When it comes to saving money on groceries with coupons, we hear plenty of excuses for why people don’t bother. Some of the most common include:
- I don’t have time
- Coupons are only for junk food
- Giant Eagle (or whatever other store) is too expensive
- It’s too complicated
- …and many more
The bottom line is, your grocery expenses are one of the most variable parts of your monthly budget, but it’s also one of the easiest to gain control over and reduce. You can do this by using coupons, creating a weekly meal plan, cooking from scratch rather than ordering out or using expensive convenience foods, and shopping strategically: stocking up on food and household items when they’re at their rock-bottom prices.
If that sounds daunting, don’t be discouraged. I won’t lie–it does take some time, effort, and planning. But the results are more than worth it. Here’s what I have to say about the excuses listed above:
- If you can carve 1/2 hour to an hour out of your schedule each week, you can save. If you cut $25-$50 from your weekly shopping budget in that amount of time, it’s the equivalent of earning $50+ per hour for your time. Does thinking about it that way make it sound more worthwhile? 😉
- Yes, there are tons of coupons for processed food…there are also coupons for dairy, whole grains, frozen produce, and most importantly: personal care and household goods. No matter what your family’s food style, you can always save on toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, etc. Use your savings in those areas to help you buy fresh produce, meat, and whatever else you need.
- If you wander aimlessly through any store, just buying what sounds good, you’ll probably spend a fortune. If you match sale items with coupons and plan both your shopping and your meal planning around those sale items, you can get the most bang for your buck no matter where you shop. Paying “full price” for your groceries means you pay a huge markup. Shopping strategically can help you keep that money in your pocket.
- At first glance, this type of shopping can seem more complicated, but we try to make it as simple as possible. You can use our weekly matchups to help plan your shopping list and gather coupons. Committing a few minutes each week to meal planning is also a huge help–when you’re committed to using what you have on hand and planning around sale items, meal planning is simpler than it sounds. It also saves time and energy when dinner time rolls around. I’ve “un-complicated” my shopping even further by using many of our DIY cleaning recipes rather than spending time searching for deals on those products. Once you get into a routine, it really is doable.
What excuses pop up in your world when it comes to shopping strategically? How do you overcome them? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments or on Facebook. Join the conversation!