Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting the Most for Your Money

In December, I decided to start couponing for my groceries.  I had contemplated it before, but it seemed like such a hassle, and it seemed like I would only be eating packaged foods from those dreaded middle aisles at the grocery store.  Well, I came across a great blog that helped me learn the ins and outs of couponing. In a couple of weeks, I felt like an old pro and I can proudly say that I have cut our grocery bill almost in half. Our savings average around 47%. 

Since grocery shopping is a crucial part of any food whore's life, I figured that I should share this info with you so that no one's culinary creativity is restricted by budget. I use Frugal, Fun and Fortune as my main couponing blog. I live in Florida and shop at Publix.  (Florida Publixes are different from others in the chain, so if you're in Florida, it's important to follow a Florida-based couponing blog for that reason.)  She also does other southern/national chains like Kroger, Food Lion, Winn Dixie, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. (Maybe a few others.)  Another blog I use is Southern Savers. It's great for anyone in the south.  (I'll be really sad when I move this summer and have to find a new grovery store and new couponing blog.)

FFF does a great job of explaining the details of couponing. I would suggest reading her "store basics" posts before getting started. It's easy to get overwhelmed at first, but I promise, after a couple weeks of couponing, it will seem like second nature.  Last week was one of my best couponing weeks to date.  FFF even featured my savings on her blog. Check it out here.

We have changed our eating habits a bit.  Before I used to come up with menu ideas and then go buy everything I needed. Now, I look at what I have in my kitchen and what's on sale and then come up with meals.  A lot of the savings can be on the middle aisle items, but I've found some amazing deals on orange juice, eggs, meat, produce, yogurt and more. Mr. FoodWhore and I are eating healthier than ever, and for a lot less $$$.  And my toiletries closet is packed to the brim. I probably won't have to buy personal care items for us for a year.  Seriously! And I stocked it for a fraction of the retail price . . . $.30 for toothpaste, $.75 for Dove Body Wash!

For those of you who think it takes too much time, consider this: It takes me about one hour to prepare for my weekly shopping (groceries & drug store).  One hour saves me an average of $53 a week on my groceries.  One hour = $53.  How much do you make in an hour at work? I'm not working right now, but when I was, I earned a lot less than $53 an hour.  So I'd say it's definitely worth it. 

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help. Just leave me a comment.  Happy couponing and happy saving!

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