink $10.66- I love the freedom of printing for homeschool and couponing without running out of ink.
Grocery $576.34- This includes food for 2 adults and 3 kids.
Gas $240.96- I am beyond thrilled that gas is dropping! We traveled during the holidays yet the gas prices were very reasonable.
Eating Out $63.58- We picked up some food during our travels this month.
Blow $176.46- This is B’s lunch and sometimes dinner money when he works late.
Clothes $219.05- We were not winter prepared and so we had to go shopping. We got snow boots, winter gloves, jeans and some clothing for next summer.
Gifts $382.55- This includes gifts for a birthday, to family and Christmas.
Charitable giving $294.15- Other giving.
Household $69.13- We picked up a snow shovel, salt for the walkway, printer paper and a booster seat.
Debt $2995.76- This includes the monthly scheduled payment of $762. Our total payoff is now $84,073.77!! We are beyond excited to see these student loans dropping.
Total $7175.29- B earned $6494.01 after taxes and health insurance. He also received a reimbursement of $372.28 for his business related travel last month. I earned $109 from doing surveys on MyPoints and Swagbucks. We also received $200 as a gift.
So that was December. We ended the year looking ahead to the future. When we started our debt snowball years ago, 2020 was the goal year to be debt free. It’s hard to believe that we are so very close. Thank you for joining us on our journey. What are your goals for the new year?