A Money Saving Trip To The Grocery Store

Saving Money On Groceries

My wife and I made our weekly trip to the grocery store last evening.  We normally shop for groceries on Sunday evening, but this week was different.

It is important to take advantage of sales on items that we purchase on a consistent basis, especially those that do not spoil.  The Simple Dollar has a nice coupon strategy for this type of shopping that can often allow you to get items for free by using multiple coupons on a sale item.

No Tax!

Yesterday evening from 5:00-9:00 PM our local grocery store was having a no-tax sale.  This even happens maybe a couple of times per year and we always make sure to take advantage of it.

Our grocery store also has a gas program whereby each gas purchase gives you $0.05/liter in store coupons.  We have been saving these coupons for the last couple of months in anticipation of the no-tax sale.

When we heard that the no-tax sale was coming up, we made sure to add up our gas purchase coupons and search for additional coupons on staple food items during the month prior to the sale. (See coupons.com etc.)

With the arrival of our new baby, we have been intensely developing a price list at several stores for essential items such as diapers, baby wipes and baby clothing.  We buy most of our baby clothing used from a local classifieds site or garage sales, but diapers and wipes are constantly on our watch list and my wife is always getting diaper coupons in the mail!

The Perfect Savings Storm!

With crippling gas prices hitting the nation, even my household with our two gas-sipping Honda’s is starting to feel the pain!

Enter the best coupon we’ve had to date!

We just received a coupon in the mail last week that offers double the cash back on one fill per month from our grocery store gas bar.  Sweet!  That means instead of $0.05 per liter of gas, we will get $0.10/liter for one fill only.

Knowing that the no-tax sale was coming up, drove both of our vehicles until they were bone-dry and proceeded to use the double savings coupon.

I know what you are thinking- “I thought you said it was only good for one fill”?

The coupon actually states that it is good for one gas “purchase”.  So, without hesitation I filled both vehicles from the same pump so that it read one transaction of ~88 liters, or $8.80 of store credit.

I view gas purchases as somewhat of a necessity, so the additional $4.40 in grocery store credit was certainly worth it to me.

Adding Up The Savings

When all was said and done, our grocery bill shrunk substantially from $86.48 all the way down to $53.11.

A savings of $33.37 just by using some simple planning and being aware enough to combine a few savings strategies into one shopping trip.

One of the many complaints that I hear about people who don’t use coupons is that it takes too much time in comparison to the savings that can be had.  While I did not count the minutes that it took to decide on the choices to make in order to make this shopping trip, I highly doubt it exceeded $33.37 worth of my time.

Do you have any favorite money saving tips or tricks?  If so, please leave them in the comments…I’m always up for saving a few bucks!

One comment

  1. I like to combine your method with what I call “pretend investing”. In your example I would “pretend” I had paid the normal price and set aside the savings for investment. I also “pretend” I have no dental plan and so annually put a few hundred or even a 1000$ I would have had to pay for dental work into the same pool. Some people “pretend to smoke” half a pack a day or instead of buying latte at Starbux say “let’s not and pretend we did and invest the money we would have wasted” 😀

    With my pretend money I sometimes take a bit more risk: i.e. growth stock picking instead of dividend growth approach. After a few tooth cleanings and a year of not buying lattes I had several 1000 dollars set aside: I put it all into Potash Corporation … back in 2007. The stock split in three and then doubled in price. OK, the lucky part of that last purchase was beyond my control but even Bank of Montreal stock would have paid me 6% dividend and while it declined it will soon be back trading in the 50$ range …

    Great blog BTW. Keep it up.

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