With all the stores competing for your business there are plenty of sales to take advantage of. Here are some tips to make that budget crunch stretch that much further:
1. Know what stores you want to patronize (in my area ie. Russ's IGA (r), Super Saver (ss), Hy-vee(hv)) I use 3 or 4 stores that are close to home so gas and milage does not factor in.
2. Know the basic prices of all your stores of items you use an a regular basis that are not on sale.
3. Sales flyers hit in Wednesdays. Read your flyers, look-up you stores on the internet (most websites have internet only ads.), take advantage of the 2 day sales or limited time offers. if ththe store has an"once in a life time price break" that you know will never happen again STOCK UP! If your store is out of a sales item get a rain check, it's not your fault they were not ready for you, they are usely good for 1 month and can add up in savings.
4. Make your weekly menu from the sales ads (of course combined with what your family likes). Be smart (if there is only 2 of you and they have whole chickens on sale make plans for 2 meals out of that chicken.)
5. Make your shopping list: item by item, place a note by each item where you are going to purchase from. If a sale item note that also by item, if not on sale and not sure where to buy list all places.
Example of my list:
Ground beef* hv Hy vee
Hot sauce hv, ss, r Ground beef 2.99 lb
milk hv,ss,r Super saver
Whole chickens .79 lb.
6. Start shopping at the store you think has the best overall prices. Buy all sales items, and complete your list with all the items you know are cheapest at this store, repeat at the next store, then finish your list at the last store.
7. Be creative, be flexible, and use your common sense, When shopping for an item the store will display items at different eye levels, the most expensive will be at eye level and the cheapest is usually on the top shelf or the bottom shelf. You can be brand loyal if you want but most of the time the house brand is made by a major brand you just don't pay for the advertising.
8. Take a calculator if your not good with numbers and do the math for the best price, per ounce, per serving , or whatever the common denominator is.
I have found if you use coupons use zero in on that products and there is another brand (usually the house brand) right next to it without a coupon. Good luck and have fun with it. Try new items and flavors, it will open a whole new world.