…. It really is fun finding the discounts. Even having returned to work and having less time, I LOVE going to different grocery stores to claim deals.
My biggest change that has really led me to enjoy “Grocery2Grocery” (that’s what I like I call it) is that I’ve learned to plan: I’m usually up on Sunday mornings before the family so I spend that hour planning meals for the week and finding coupons - that hour saves money and, ironically, time overall.
1. What does the week bring? Kids games, practices, working late ….
2. Write down easy meals to make (recipes are 4-5 ingredients or less)
3. Grocery list for the week (this is the fun part)
4. Compare list to local deals and coupons available - the Grocery2Grocery excursion usually includes:
— J & J farmers market
— Walmart (app)
— Winn Dixie and/publix (apps)
— Kmart (app)
(Once a month it’s Costco for meats)
I know what I need, so I don’t dilly-daly …
Saving about $50 a week on groceries plus reduced eating out by $100 a week …. Not bad …. “Saving while spending”, I always says ….
Are you having the party? or going? either way, you’re spending money: you can’t go to the party empty handed - in one hand is the beer and in the other is the potluck food item …. and if you’re hosting, well, it’s more like a bon voyage party for your money - but alas, you know you’ll have fun because you know there are coupons and discounts abound this weekend. Let’s begin:
How will you watch the game? KMart has a great deal on a 50: LCD HGTV - http://kmrt.us/XsKLwp
Target’s alreadyg got great deals - check out some some grocery coupons: http://coupons.target.com/grocery-coupons
Hot dogs and pulled pork from Oscar Meyer: -http://coupons.target.com/grocery-coupons
Family Dollar NEVER disappoints - Great for plates, plastic utensils, etc: -http://www.familydollar.com/pages/printable-coupons.aspx
Kraft coupons for your dips and apps: http://bit.ly/TnR9XT
This should do it for awhile - HOpe the parties go well ….. Don’t forget to Save While Spending ….
Over the holidays, I came across a great blog about saving money: http://andthenwesaved.com. She shares her “Spending diet” - no spreadsheets, no budget, no formulas …. just a short list of how to stop spending money unnecessarily (hopefully).
Anyway, as I read the list (will leave you to read on your own time), I realized I can do this - I really can do this!!
So, I will miss you Nordstorm - I will miss you favorite restaurants - I will miss you KMart (yes, KMART!!) ….. not forever, just a little while ……
However, one thing I will not give up, but somehow need to do more economically is Date Night with B. We believe these are what keeps us strong: a special night everyone month we look forward to, just us.
BUT we do need to cut costs and save where we can. So here are my thoughts on continuing the romance without breaking the bank:
- Change the time of the date: How about Breakfast or lunch when the prices are cheaper? or check out a matinee instead? Right now Restaurant.com is having some pretty good deals for gift certificates - great discounts that you actually use: http://specials.restaurant.com/deal/default. Hurry though, there’s a end date for this deal;
- Play tourist for the day: go to your local museum - even if there’s a cost to enter, it’s still cheaper than dinner and drinks. Grab lunch at home, then head down to your favorite museum for a few hours - it’ll be more memorable than can imagine. Here’s a list of museums around you: http://www.museumlink.com
- Bring back your team spirit: going to pro team sport may set you back … WAAAYYY back, but what about your high school hockey team? or baseball team? There’s usually no entrance fee (again, if so, negligible, I’m sure). Might even still have $ for a snack from the concession stand. Check out your local high school athletic department for sports schedules
- Still in the giving spirit: How about choosing a local charity, and doing some service there? The idea of giving back to the community will warm your heart and maybe rekindle the spark (ooo lalala). Check out this list of top rated charities in the US: http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html
I’ve already planned the next Date with B: Spinning Ninja Sushi Bar had a GREAT deal through LivingSocial.com.
Okay …. feeling good that the Spending Diet could be a good thing … here’s to hoping ….. Don’t forget to save while spending …..
I stayed as close to the menu as I could last week … with only 1 snag: Had to see about a little jerk spice at our favorite local Jamaican restaurant (AMAZING!!).
This week, I’m sticking to it, again. I even took advantage of the coupons I found:
I’ve recently discovered “pinning”: adding to my board, repining to my board, favorite-ing pins and so on (http://pinterest.com/lnmae/). It’s an amazing new hobby ….. seriously!
2. I have some recipes (“Good to eat”) on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lnmae/ …… very, very, very delicious and easy :)
3.Some discounts and coupons I’ve found to help add goodness to your meals:
- Cereal (with oats and fiber) discounts and deals from @Kellog: http://bit.ly/yYwAyq
So spend while you save ….. and Happy (HEALTHY) Shopping!!!
School is in full swing and I struggle when shopping to find deals that are “good snacks, healthy lunches”, but here’s what I’ve got:
The school year is upon us …. so are the after school activities, sports games and practices, school events. This all means “When in the world am I going to have time make dinner??!” A trip through the drive-thru seems inevitable more nights than we care to admit, but if you add it all up between groceries for the week and the evenings “super sizing” the meals, you don’t save a thing.
Now, I have a system (yes, it DOES require about 1 hour on Sunday for planning the wk) that works for me: I save time, money and my sanity … and my family eats healthier:
1. I choose recipes - i LOVE http://www.readyseteat.com/ - and create a menu for the week. You can choose by prep time, cook time, # of ingredients. Choose the recipe and it creates a grocery list for you - it even highlights which item is on discount, BOGO, etc. at your favorite grocery stores (incl. Bulk stores). If you like certain recipes that much, add the ingredients to your bulk shopping list.
2. Bulk shopping - Definitely need to make a list and stick with it. I, for one, can go NUTS at all the “what a great deal, but do I need it? SURE” temptations. Costco send coupons in the mail - I”m sure the others do too. Register at your bulk store online.
3. Vaccum food sealers (like “Food Saver”). Best Buy has some good deals: bit.ly/Pf2B25 and sometimes you can find coupons online for the FoodSaver.
I separate the bulk food into family portions, freeze. With my weekly menu posted on the fridge, I know what I need to defrost, and nothing goes to waste …. I”m working on my list now, so I can save while spending …..
In the spirit of my “Back to School” list, I’m recalling life as a college student: BROKE! somehow the care package and “allowance” was depleted 1 week after received. How I survived the other 3 weeks before the next package is a mystery to me ….. If only I’d had easy access to discount and coupons, right????
So, thinking (waaaayyy) back, here’s what I would have wanted:
- Restaurants.com: these coupons can really come in handy; student cannot live by Ramen Noodles alone
- Bed, Bath and Beyond Coupons: http://bit.ly/NeyYfO - I heard they always take ‘em, even if they’ve expired.
- BoxTops for Education: seems odd, but choose your favorite school to support and get some really good coupons (http://www.boxtops4education.com/), while helping a school
- ValPak: sometimes …. you never know what you might find: http://www.valpak.com/coupons/home.
Happy Shopping …. and save while you spend :)