Prices for groceries and personal care items seem to rise continually. Many consumers struggle to keep these expenses down without resorting to extreme couponing.
Here is one solution on how to accomplish this:
1. Decide on a few items that you buy regularly, such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, peanut butter, or spaghetti sauce. Keep this list small initially and expand it when you are ready.
2. Using a small note book, Smart phone app, or Excel spreadsheet, make a note of the non-advertised price of each item along with size, per unit cost, and store where you are shopping.
3. Buy the Sunday local paper for the coupons and advertisements. Look at the specials for drug stores, in addition to the supermarkets.
4. Coupon clip for the few items on your short list. Sometimes, supermarkets wait a week or two to offer a discount on items that have coupons. Be patient and wait for the sale. Use your price list as a guide for the best offering. Make notes on your price sheet.
5. If you receive a good deal, buy for several weeks or months ahead. Make sure you keep track of your stockpiled items. Keep a maximum of three to six months of each item until you know how quickly the supply needs to be replenished.
Should you continue and add more items, you may ultimately buy only fresh items like fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish each week, while buying everything else at discounted prices. Following this simple program should help your grocery budget.