I haven’t posted much recently about my shopping adventures…mostly because I’ve been trying to learn a new store.
Oh, I’m in love. Is it possible to be in love with a grocery store?
The first week, I mostly wanted to map out the store. Yes, I’m the nerd who writes down stuff that’s in each aisle, puts it in the computer, and plans my grocery list every week aisle by aisle. It might be the epitome of geekdom, but if I have to make a quick dash into the store, or have to take my kids with me, I know exactly where to go so I can get out quickly. I hate wandering around stores, and I rarely remember where things are on my own. But anyway…the first week, without even really trying, I knocked almost $30 off the total grocery bill.
I have been wanting to try this Publix store out ever since it opened a few months ago. It’s a slightly further drive, but it’s totally worth it. This particular one accepts so many competitor coupons, and I can stack them, which is awesome! I was getting stuck at my other stores because they either don’t double, or kept changing their policies so coupons couldn’t be stacked at all. Only, you don’t know that until you get to the register and it screws up your budget. Not cool.
This week, I ended up taking my son with me to Publix. Weirdly enough, he actually enjoyed it. And he thought it was hilarious that his mama was “making friends” with random people in the store…couponers can be a friendly bunch! His favorite part was watching the register screen as the cashier was scanning my coupons…the price kept going down, and the amount saved kept going up! I ended up spending $47, and saving $65.
I have been asked how to get started in this couponing thing. The best thing I can tell you: get your Sunday newspapers! Get multiple copies! Watch your sales ads, and pair up your coupons with the sales. I certainly haven’t learned the sale cycles yet (I’m trying!), so I rely a lot on others to help me in that area. My favorite right now is Savings Angel. They track the sales, list the coupons, and give me a shopping list too.
Sure, it’s time consuming. I feel like a nerd every time I walk into a store carrying my big ol’ coupon binder…but the great thing about Publix is, I see fellow coupon queens with their binders all over the store, so I don’t feel so goofy. And it came in handy this week, since I was able to switch out a couple coupons when I found a better deal while shopping.
I’ve been keeping up with my totals just so I can see how much I’m saving on groceries. This month alone, I’ve gotten $857 worth in groceries total. The amount I’ve spent out of pocket is $503, so in January, I’ve saved $354 on our grocery bills.
Not too bad. I expect that to get a lot better as I do more and more shopping at Publix, and start using the other stores to just fill in the holes when the deals are good. I’ve pretty much given up on one of my former favorite stores, because they don’t double coupons. That really adds up, so it’s not worth it to me to continue going there. I haven’t been to CVS nearly as much as I was going because the deals haven’t been that good to me lately, but I might start picking up a few more smaller ECB deals there now that I can use those at Publix too.