Monday, September 6, 2010

Saving $ with Coupons...


Like I posted in my last blogpost, I am learning about saving with coupons. I have spent some of the day reading everything I could on how to cut your grocery budget. Things I have learned have not been extremely suprising, but I thought I would pass it on to you. I am using mostly the website http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ The site has an abundance of information on saving $. The article I read is called 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget. There are several posts in this article, but for the sake of time, I am hitting the highlights. You can find out more info by visiting the site and reading the article yourself. Here we go.

As stated in the article..
1. Stop Making Excuses and commit to a Change.
2. You Need a Budget. This one is self explanatory,but a budget keeps you on track. Without a budget, bargin shopping and couponing is not going to save you money. To start your budget, start slow....average your grocery spending for 4-8 weeks. Be realistic in your goals and set a goal for 5% at a time.
3. Menu Planning Saves Your Sanity and Your Budget. This is a MUST. By having a menu, you save numerous trips to the store. It also saves you the stress of that 5 o'clock "What am I going to have for dinner?" issue. A little planning will save you time and money.
--Shop your Cupboards- look in freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. You may find the "beginnings" of a yummy meal. You can use the Ingredients Search page from http://www.allrecipes.com/
--Consult Sales Flyers- plan menus based on what is on sale at your local stores. Check out those flyers in the newspaper or find them online. The hottest deals of the week are listed on the front page. These items are called "loss leaders", which means they are items that the stores are breaking even on or losing money on. The items are used to lure you into the store to get you to shop.
--Survey Your Coupons- pull out that coupon box and match up your coupons with items on sale. Be sure to use "high value" coupons and "free items" coupons. Put these coupons on the There will be times when the pantry is bare, the budget is weak, and the sales are down. At these times, try checking out your favorite food blogs, such as http://www.tammysrecipes.com/ or www.orgjunkie.com/menu-plan-monday These sites may give you some ideas or recipes to use. There are tons of recipe sites out there to help you work with small amounts of ingredients. Try a method that works for you when it comes to menu planning. Pre-established menu ideas are a good way to take that "work" out of planning. Ideas that I have found are: Monday-pasta, Tues-Soup/sandwhiches, Wednesday-stirfry, Thurs.- crockpot, Fri.- pizza, Sat.-something new, and Sun.- something easy. This idea came from the website www.simplemom.net/a-monthly-menu-plan-for-the-spring. There are lots of recipe ideas on this site.
This is only #3 in the 31 Days article and because there is so much, I plan on taking sections at a time to talk about. The last thing I would suggest is find menu planning forms to use. You can find them at just about any menu planning site, but I found some at http://www.moneysavingmom.com/

I hope this is helpful and as always, please feel free to post your thoughts, suggestions and ideas that work for you. Thanks.
~Until next time,
Gayla

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