As you can probably tell, one of my new obsessions is getting great deals. I'm always one for a sale and I always buy the loss leaders when I go grocery shopping (those items that are priced ridiculously low in order to get you into the store), but I have now gone to a new level.
Growing up, my mom always used coupons and sent in rebates. Back in the day, you had to cut out all your proofs of purchases, stick them in an envelope with a form, and mail them off via snail mail.
I have used coupons off and on, but had basically stopped using them because they were for things that I wouldn't buy normally, or didn't give me that great of a deal even with the coupon. I did most of my shopping at Aldi's and you can't use coupons there. The prices there are almost always better than anything you buy in a regular store with a coupon- or so I thought.
I have been inspired by several people and websites to try a new kind of shopping.
Crystals blog, Biblical Womanhood, and her new blog, Money Saving Mom, have some great deals. She fed her husband, self, and then later their daughter for $35 a week while he was in law school. They now have another baby and I think she still tries to stay pretty close to that $35 range. She explains on the Money Saving Mom one how to get free or almost free stuff at drugstores and grocery stores. You'll find links to both of her blogs in my sidebar for future reference.
I've also been sampling something called The Grocery Game. You can read about it here. Basically they track the sales trends for you and tell you when to use your coupons to get the rock bottom lowest price on something. Then you stock up at that low price till it comes around on sale again at the rock bottom price. There is a fee for this service, but I think you get your money back in savings. The first month is only $1 and I definitely made that back!
I still try to buy my staple items at Aldi if I can't find them cheaper somewhere else. I try to eat around the sales. I don't plan my meals around what I'd like to have, but rather what I have gotten on sale.
I also use Angel Food even though we haven't used it for the past 2 months. You can see my post about it here, or go to their website for locations and monthly menus.
I have been buying the Sunday paper to get coupons and I also ask friends for any they don't use. Charity also told me about the "All You" magazine at Walmart for $1.77 that has a ton of coupons in it (along with some decent articles, recipes, games, etc). I also print coupons from the computer. www.coupons.com is a good place to start (thanks Mel). You can also go directly to the manufacturers websites and print coupons there too. One of those is www.bettycrocker.com
I have more that I'd like to post about groceries and what people spend on them, along with some more links, but that will have to wait for another day.
***Edited to add: Remember to call and ask the store beforehand if they will accept coupons from the Internet.