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I used to be a huge couponer. When I first started down the getting out of debt road, I used coupons to help offset the cost of feeding my family.
Years later the whole extreme couponing craze happened, and I became a couponing freak!
Fast track to 2015, and I honestly don’t have the time to coupon like I once did. Don’t get me wrong, I still use coupons; I just don’t use them, in the same way, I did eight years ago when I had debt that still needed to be paid off.
With that being said, I’m always looking to spend my money wisely. For my family and me, that means coupons, shopping at Aldi’s (I love that store!), buying on sale, and stocking up when I do find a useful deal that meets my families needs.
The average family of four spends anywhere from $131 to $299 depending on if you’re a frugal shopper or a liberal shopper. Food’s expensive, and I don’t see the cost of feeding your family going down anytime soon. Studies suggest that coupon clippers have a tendency actually to spend more money than
Food is expensive, and I don’t see the cost of feeding your family going down anytime soon. Studies suggest that coupon clippers have a tendency actually to spend more money than nonclippers because they buy things they don’t need.
I did this when I first started out and quickly came to realize that half of what’s out there I would never feed my family – coupon or not. You need to be mindful of this when using coupons.
So maybe the solution is to avoid certain items altogether when shopping?
Ten things not to buy at the grocery store
1. Salad Dressing
Salad dressings are expensive for what you’re getting and often have more ingredients than necessary. Why not make your own vinaigrette instead? One of my favorites go to vinaigrette has only five ingredients. Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon, pepper and a dash of salt. Throw some fresh herbs in there for additional flavor. Make only what you need and you won’t have all those half empty bottles of salad dressing taking up space in your refrigerator.
2. Gift Cards
Often time the gift cards you buy at the grocery store come with hefty activation fees. A gift card from the grocery store itself often is a better choice as they don’t come with those high fees associated with other cards.
3. Greeting Cards
Buying a single card at the store can be very expensive. Often there are better alternatives. I’ve purchased greeting cards in bulk at both wholesale clubs and on Amazon.com and have saved more money. Instead of spending dollars, I end up spending pennies per card.
4. Name Brand Spices
What is the difference between a name brand spices and generic? Nothing, that’s what. Consumer Reports did a study, created recipes using name brand and generic spices and for the most part, people couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Better yet, grow your own like I do and you’ll have the spices you need all year-long.
5. Bouquets of Flowers
I could go on and on about this one. You get what you pay for. The flowers you buy in the store will be dead in no time compared to good quality flowers. Often the bouquets are filled with more greens than necessary and will wilt faster. You can’t beat quality flowers. I recently sent a bouquet of flowers to a friend who just had her first chemo appointment. Four days later the flowers were still as fresh as the day I sent them.
6. Party Supplies
Of course, it’s convenient to get your party supplies at the grocery store, but you’ll end up paying two to three times more than if you stop at the party supply store. Don’t waste the money.
Why anyone would feed their children, this swill is beyond me. First, they’re loaded with fat, sugar, and artificial disgustingness. Take the time to prepare healthy lunches filled with wholesome and delicious food. It costs less and is healthier for your child.
Usually, when you run out of batteries you need them fast and that’s why grocery stores mark them up so much. Buying them on Amazon.com or wholesale clubs typically give you the best deals. For example, Duracell AA 40 pack of batteries at Amazon is only $15.99! That’s a whopping 73% savings!
9. Bottled Water
Bottled water can cost upwards of 1000 times more than tap water and sometimes it’s no cleaner or safe. I understand that it’s purchased mostly for convenience and portability, but other options exist that will save you money in the long run. A better option is to buy a few stainless steel water bottles, fill them with filtered water and store them in the refrigerator for on the go use.
Just like batteries, when you need them, you need them. Grocery stores will have the biggest markup on diapers. Other alternatives include warehouse stores and watching for deals at places like Target. As always you’ll save the most if you stack the saving with a coupon.
There are countless ways to save money when you examine your spending habits. Thinking about what you need, planning your shopping trips, watching for what’s on sale and using coupons on the items your family uses will help you to save money all year long.
These strategies never go out of style.
MY FAVORITE MONEY-SAVING TOOLS
EBATES: Want to earn cash back when you shop online? Ebates acts as a shopping portal offering coupons and cashback from over 2,000 online stores. I always check on Ebates first whenever I shop online! You can join Ebates for free and get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up through this link.
DIGIT: Like the idea of saving but need something automatic? Digit is the perfect solution if trying to automate your savings strategy. In essence, what Digit does is use an algorithm to detect spare money and then transfers it to a secure savings account – so you’ll always have something to fall back on. Sign up for free!
GROCERY BUDGET MAKEOVER: Is your grocery budget giving you a serious kick in your families spending plan? Grocery Budget Makeover helped my family slash $6,000 a year from our food bill! Learn more about how Grocery Budget Makeover can help you save money too!