For the last two years I have attended the Becoming conference hosted by one of my favorite money saving gurus, Jenny at Southern Savers. It has been a ton of fun and I have learned so much that has helped me save money in many different ways. This past year I took a class from Jenny at the conference where she goes over the basics of saving money on groceries. I have been doing this money saving thing since 2007, when it was more of a hobby and less of a necessity but as circumstances in my life have changed it has become my way of life. Even though I have been doing this for almost 10 years now, something Jenny said in her class really hit home for me and I have been practicing it religiously since this past July, saving me between 40-50% on my grocery bill without clipping coupons.
To do this, Jenny explains how almost every item in the grocery store has a sale cycle that comes around every 6-8 weeks. To maximize your grocery budget, you want to buy things the items you use regularly when they are at their lowest price and get enough of them to last you until the next sale cycle. An example for my family is Quaker Chewy Granola bars. My kids eat these for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks so we go through a lot of them. I wait for them to go on sale, at Ingles this means they will hit their lowest price at 50% off when they are buy one get one free. I usually buy 8-10 boxes at a time, at 50% off to last me for 6-8 weeks until they are buy one get one free again. This means instead of buying 10 boxes over a period of 6 weeks and spending $30 total, I buy 10 boxes at one time, spending $15 – saving me 50% and all I have done is pay attention to the sale cycle and I haven’t clipped a single coupon.
Southernsavers.com publishes a list for the grocery stores in our area, usually every Tuesday which gives me time to review it, plan what I’m going to stock up on and base my meals around what’s on sale, and then shop the sale until a new list comes out the following Tuesday. The list that Southern Savers publishes only has things are at their lowest or near lowest prices, so I know by buying what’s on their list I am going to be saving 40-50% off my grocery total. Did I mention this is all without clipping coupons? It is a wonderful resources and it is all free! Jenny has a more in depth lesson here that goes in to the nuts and bolts of how grocery stores work and how you can save the most money. Obviously if you cut or print coupons you will only be adding to your savings. But sometimes coupons stress me out and it is nice to know I am still saving significantly just by following the Southern Savers list. I encourage you to try this method and let me know how it works out for you!