Tag Archives: grocery shopping

Couponing

SHPlaceOfBusGrocery4A friend at our co-op is known in several grocery stores as “The Coupon Lady.” She spends quite a bit of time following the sales, and for her efforts she saves a huge amount of money on her family’s weekly food bill. Inspired, I asked her for some tips. She did something even better — she had a class in her home for any interested moms to show us how she does it.

I used to use coupons long ago, and now I’m using them again. With the help of some couponing websites (southernsavers.com and hotcouponworld.com), along with the grocery store websites, I’m starting to save a lot of money. I love looking at the bottom of the receipt now to see how much I’ve spent compared to how much I’ve saved.

To clip the coupons, I’m following my friend’s recommendation of laying out multiple newspaper ads and clipping identical coupons all at the same time. What I haven’t got a handle on yet, though, is how to sort them quickly. And with the big pile of unsorted coupons on my desk, it shows.

I thought I’d work at it late at night once a week while watching a favorite movie. By that time, though, I’m usually too tired to think about coupons. Several people have suggested I put the older children to work at it, which sounds like a good idea — I just need to take the time to teach them how to do it. I think once I’m caught up, weekly sorting won’t be too hard — it’s because I have so many to sort right now that it’s become such a chore.

But all in all, I think I’ll stick with couponing. We’re enjoying foods we don’t usually buy, and for half the price!

E-Mealz

w 007aWell, I finally followed through with my E-Mealz subscription, and it’s been a great week!

E-Mealz is an online company which helps you plan your suppers each night. For a small subscription fee ($15 for three months), you can choose a meal plan based on your diet preferences, the size of your family, and your favorite grocery store. E-Mealz supplies you with a plan for seven meals, the recipes, and the shopping list. The meal plan for the week is based on the sales at your particular store that week, an extra bonus.

I had purchased a subscription some time ago, but cooking just isn’t my favorite thing to do, though we don’t eat out very often either. Instead, the meals I fixed often consisted of frozen chicken nuggets or patties, salads, and maybe a meatloaf every now and then. If my husband wasn’t coming home for dinner, the kids were satisfied with pancakes or cereal, so I was satisfied with that too.

This week, though, I was determined to give E-Mealz a fair try. I took my E-Mealz shopping list to my grocery store and got started. The amount I spent was very close to the estimated amount E-Mealz provided. That was a good sign!

Then came the real test: fixing the meals. I’ve followed the plan all week — mixing up the schedule a little, depending on what we were doing — and it has been great!  In the past, I usually make my way to the kitchen around 5:00, then scour the cabinets for about 20 minutes until I figure out what I’m going to cook. This week, though, I didn’t have to do that. I pulled out my copy of the plan, picked out a meal, and was ready to go. We’ve eaten something different every night this week and tried three new dishes that everyone liked. Wow!

So, next week I’ll try again. Now I’m looking forward to establishing better habits in the kitchen, and my family’s looking forward to better meals!