Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why? Part 1: Grocery Store Shopping

I thought I might be able to explain a lot of Jenny's ideas shorthand here. I've had a lot of people question about how this works, how much time, how to start, why certain stores, isn't it cheaper to just Wal-mart, etc. So, I'm going to try to break it down as best as I can, but I truly believe in order for anyone to completly understand what and how this works, you really really really need to go to one of Jenny's workshops. Feel free to ask me any questions, but again, I can't stress enough how much I learned at the workshop....And to be honest, I wish I had time to hit up another one. Abbreviations can be found here. But, here goes!

The first thing you must do is stop shopping your "list". This was hard for me at first. And it will probably take you 6-8 weeks unless you are already stocked up. The basic concept is that EVERYTHING you use will eventually go on sale AT A ROCK BOTTOM price. You don't stock up until that price hits. In other words, if your family eats 2 boxes of cereal a week, and you don't expect to buy cereal again for 4 weeks, you need to buy 8 boxes max. (Not 25, lol, we are not stocking for the apocalypse!) For example, cereal may be on sale this week for 2.50 a box, but next week it went on sale for BOGO at 3.50 a box. So, you saved 75 cents by buying at the BOGO sale. And then if you had coupons for 50 cents off a box, you use TWO coupons if you buy two, even if they are BOGO. So, now you are paying 2.50 for 2 boxes. And then, don't forget the grocery stores that double manufacturer coupons! So, if you are shopping Publix (double up to 50 cents) or BiLo (double up to 60 cents), you now are getting TWO boxes of cereal for 1.50 or 75 CENTS per box! And then, comes the fun part...You can use a MANUFACTURER coupon WITH a STORE coupon! So, if Publix has the BOGO sale for 3.50, you use (2) manufacturer coupons that double to take off a total of 2.00, and then Publix has a store coupon for $1 off 2 boxes, you now are paying 50 CENTS for TWO boxes, or 25 CENTS per box. Another good thing to remember is that Publix takes competitor's coupons to certain stores. In our area, usually just BiLo, Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, etc. Bilo is also taking competitor store coupons and they are including drugstore coupons as of right now as well as Target. So, remember Bilo and Publix will take BOTH a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon on one item!

Another good concept that completely boggled my mind was OVERAGES. For instance, when I first started this, Maalox gave a manufacturer coupon for $5 off 1 bottle. Well, it was only $4 dollars at some stores. So, they were actually giving me a dollar off of something else to buy it! I've had this work quite a few times and it just totally throws me! LOL My favorites here lately have been the $1 off Mueller's pasta coupon. Publix had Mueller's pasta on sale BOGO for 1.35. So, you use 1 coupon on EACH box, making it FREE plus, for every 2 boxes, you would get 65 CENTS off of something else! I had some really cheap groceries that week!

The next question I get, is how time consuming is it. Well, it depends on how much you want to put into it. I'm full time mommy, full time nursing student, full time wife and caretaker! Plus, I have a million other things on my list (don't all moms?). I choose NOT to clip my coupons. Jenny recommended an accordian file folder and each week when I buy my newspapers, I stick the whole inserts into a file and then I print the weekly inserts list. I keep it with the inserts so, I can refer back to it to see what we received in our inserts (every newspaper varies). Then, I use Jenny's sales list (example of Publix one is here) and simply check every item that we either need or is a good stock up price (the little acorns next to the check box mean to stock up!) and then I head to the next page where I delete all the coupon matchups that I don't have (some magazines, mailers, etc take a while to get or you miss). Then, I can take a good long look at what my actual price is and so forth. Then, I go and collect all the coupons together and put them in an envelope, print the list, and hit the store.

This was pretty vague compared to what I learned, but its a good starting point. Another good thing to remember is that you don't have to buy TWO at BOGO sales with grocery stores. These stores are set up to ring each item half off of its price regardless. Again, though, your best bet is to at least read through Jenny's tutorials and spend some time on her blog.Pin It

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