Hello Friends , Thanks for coming back to visit . Today I will be sharing more of my Once a Month Shopping Tricks and Tips with you !
Most months I choose to do the majority of my shopping at my local Meijer store ( if not in your area they are a big box type store carrying everything from clothing to groceries and lots in between ) , I choose to shop there the most because of the great sales they run , the perks of their customer reward/coupon program , as well as the variety of goods available along with the freshness and quality !
This monthly shopping trip I not only came in under my estimated total/budget , but I did so while purchasing many " EXTRAS" for side dishes , extra meals etc...Those extras come in handy during months where money is tight or sales aren't as spectacular . I'll share how to get those extras a lil later in this post. I also earned $15.00 in REWARDS from the customer loyalty program for doing my shopping with them , I can choose which rewards I want to try and earn by reaching pre-determined spending amounts set by the retailer in various departments throughout the store . Those REWARDS are basically cash that I can use for purchases later on (usually valid for 4-6 weeks I believe) , I usually use those for items that I may run out of during the month like milk, bread or I use them for clothing needs to purchase clearance clothing or treats for school. If you have a favorite local store , I urge to you to find out if they have a customer loyalty program , usually free , and offer exclusive savings, coupons, rewards for it's members . Also check to see if the store has a Facebook page as many offer special "freebie" codes or coupons to its followers, there may even be a private savings group for your store on FB as well , a place where members post savings alerts, coupon match ups and bargains, and savings tips and tricks!
Other ways to save are coupons( online, printed insert, text,magazine etc..) , tracking sale rotations, unadvertised store specials, you can also write or email your fave brand manufacturers and let them know you love their product and many will send you in return coupons of much higher value then any you will find in print or online .
For example I emailed Johnsonville , told them we loved their bratwurst , they not only sent a lovely reply , they sent several $$ coupons for that product , which allowed me to get their brats for $0.99 a package during the next sale rotation, but they also sent coupons for FREE products!!! It's amazing what a lil time and a few kind words can do for your wallet. Last May I was able to use coupons, and sale tracking to fill my deep freezer full of enough meat products to last almost 8 months ! Now I won't guarantee all will send you a "kickback" but most will or they will direct you to their customer loyalty program where you will get offers if/when they come available . I will share more details on coupons and sale tracking and other places you can save in Post 3!
One reason I spend so much time on my menu, list , and organization is not only to save money but to save TIME! I go into the store on a mission , with a detailed list there is less chance of being DISTRACTED BY ENDCAP sales traps ...you know the ones I mean ...things you would NEVER normally seek out in the aisle or consider purchasing ...but LOOK it's so AWESOME by the hundreds on that endcap... I just have to buy it !!! I also try not to shop hungry or with children ...those last two tend to lead to lots of UNNECCESSARY PURCHASES and LOTS of expensive JUNK FOOD :)
I also prefer to shop the 3rd Wednesday of the month... in the morning hours ...yes it seems strange ...however I have found that shopping on that day, at that time not only allows me to enjoy a virtually EMPTY store to shop at my leisure ( and I get to avoid ROAD RAGE with my shopping cart) , but that many UNADVERTISED SPECIALS and DEPARTMENT CLEARANCE items are available then ! Don't be afraid to ask departmental employees when they normally mark items down...items close to sell by date are HUGELY reduced and still perfectly good to prepare soon after purchase or to be wrapped for freezing for later use.
Now ...about those EXTRAS . Extras are items I find unadvertised or possibly even clearance , most usually pantry staples or items/brands we normally use and enjoy...I have two rules when it comes to those items( 1. ) I only buy the name brands we have tried and love and must have a coupon to go with the sale to make it at least 50% off and worth straying from my list( 2.) I will only try a new brand/ item if I have a coupon and after coupon that item is less than $1 or FREE :)
I also usually buy my meat in bulk and once home divide it into the portions I need for my menu and place in freezer bags until I am ready to use UNLESS....it is marked down meat and I have a clear schedule and feel decent that day then I will precook and portion prior to freezing , saving myself time later. Prep work can save you lots of time and money later on especially in regards to markdowns and perishable items.
I also know that I am not saving as much as I should or have in the past ...I could save TONS more if I purchased no boxed /canned , ready made ...and purchased only farm fresh meat direct and grew, canned and froze more produce or purchased from the local farm market.
Once upon a time I would have never purchased many of those items but with my health issues being what they are , I sadly have to use more of those items and cook many items semi-homemade if you will . Hopefully some day in the future I can get back to more homemade !
That's about all I can think of right now , hopefully it makes sense and I haven't forgotten too much , and I hope you will come visit again soon ...and until we meet again...ill always be ...just a lil raggedy ! hugs
|MY ESTIMATED SHOPPING TOTAL/BUDGET|
|MY ACTUAL SHOPPING TOTAL FOR THIS MONTH|
|THIS TRIP/MONTHS SAVINGS|
|THIS MONTHS COST BREAKDOWN EXCLUDING "REWARDS" SHOWN BELOW ( TO BE USED AT LATER DATE )|
|MY CUSTOMER LOYALTY SAVINGS BREAKDOWN AFTER THIS MONTHS TRIP|
|CUSTOMER REWARDS I ACHIEVED BY DOING MY SHOPPING WITH THEM THIS MONTH ...BASICALLY CASH TO BE USED AT A LATER DATE|