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As we get into gear on new budgets and goals, I want to spend the next few weeks helping us all go back to basics on how to cut the grocery budget.
Before we can even talk coupons, we have to talk sale prices. The biggest savings you can get is buying items at their lowest and best price (coupons are really icing on the cake). If a box of cereal is regularly $4.49 a box, you can save 50% just by waiting for the best sale. Notice that I didn’t say “a sale”. Grocery stores always have things on “sale”, but they lie. We want to learn what the lowest prices for items are and only buy them at that price.
We’ll call this lowest price a stock up price. Prices for each item will vary week by week at the grocery store, and your goal is to only buy them when they are the lowest price the store is going to offer them at. To do this it helps to have a lowest price list (on paper or in your head). When an item is in the price range you stock up on it!! Sales run on cycles so you won’t see this low price again for 6-8 weeks, get enough to get you through until the next time you see this price.
Before you go out and start tracking prices with master spreadsheets let me help. You can use two features of Southern Savers to make this a quick process:
- Print my buy price list.
- Use the item search. Type in a product you buy and put a date from a month ago. The item search will show all the deals we’ve seen in the past month for that item and give you an easy idea of what a great price is!
If you want to create your own buy price list make sure to set prices at reasonable levels. You don’t want to record that cereal should only be 25¢ or less because you got an amazing deal one time on it. You want to go with a general price that we see more often. If you only look for the most amazing prices, you’ll quickly starve…
Now that you have an idea of what you want to pay for certain items we begin the process of stocking up and no longer shopping based on needs, but only shopping based on sales. More on that tomorrow!