With today's economy and prices continuing to grow we all need to find ways to save money. There are a few things I've found that help me in the food department. This will be part one of three. Please feel free to add comments and your own ideas and ways of saving in the grocery store so others may benefit too.
I organize my refrigerator, freezer, pantry and cabinets so that I can see what I have. I will admit that at times I come home from the grocery store and quickly put my foods away in a hurry but as soon as I find time I arrange them as they should be. An example for the freezer is that I keep meats together, veggies together, frozen dinners together, etc. In the pantry and cabinets I line up my can goods with say all corn in a row, all green beans in a row, all sugar in a row, all pasta in a row, etc. This allows me to keep up with what I have and what I need to watch for when reading sales papers.
On the side of the refrigerator I have a note pad and pen. I try to keep at least 2 of everything so when I take the 2nd to the last I add it to my note pad. Then, when the sales papers come out I check to see of any of the products might be on sale. I also check to see if I have a coupon to go with item. If I do have a coupon I simply place a C next to the item reminding me that I do.
When it's shopping time I try to make sure I'm completely organized. I'm not one of those shoppers who has a large note book full of plastic sheets with coupons organized by products, wish I were. I simply use my little coupon organizer that has slots for different items. I try shopping by using my list only, not only does this help me with impulse shopping it also makes the trip quicker. I don't go when I'm hungry. And I try not to go when I know there will be a crowd. Plus, being classified as a senior citizen I try to go on the day the grocery is giving an extra 5% for us older guys.
Then there is that time that happens about every 6-7 weeks where one of my local stores either triples coupons up to $.99 or they double up to $2.00. That is when I check their sales and my coupons. One thing I've learned is that the stores know what their sales will be before they decide to double or triple. They also know what coupons are out there but bank on most of them being used already so the items they put on sale don't normally have coupons of any amount that were circulated recently. That is when you hang on to those older coupons waiting for these sales. Yes it takes a little time and organization but it's worth.
Part 2 of these articles will be titled Cook Smart. In this article I'll tell you what I do to help me save money as well as time by cooking smart.