Monday, February 05, 2007

Coupon shopping yea or nea?

Do you coupon shop? I've been trying since the beginning of the year to look for coupons online and in the Sunday paper that I would use. We typically spend about $400/month for two people for groceries. This includes all toiletries, household goods and cleaners, etc. Yet rarely do I find the opportunity to use coupons.

So what should I do? The problem is that we don't eat a lot of the foods that are sold using coupons. You are probably think I'm nuts. For example we spent $267 this weekend on groceries. The bulk of which was soda, on sale for 1.99/12 pack. Great price. So I loaded up and bought 42 x 12 packs of soda = $108 including tax, bottle deposit. Yeah I know, but soda is a major vice for DH and I won't have him buying it individually.

The rest we bought a 7 lb ham, half a pound of sliced steak (hot pot), $2 off steak, beef and shrimp balls, 3 crowns of broccoli, cauliflower, 2 heads of lettuce, pack of carrots, 5 bananas, 10 yogurts, 3 lbs of grapes, 5 bags of chips, 1 dip (superbowl stuff), 5 cans of soup, milk, hoisin sauce, peanut oil, and that's it. So I guess I could have looked for coupons for the soup, peanut oil, chips (though it was $10 for the 5 bags and dip). But we don't usually buy chips and the soup is backup for when we don't make lunch.

I guess the point is that we're not huge coupon shoppers. We try an shop sales mostly and eat a lot of fresh, non-processed foods. I notice that a lot of coupons are for processed foods and toiletries. Instead I just load up on toiletries when they go on sale at Costco. Example I bought 8 bottles of dove body wash for $30. Not the small size bottles but the large 24 oz bottles. Same with toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent. Because there is only two of us, we just load up when there is a sale and live with it.

But I'm not sure if maybe coupon shopping could be cheaper. I'd love to try, but DH refuses to eat most of the stuff on sale. As I track my shopping this month, I'll post about coupons I manage to use or not.

8 comments:

Missy said...

I have had success with the Grocery Ganme, try their web site. It is inexpensive, (really) but helps you to bettewr use coupons. Give it a try!

Living Almost Large said...

Missy do you think I'd be able to save money on the foods I buy? I wrote a list of stuff I buy in the post and with your experience I'd like to know if you get a lot of coupons for things like that.

mOOm said...

I just buy stuff that is on sale. Never look at coupons...

Jenn said...

I almost never use coupons for many of the same reasons-I don't buy much that is prepackaged, and I am not brand loyal!

What I find helps a lot is doing most of my shopping at either Aldi's or Save a Lot first, then going to the other big name stores after to fill in what I couldn't buy at those places. I actually did a price book and Aldi's consistently came out with the lowest unit price on almost everything.

Another thing to do is to check out any ethinic markets in your area. They frequently have veggies, grains and spices, as well as things like peanut oil and hosin sauce at much lower unit prices.

But you really do need to know your unit prices on stuff :)

Living Almost Large said...

I do and am keeping track of unit prices? I also am "ethnic" don't know if I every mentioned it, so I prefer to shop at ethnic stores. Too bad the east coast only has very dirty ones. Miss my cleaner and plentiful ethnic stores back west.

Tight Fisted Miser said...

I've found that clipping coupons isn't worth it for me because I spend so little on groceries in the first place. I'm trying to get by on $30 for this month.

I just purchase the sale items at the regular supermarket and by the rest at Aldi's.

Mom2fur said...

I'm a grocerygame fan, too. What she(Teri, who runs the site) does is help you buy things when you can get the best deals, so you build a stockpile. I've been doing it about a year or so, and the funny thing is that I'm at a point where I don't use too many coupons--because I have stocked up so well. I am brand-loyal with some things because I've found them to be of better quality (plastic bags, for example--the cheapo ones aren't worth it) and the coupons help. She also tells you what meats and other fresh foods are on sale. At least with meat, it's a good way to fill your freezer. I'd rather take out steaks that I paid 1.99/lb. for than to have to rush to the store and buy the darned things at 4.99/lb.! And Missy is right--it's inexpensive. You can even do a trial period for a dollar to see if you like it!

Living Almost Large said...

I never buy meat at $4.99 without planning for it. We buy expensive meat, but I've never seen Rib eye or filet mignon at $1.99/lb.

I don't usually shop during the week, I buy on the weekend and eat for the week. It's pretty rare we just buy because we're out of food, we just eat what's in the pantry or freezer.