Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why couponing works for us, And can work for you too!

So, I had a reader comment on one of my shopping trip posts, that they think my post MAY be making people think that they can get groceries for their family a few dollars a week. How I wish that were true, I haven't found a way to do that. It would break my heart to think there was a struggling family out there reading my site and thinking I am telling them that they can feed their family with only their few dollars a week. I Can't, BUT I can tell you how to get more with those few dollars!

I put posts up of my weekly shopping so that people can see what the best deals to grab at the particular store for that week, along with just HOW I did it and also to keep a running savings total for myself.  Of course I can't feed and take care of my family for my $8 purchase from one of my posts, but it helps keep the grocery total low. I don't mean to make people think they are going to feed their family for $2 a week. I just want them to understand that if they are not already using coupons, they should start and be able to save at least 50%. So if they normally spend $500 a month, they should be able to knock it down to at least $250. That's $3,000 a year saved! Not too shabby.

Every Family's needs are different, but I KNOW that anyone can cut their grocery bill by at least 50% Using the sales and coupons only method, And with a little extra time put into it, can save even more! If they watch the sales ads and use the coupons and stockpile the best deals, yes you can feed a family and buy the needed staples for under $200 a month, I do it every month, as that is all that is in our budget for most of the time. I post my weekly trips separate and usually do at least one Major grocery trip a month. I am not alone in these kinds of budgets either. I have seen some awesome couponers do much much better than me! I recently wrote a post on a Freezer cooking meal that I did for Quick Breakfast. They are bacon egg and cheese wraps, It made enough for 20 servings at a total cost of only $6.47. The other mornings for breakfast is usually Cereal, In one of my recent trips I got Raising Bran for $0.50 a box and Frosted Flakes for $1.14 a box.

Snacks include, Yogurt (You Can always find very cheap, $0.25 for a 4pack  every few weeks) Peanut Butter Crackers, Grapes and Baby Carrots and popcorn or Bananas unless something else special was on sale then I alternate and fit in the new snacks on sale.

For Lunch, Is Turkey Sandwiches, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches,(I just was able to buy Sara Lee Bread for $0.51 a loaf!) or Bagel Bites or Kid Cuisine/Frozen Banquet Meal or Grilled cheese, Soup or Chef Boyardee. But again sometimes there are new things on sale and I can alternate to new stuff.

I don't fix Beanie Weanies and Mac and Cheese every night for dinner. I will admit dinner can be the hardest to figure out. I just have to go with what's on sale. One thing that is important is when something great is on sale Buy enough for at least six weeks, Because of doing this, I have more than enough sides and canned vegetables and pasta that I have gotten on past shopping trips, I really only have to worry about the meat item. Chicken is the main winner around here because I can find it on sale for $1.79 LB (Boneless Skinless) and that's when I buy. The other meals are made with ground beef, or pork tenderloin. (Not very expensive when on sale)  Sometimes I Choose not to use Meat in my meals. Like If I am making a Homemade soup, or A quick Pasta and side salad meal. Sometimes I fix the Stouffers  Frozen Lasagna as a quick dinner when time is short. I got those Very cheap a while back.

Because of couponing, I have even been able to get Supreme Brownie Mixes, Ready to make Cookie doughs, and Muffin Mixes for next to Nothing! Meaning I can add desert to my dinners most nights even on this tight budget!

The main thing is you have to make your weekly or Bi-Weekly plans of eating to go along with the sales ads. If someone's house is full of picky eaters, yes it may be hard to stay within a lean budget. But your still going to be able to save some.

As for the household stuff, I have two cats and lucky enough to make it work out to get free wet cat food for them and Cheap dry. The tip is- Every other month  P&G puts out Iams wet cat food coupons. Bi-Lo Puts them on sale BOGO, The coupons have always made it work out with the sale to be free. I can usually Always find a deal on the Dry Named brand cat food for $0.75-$1.00 every other month. Tidy cats is nice enough to have a $1/1 cat litter most of the time, so I pay at most $0.77a bag or $0.25 a bag when Bilo puts it BOGO

Paper towels can usually be purchased at Bi-lo for $0.19 a roll when the sale goes on, because the $0.25/1 coupon goes in the PG insert like clock work.

I have gotten All Laundry Detergent for $0.99 a bottle in the past and stocked up, as well as free and Cheap Snuggle fabric softener.

I have found handsoap to be $0.35 a bottle if you watch for BOGO sales and coupons.

The Health and beauty stuff is always a good deal at the drug stores, you can get so much just rolling the extra care bucks and Register Rewards. I have gotten so much free Toothpaste Shampoo and deodorant, among very cheap other things.

I feel given our budget, we don't do without, we eat fairly healthy AND its all name brand stuff for the most part. I can't complain for what Coupons have done for My family and I, because before them we could barely make it off our budget.

I know this is a long reply, but I am a huge believer in couponing, very passionate about it and believe it is in everyone's ability to save if they put forth the effort. I just put out some info to help. If people choose to use it is up to them.

Also, I'm sorry if any of my posts ever sounded to be misleading.

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