Friday, November 02, 2018

Grocery Shopping Savings

So the other night I stayed up until the wee-hours of the morning researching how to save money on groceries. The next day I put into practice what I had researched and I wanted to share my findings as I had promised a couple of people I would. Warning LONG - Detailed Post!

Broad Strokes:
1) Get a grocery list and stick to it - don't spur of the moment shop without research.
2) You can price compare items from various stores online now or via phone apps.
3) There are several rebate apps that give you money back after the fact.
4) Check your store's app and the manufacturer websites for coupons.
5) Use other people's research. The Krazy Coupon lady for example does a ton of work for you. ->

Detailed Breakdown:
1) I prepared my menu on PlantoEat. This site allows you to save your recipes, plan menus and then it auto-populates your shopping list! It cost roughly $35 a year, but it's so worth it to me. If you are interested sign up via this link and I'll get a little bit of a kickback.

2) I checked Krazy Coupon lady site (see above for link) and Kroger's website for any special deals they had going on. If it looked like a really good deal I added the item to my shopping list. There is a person who has a site dedicated to Kroger - I haven't really used it yet, but plan to next time. 

3) I checked Ibotta and Check51 (2 of the rebate sites I use - will provide more info in a moment) to see any amazing deals they had or if they had something to add to one of the retailers coupons. If so I added those items to my shopping list.

4) I checked several of my common manufacturer websites and a general coupon site for coupons. Most will have some, but these are the main ones I checked. If I found something amazing that I would use then I added it to my shopping list. I'm sure I'll add to this as I go deeper.

- General Coupons:
- Proctor & Gamble:
- Arm & Hammer:
- Kroger Coupons:
- Flipp App -> Allows you to view online circular ads that normally come out in the paper. This way you can see sales in your area.

5) I printed all of my coupons (except Kroger)

6) I took my shopping list into my kitchen and marked "bought" anything I had. Taking into account sales/coupons - if it is something that won't go bad before I can use it and it's on sale I may use this as an opportunity to stock up and not mark it as "bought" .

7) I pulled up Amazon, Costco Kroger, Sprouts and Walmart's websites on one screen and my shopping list on another and proceeded to price check my items (taking coupons into account). As I figured out which store was cheaper I moved that item to a specific shopping list for that store inside PlanToEat and made notes about the price.

Note: these are my stores and I'm going to at all of them anyway so I'm not wasting gas just driving around. Costco because of their meat, Kroger because well it's Kroger, Walmart because it's cheaper on a lot of things(I refuse to buy meat or produce there) and Sprouts because they the only ones to carry some of my items. Also Kroger and Walmart are within 1/2 mile of each other here... Your chosen stores may be different but you could still apply same principals.

8) I organized my coupons by what store I would use them at and put them in a small envelope (1 for each store). If I had printed some that would not be used yet I filed them away in an folder I have by expiration month.

9) I went shopping buying only what I had intended to buy at the store (or online) I intended to buy it at. With PlanToEat's app I can pull up the shopping list on my phone by store, which makes it super easy! Some items that I couldn't price check I left in the main shopping list and price checked as I went.

For Example: I buy meat at Costco often but can't price check it online... so I had recorded the price from Sprouts and Kroger when I did my online research. (Because I refuse to buy meat at Walmart). Then I checked the price at Costco before determining where to purchase it at. I went to Costco first given they were the only store I couldn't price check online....

10) I submitted my receipts to the rebate app for items that qualified. Here are the rebate apps I use:

- Ibotta App - I and several others have had great luck with this one. If you sign up use this link or the referral code below so I can get a little cash back :) Referral code: lnodplo Link ->

-Checkout51 App -> I've had some success with this, not quite as much as Ibotta, but I still spend a few seconds taking a look. If I bout something they have - YAY - Free Money :)

- Fetch Rewards -> Just started using this so can't speak to it's usefulness yet. But I'm giving it a try. If you sign up please use my referral code so I get some credit  :) FRWEB

Additional Tip: If shopping Online you can go through home to get cash back on items you purchased at many retailers, including Amazon. I'm just testing it out and can't say if it's great or not, but worth a shot. If you sign up please use my link so I get some credit:

Also on Amazon you can load a tool called "honey" that will price compare for you.

It took a little work, but I was always price checking on my phone at the store anyway so this really just moves the work from there to home where I can do it in my PJs  :)

If you've made it this far - WOW! Congratz for sticking it out.
I'm sorry for the long post, but I wanted others interested to really benefit from my research vs. staring out like I did with nada.

I'm sure I'll learn more as I go, but this is a good start as I look to trim down some of the grocery bill in our household.

Do you have any additional tips? I'd love to hear them!

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