Monday, August 4, 2014

Money Monday: Food, Groceries, and Couponing

According the the Wall Street Journal, overall food prices will increase 2.5%-3.5% in 2014. The cost of beef products will rise 5.5%, fruits and vegetables 2-3%, and cereal and bakery goods will rise 1.5%.

In addition to rising food costs, studies are showing that salary's are stagnant at best, and in some cases even falling. Couple rising cost of living, and lower "real" salaries, it is harder and harder to make ends meet for the average family.

For budget conscious families like us, we knew we needed to find a way to stretch our money because we don't rely on credit cards to bridge the gap between income and expenses. For us, we found that couponing has become a vital practice to stay on budget each month.

I started couponing several years ago, and like any new endeavor, I was not very good. I was not efficient, I was not saving much money, and it didn't seem like it was worth the effort. But, after several rounds of refining my methods, I have been able to streamline my system. Each week, it takes me just under and hour to clip, cut, print, and organize my shopping for the week.

As for the actual shopping, in a normal shopping experience, I can usually get in and out of store within 20 minutes.

Through this practice, we have been able to build a small stockpile of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, Health and Beauty aid, food and more. If we did not coupon, it would be difficult for us to stay on budget each month. On average, I can save 30-40% each time I shop. So far this year, I have saved $579.00. 

In addition to couponing at the grocery store, we have also become more accustomed to couponing to supplement our entertainment and social lives. Before eating out, we will search for deals at our favorite restaurants, or search for savings before shopping for clothes or furniture.

Coupons have become part of our lifestyle and I don't see us discontinuing our practice in the future. For us, it simply makes financial sense.

Tell Me:  What are some ways that you save money on your day to day expenses?


Brooke said...

i've fallen out of the coupon habit. laziness for sure.
actually, i've fallen out of most of my frugal habits these days. we still are very conservative on our HVAC settings tho.

Heather said...

We make our own cleaning products/laundry soap, and that definitely saves us a lot of money. We also don't buy paper products, which helps quite a bit. The issues that we have are mainly utility costs. Living in Maine where oil is the main heating element...and where we need it for just about 8 months out of the gets a tad spendy to heat our home :-( Still working on ways to reduce utility costs.