Ok, ok, I know. How can I use “research” and “convenient” so close to each other? Research brings back memories of writing papers and hours in the library. But it does not have to be that way. Let your fingers do the walking and reap the benefits.
–Know your prices: If you know how much items cost ordinarily, you are more likely to know a deal when you see it.
–Know the rules: Know how your grocery store treats coupons and specials. At one of the stores I frequent, BOGO means, I pay full price for one, and the second is free. So, I only get the benefit when I get 2. 10 for $10 means, each one is $1 so I benefit no matter how many I buy. Know if you can use double coupons or if they accept competitor coupons.
–Sales: Read circulars. Every grocery store runs specials on a weekly basis. It is pretty easy to pull up those circulars on line. I buy on-sale items in bulk. If we are talking perishable items, I plan my meals around those items.
–Coupons: Also a weekly thing. If you already get newspapers or magazines, keep an eye out for coupons there. Personally, I buy the Sunday paper on days that I know will have a lot of coupons (i.e. the P&G coupon saver). I signed up online and get email notification letting me know when those are coming. There are lots of sites where you can print coupons as well.
–Pair your coupons with sales and you save even more. For instance, say you get a coupon for $1 off a jar of spaghetti sauce that is normally $3.50. And I use that coupon during a BOGO sale and now I have 2 jars for $2.50. There are websites that actually help you locate coupons to match sales.
–Store brand versus name brand: Buy store brand instead of name brand. There are a few things that I won’t compromise on but as a whole, store brand saves you a lot and they taste pretty good.
–When it comes to fruits and veggies, buy in season. I love this time of year because strawberries are always on sale. So we eat a lot of strawberries. Experiment with things that are in season and that you maybe haven’t tried before, you might find something you love.
–Organic versus non-organic? I do not buy all organic. I would love to, but realistically, I can’t afford that right now. There are some fruits and veggies that are more likely to have chemicals in them than others, they are called the ”dirty dozen”. I try to buy those items organic or just not have them. And then other items, I buy regular. It is all about baby steps.
So you take a couple minutes to look up some of this information and you are ready to plan your grocery shopping. The more often you do this, the easier it gets. And you get used to patterns, trust me, there is order to this chaos. It is almost like a game to me. I gather all of this information then make my menu, then make my grocery list. The menu tips are coming soon. Happy researching!