Let's face it: if you aren't already in awe of my saving spending savvy, you ought to be. (I don't have to be modest on my own blog, do it? I'm not that crippling Southern.) Check out what I bought on Friday. This assortment (minus the dog bones - didn't mean to put them in there) retails for $29.61.
I paid $2.68.
Even better, I saved 44% overall on our entire grocery bill. I saved $38.86 on store sales and $29.34 in coupons, for a total savings of $68.20. I paid $86.72 for a week's worth of groceries, and that included special treats for the dogs and some pricey, ahem, feminine supplies (of a variety that never go on sale). I take that back, actually. This was way more than a week's worth of groceries. But some weeks are like that. Stores cycle their sales (usually about every six weeks), so certain weeks ended up being bigger trips for us, as some of our family favorites clump together.
But even better than that is that I didn't spend hours clipping and organizing coupons. The trick is to stock up when things are at their cheapest (most things don't go bad if they are unopened!), and they are at their cheapest when you are able to match a good sale (say, one of Publix's myriad buy one, get one free items) with a good coupon. Thanks to a fabulous woman that I've never met, a stay at home mom named Jenny, most of the leg work is done for me. She runs an incredibly helpful --and free!-- site, called Southern Savers, taking each store's ads and matches them with coupons that are either available online or recently appeared in Sunday papers. Most weeks I spend about an hour organizing, printing, and clipping coupons and making my shopping list (which you can personalize and print right from the site, even!). It really isn't very difficult or involved. At least Publix isn't. Some of the other stores (CVS, Walgreens) have a more complicated scheme (because their big sales operate as register rebates). With Jenny's help, though, I just check the ad, check my stock, click, print, snip a bit, and then spend forever getting Becca fed and ready to go. But she can't help me much with that one. The shopping may take a bit longer because you've often got to be fairly specific about what you are getting, but I think, given how painfully indecisive I am, it has actually streamlined my shopping quite a bit.
When you think about it, it's the best-paying job I've ever had: a hour's prep for $68.20 savings? Even if a week does take more time, that's still awesome! (Okay, remember that I've always worked for non-profits when you are reveling in that pay rate. In my book, at least, it's awesome!)
Another big tip that I jumped on this week: free photo cards from SeeHere, Fuji's photo storage and printing site. If you use the promo code