About 4 times a year I redo our budget and then challenge myself to find ways to save money. We usually fall off the wagon after a month or so but we still pride ourselves knowing that we can get by on less if we ever need to.
I belong to a local military wives group where there has been a lot of “complaining” going on about people not receiving their flyers. They said they used these to grocery shop. I could not understand what they were so upset about. How could not getting flyers be such a big deal. Usually mine go from the mailbox straight into the recycling bin.
This morning that changed. I decided I was going to try out price matching. I knew one thing for sure though, only buy what we need/use or else I am not really saving any money.
It took me two hours to get ready to go grocery shopping. First I went through all my flyers and circled everything we would actually be buying. I then started a spreadsheet (nothing fancy, just something basic) and entered the item, size of item on sale, price and which flyer it was in.
Once I was done that I sorted my list by product name and compared prices. I deleted for example three 1kg peanut butters from different stores and kept the one that was advertised for $1.99. The cheapest of the bunch.
After this was done I sorted by store and pulled out the flyers I needed for my shopping adventure and recycled the rest.
On to the next step…. coupons. I had ordered coupons from brandsaver when they had their big release earlier this month I think it was. I pulled out all the coupons that matched up to my list and any other coupons I may use for the day. I had another flyer as well that came with my newspaper that had coupons so I went through that as well. I went in the spreadsheet and made a column for coupons and entered the coupon description beside the appropriate item.
We headed for Wal-Mart with my purse full of flyers, coupons and 2 lists. One with items sorted by product and another with the items sorted by flyers. Oh and we left the kids at home with Grandma. No way was I doing this with them.
It went surprisingly well. As I went along I check marked items I got and crossed off those I didn’t or crossed off the price if Wal-Marts was lower but I had a coupon to use. We finished our shopping near the seasonal section as we had to get pet food. I wanted to organize my coupons before getting to the cash and lucky me they had patio sets set up. Side note… way too early for summer stuff to be out. Tobei thought it was hilarious that I was going through other store flyers while sitting in Wal-Mart.
Me organizing myself before heading to the cash.
I got myself sorted out with the coupons and flyers I needed and headed to the check out area. First open cash we came across had no line and was just finishing the customer in front of us. I hold up the flyers and coupons and apologize to the cashier. I was super nervous and even told her this was my first time price matching and I tried to be as organized as possible for her. She told me not to worry and to take my time. She then closed down the cash so that no one would come behind me and get mad or make me panic.
It was super easy and she had tons of patience. Even told me I was more organized then some people she sees who do this all the time.
Between coupons and price matching I saved roughly $71. I say roughly as Tobei was adding it all up in his head as I was trying to stay on top of everything.
Would I do this again? I think I would as long as we had someone to babysit the kids. I would never do this with the kids with me.
What would I do differently? I would go through the cash with my list sorted by product not by flyer. Would be much quicker to find each product as it goes through so that I can price match it.
Watching Extreme Couponing I always found it crazy and overwhelming. You need to crawl before you walk and if you haven’t started doing it I say start now. Why spend money you don’t need to?
Thanks for reading and please if you have any tips for me leave them in the comment section. How do you prepare at home? How do you tackle the shopping once at the store? How do you keep track of everything as you go through the cash?