We are on a serious budget these days as things are very tight. I am usually a good grocery shopper, only buy whats on sale etc...but today I tryed something different. I first actually went through my cabinets and marked things on my list that we needed and really tryed to stick to that list. Despite the fact that normally I am pretty good at shopping it never fails that I come home with something we already have and that is money I could have saved. So after checking the cabinets and the local grocery ad, I checked online for printable coupons which took forever might I add. I did not really find any great ones but I did try.
My sister is an awesome coupon shopper but ...she also lives in Tennessee and they have double coupon days. California or at least the Northern part where I have always lived does not do that, oh how I wish they did! So I took my list, my newspaper, my coupons and my calculator, yes my calculator! I had a certain amount in mind I could spend but knowing we are having a bunch of people over tomorrow night for a BBQ I knew I would probably go over that with feeding extra people and providing beverages (it is potluck but are providing meat and a salad and a few desserts).
My grocery shopping trip today took nearly 2 hours! I calculated every single item on my handy dandy calculator as I went along. I even found that some items on sale were not such a deal. Tositito's chips were buy one get one free for $4.99 but....if I bought a different brand for the same price I got twice as much. I got everything on my list and of course a few things I realized I needed once I got there. I waited until I was done with everything on my list to decide on the meat we were going to serve tomorrow. I could not find anything reasonable so I decided to check out and try and different store. I checked out and I was only $10 over my initial budget, now granted I had not bought the meat yet but I had bought all the beer and soda's which is something that would not normally be on my list.
I ran across the street to another grocery store and was able to buy all the chicken on sale, some cheaper hot dog buns and some BBQ sauce, all were cheaper than the other store. It was definitely worth the drive across the street. So all in all, I did pretty good. I spent about $40 or so over my initial budget but....I consider that good considering in one night we will be feeding 10+ people and I know we will have left-overs! And oh...I earned a 10 cent discount per gallon on gas by spending a certain amount of money. Normally I would not be excited about that as the only gas station near that we can use it on is in a different town. But....my husband just transferred his job to that town! So he can use the discount to fill up on his way home one evening, that savings...it all add's up!
Definitely a learning process and I hope to get much better. I would love to have those coupon days and a dollar store nearby but we don't. I do know that there is no way I could have shopped today with my kids in tow....(they are visiting my parents) I think grocery shopping may be one of those late night events I will have to start doing after the kids go to bed and the hubby is home.
If anyone has any helpful tips to help save money, please, please do share!
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