March 04, 2011

New Grocery Shopping Strategy and Coupon Holder

As I was grocery shopping today, I found myself encountering all of these "new" higher prices and I was getting a little confused and wondered if I was really getting good deals or not.  I would say that 80% of the groceries I purchase are on sale and with a coupon.  Since I have seen the sale price in the sale flyer and when I know that sale is really good, especially when I have a coupon, I buy the item.  Both of our grocery stores ad match each other.

Traditionally in our community Wal-mart's food prices are higher than the local two grocery stores, until today.  Hy-Vee had Honey Bunches of Oats - 17 oz. box on sale for $2.50.  I had two $1.00 off coupons for Honey Bunches of Oats with Triple Raisins.  I was satisfied that this was indeed a good sale.  So, I bought two boxes. 

I went to Wal-mart to pick up my prescriptions and to see if they had any good day old bread.  Well, I happened to pass the cereal aisle and there it was - Honey Bunches of Oats were priced at $2.23.  Ugh.  Now, we are only talking about 27 cents here per box so it is not like I was out a lot of money until I walked around and looked at a few other items.  Wal-mart was cheaper on the majority of those items. 

So, my new strategy is to make up my list of items along with the sale prices, and then I will go to Wal-mart to check their prices first.  If something is cheaper, I will buy it.  Then I can drive to the other two grocery stores on the way back home to buy the other items.  It takes me 5 minutes to drive to Wal-mart from my house so it is not that far away. 

I go to Wal-mart once a week to pick up raw hide treats for the dog.  I used to just drive out there and come right home, but now I am working hard at writing down where I need to go, figuring out the direct routes and getting it done in one afternoon so as not to use up a lot of gasoline.

My other trick was that instead of using a coupon envelope to take coupons to the store, I now use clothes pins.  Yes, that's right - clothes pins.  Clothes pins are to me what duct tape is to a man.  I seem to use them for a lot of things such as bag clips, to clip receipts together and now coupons.

I put all the coupons on one clothes pin.  As I put the items into my cart, I remove the coupons from that clothes pin and put them on the other clothes pin. When I go to check out, I simply remove the coupons from the clothes pin and hand them to the cashier.  It is so easy to reach into my purse for two clothes pins instead of trying to sort through an envelope.  Also, I can easily flip through the coupons because they are attached to the clothes pin.  I have dropped my coupon envelope and had some spill out.  If I drop a clothes pin, those coupons aren't going anywhere.  I still take my coupon notebook to the store just in case I find an in store sale and I have coupons in my notebook for that item.

I plan to take some blue paint and yellow paint used when I painted the entry way to paint these clothes pins.  I may even sponge on another shade to add a little pizzazz.


The Headstrong Housewife! said...

I went grocery shopping today, and I went through the ads before hand and wrote down everything I wanted from the other stores with their prices, and did what you will be doing now, I went to walmart first to see if my sale prices were worth getting, some of them were, some of them were not. I will be doing this from now on, sadly I can't use coupons, I don't buy processed pre-packaged food due to my son's sensitivities, and never find many coupons, for flour, produce, meat etc.

Kris Watson said...

Martha, for some reason when you mentioned painting today I thought of a frugal tip I use when I get a wild hair to paint something. You may already know this, but maybe one of your readers doesn't.

It generally takes me several days to paint a room. When I am done for the day, I do not wash out my brushes or rollers. Instead, I put them in ziplock bags and stick them in the freezer. The next day, I thaw them out and keep painting. I lose no paint that way. Then, when I am done with the job, I freeze a small baggie of paint for future touch ups.

Martha said...

@Headstrong Housewife:

In a way it is kind of nice to change my grocery shopping plan - a new routine and new plan is good.

I recently had a coupon for King Arthur flour and I was totally surprised.


I freeze my paint rollers and brushes during a project, but I never thought about freezing samples for touch ups. Good idea, as long as I warn my family that there is paint in the freezer.