Monday, April 25, 2011

STEP 8: Maximizing Your Savings

Now, getting used to using coupons is only half the battle. The other half is ditching your regular shopping habits and starting anew. Whether you're minimizing your grocery bill out of necessity or simply 'because', the way to ultimately save is to start eating by sales. What does 'eating by sales' mean? This means that in order to REALLY save, you are going to plan meals according to what you have on hand and what is on sale for the week.

This doesn't just go for meal planning though. There's one more factor and for you die-hard brand namers this will be difficult. You're also going to lose your brand loyalty! This does NOT mean you have to buy generic, in fact it'll likely be MORE costly if you do but this does mean you may have to cheat on your preferred brands and purchase others. For the most part, I've been able to do it but for a few brands like Hellmann's... well... my heart stays true. :)

So you've ditched the usual list and you've accepted your brand swinging lifestyle. Great! Let's bump it up!

In order to save the most and spend the least, you are going to shop by BOGO when/if available. BOGO sales instantly give you a 50% discount. Pair that with coupons that usually save you up to another 25%, and there's the magical number of 75% saved! Now to ultimately live a frugal freak life, you can stack those BOGO sales with a store AND a manufacturer coupon for the ultimate in savings. My Publix accepts Target coupons. So here's an example using a competitor coupon from a sale a couple weeks ago:

- Kraft or Seven Seas Dressing, assorted, 14 or 16 oz bot., BOGO $3.27 for 2
- - $1/2 Kraft Dressing 4/10/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/8/2011)
- - $1/2 Kraft Condiment Items TARGET coupon

So here, you would buy 2, use one $1/2 Target, and use one $1/2 manufacturer, which makes them just $0.64 each or a savings of 90%! Not too shabby huh?
Now not all stores accept competitors and not all stores produce store coupons, so you have to do what you can with what you're allowed but if you take advantage of BOGO sales and add coupons to them (where allowed), you'll save an average of 75%.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about Stockpiles!