Couponing and Other Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill
Objectives: At the end of the session, the trainees will be able to:
#1 Define the concept of couponing.
#2 Compare the value of different types of coupons.
#3 Develop and use a coupon system to save money on groceries.
#4 Know other ways to save on the food bill, such as buying in bulk, food cooperatives, frugal friends groups, canned goods, gardening and canning, and personal prepardness.
I was making enchiladas this week and needed to buy some cream of mushroom soup.
As I always buy a case or two at a time, I Googled some stores in my area, called them, and got a price.
I then drove to the store with the lowest price and bought a case.
The price was 10 cents cheaper, with 24 cans in a case, I saved $2.40. I also didn't waste gas driving from store to store.
I use many different stores, depending on the items purchased.
I buy canned items usually from Aldi's or Sav-a-lot. Other groceries from Wal-mart or Crest. Bulk items from Sam's or Costco's. I buy meat from a small Spanish meat market. Spices and Spanish items from another Spanish store.
I carry a calculator and figure out the price according to ounce so I can compare prices.
This way, I buy what is cheapest at each store.
I also only shop once a month, except for extras like milk and fruit.
I have one long day of shopping and then I am done for the month.
That way, I am not wasting time going to the store every few days. I also stay on my budget as I am not tempted to buy things as I am not shopping as often.
Okay. I buy 5.5 lb. packages of Hamburger (it is the largest package) and I always buy 93/7. Less fat. It doesn't make sense to me to buy the cheaper meat (and the meat is the same price, they just put more fat in so you are paying less per pound). But then you have to drain off all the fat and throw it away so why mess with it in the first place? When I get home, I divide the 10 lbs. into 3 freezer bags.
I also buy most of my meat at Wal-mart. I have tried other places, but many places, including meat markets do not sell the super lean cuts and hamburger that I like. We usually buy a pig every year and have it processed and that actually is the cheapest and healthiest way to go. You also have the advantage of being able to tell the company exactly how you want your meat prepared. this year we are trying to save up to buy half a cow so we have our own beef, too.
We also raise chickens and rabbits and so we have some meat, but I still buy chicken. I buy it also at Sam's or Wal-mart, but I buy the frozen individual pieces so I don't have all the skin and fat that fryers tend to have.
Buy a restaurant size, Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil from Sam's. When I was wrapping up the rabbits after I had washed them, I remembered earlier in the week when someone had told me that when they dress their chickens that they leave the skin on as if they do not, they dry out and get freezer burn.
But we have not had that problem and we always skin the animals as it is much quicker, especially with chickens, than plucking them. As I was wrapping the foil around the rabbit, I realized that it was because I always use two sheets and I always buy the Heavy Duty Commercial box at Sam's. It cost about $26, but it usually lasts me more than one year.
It is also perfect for grilling as it is much thicker and does not tear as easily. I am sure it is cheaper than buying a small wimpy box that goes quickly and is too thin. I also buy the commercial boxes of trash bags at Sam's. One box will last more than a year! And it is a time saver, because you are not shopping as often or for as many items!
The following items I buy canned:
diced and/or sliced potatoes
diced tomatoes with green chilies
and anything else that YOUR family is fond of.
I also buy:
Cream of mushroom
Cream of Chicken
Cherry Pie Filling
Apple Pie Filling
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Pumpkin Pie Filling
Dehydrated Bell Pepper
When I say cheap, I mean cheap. In the Oklahoma City area, usually the store with the cheapest canned goods is Sav-a-lot or Aldi's. They are off brands and usually about 3 cans per $1. If they are on sale somewhere else...I go there.
A lot of people (including my husband) want to buy all fresh veggies when they go grocery shopping. My experience has been that most of it goes bad before we use it, because I usually am in a hurry to get dinner done, or I just got home from work and only have so much time before I have to take a child someplace and to be honest...I do NOT have time to wash, peel, cut, chop, blanche....so on and on.
Therefore, the canned veggies are great
At Sam's Club or Costco I buy:
Chopped Dehydrated Onion
Oil in 35 gal. container
Personal Hygiene products
I will give more complete lists later, but at Sam's it's cheap!! I see the people buying rice and beans at other stores and they are paying the same price for a 10 pound bag that I can get a 25 pound bag for at Sam's!!
I also use Sazón Goya. Wal-mart carries it. On their web site they say, "Inside this box you'll find the secret to creating the authentic flavors of Latino cuisine. Goya Sazón’s special blend of seasonings makes every dish it graces taste truly exceptional. Just one packet makes a world of difference. For those watching their sodium intake, try Sazón Natural & Complete for the same great Sazón flavor and only a fraction of the salt."
These are the different types of flavor packets:
•Sazón with Coriander and Annatto (Orange)
•Sazón with Azafrán (Yellow)
•Sazón with Tomato and Coriander (Green)
•Sazón with Garlic and Onion
•Sazón Natural and Complete
Now don't think I am trying to just market these products, but they are crucial to making many of the dishes taste just right. Also, to be honest...they are fast, easy, and cheap. Instead of making sauces by scratch and spending hours letting the spices cook in (not to count the time it takes to prepare the herbs, measure, grate...blah, blah, blah.
FAT and SUGAR
Be careful when you buy "sugar-free," "fat-free," "less sugar" or "low fat" foods. Many times the company has simply substituted fat for sugar or sugar for fat.
Sugar and fat are the two items that make food desirable or help us feel content.
Always check out the labels for fat and sugar content. Some "low fat' foods have added sugar, and vice versa.