Wednesday, April 22, 2009

February's In the Kitchen with Coupons...Tips from Mary Moorhead & Emily Edwards

Start saving money now by "knowing":
what you spend on groceries
what you want to spend
what your family eats regularly
what you are willing to do to save money

Know the stores you frequent:
Example - Henry's ads run Wed. t0 Wed. and offer great prices on fresh produce
Albertson's and Pavilions run about the same in price comparisons give or take a few
Wal-Mart regularly offers the cheapest prices in canned goods
Costco offers great prices for certain items. Not always the cheapest.
Trader Joe's is right in the middle. Great prices, but limited selections.

Watch the "gradual markdown, sale cycles" of items that you purchase frequently. Cycles run every three months. Stores start to mark items down and continue to markdown over time.

Example: Ragu regular price about $2.79 a jar. Albertson's will eventually markdown and offer 10 jars for $10. This occurs about every 12 weeks.

Learn the cost of food/household items you consume/use regularly.
Learn the patterns of their prices and sales.
Learn about food, store brands, different cuts or meat, substitutions, etc.
**Each store has strengths and weaknesses. Learn them and match them to yours.

Know your prices:
Make price windows to buy items
Check your receipts...your stores often attachment coupons to them
Rain checks - Remember to ask for them. They come in handy weeks down the road.
Create a meal plan (Deals to Meals is a great website and blog that offers complete menus that coincide with the current "sale items" on their weekly grocery list alert for local grocery stores. Check it out!)

Create a three month rotation supply of food. (This should mirror your "sale cycles watch")

Create a grocery list. Stick to it! Watch it!

Create a wish list.

Rearrange meals to allow for sale items
Plan cheaper meals. For example: prepare a "breakfast night menu".
Try different stores.
Try different ingredients.