With all the uncertainty of the future brought on by Covid, threats of food shortages, and natural disasters, as good stewards we should prepare our homes by storing food. At a time when many have lost their jobs, this may seem impossible, but do not fear the Hallelujah House can help you begin saving for the storms ahead by using the following money saving tips.
I met my friend Dana Delaney in the women’s Bible study at our church when my boys were little. She was an expert at saving money on groceries and personal products using coupons. It almost seemed at times the grocery store paid her to take the groceries off their hands. Her tracking methods and thick binder spilling with coupons seemed too complex for my simple mind back then.
So, I asked Dana to come be a guest on The Hallelujah House and explain to our readers how they can save money using her system in order to store up food. Here are Dana’s money saving tips:
There are several ways to decrease the amount you spend on groceries each month. They do come with the price of effort but are worth it.
- In a previous blog post, Tammy mentioned taking advantage of sales at the grocery store. Stores often run advertisements each week. Sometimes they are printed on paper and oftentimes you can subscribe to their online newsletter and receive the weekly ads in your email inbox. By shopping the sales, you have the opportunity to purchase items you typically buy, at a reduced cost.
- A way to increase those savings is to clip coupons for items you buy, and then watch for those items to go on sale. By purchasing items when they are on sale and you have a coupon, you are effectively “double dipping” on your savings.
- A way to triple dip is to sign up for an app called Ibotta. You clip digital coupons on the Ibotta app, and then upload a copy of your receipt inside the app after you make the purchase. Those coupons add up in your Ibotta account and you cash it out once you reach their minimum level.
- Some stores will double the manufacturer’s coupon value up to a certain amount. My local grocer doubles the coupons up to .99c face value, offering up to a $1.98 savings. This applies only to paper coupons. Paper coupons can be found “stuffed” in the Sunday newspapers.
- If you’re not a subscriber to the Sunday newspaper, there are websites that allow you to print paper manufacturer’s coupons each month. One available in the United States is www.coupons.com. Companies sometimes have coupons on their websites as well.
- Some stores publish what they call “store coupons.” Those are discount coupons from the store versus the manufacturer.
- Some stores will even accept competitor coupons, which means if you have a coupon for $5 off a $50 purchase at Winn Dixie, but prefer to shop at Publix, Publix will honor that coupon at their store. It’s best to check with your local retail store to confirm what their coupon policy is.
Walmart also accepts competitor coupons but has a strict coupon policy. Some savvy coupon shoppers recommend carrying a copy of the coupon policy with you when you shop in case the cashier is not aware and does not want to honor a particular coupon. It can save you and the cashier time and aggravation.
Finding and clipping paper coupons can be a time-consuming endeavor but can save your family hundreds of dollars. Companies publish coupons in the hope that you will buy their products. Be careful that you are only clipping coupons for items you would typically buy, avoiding unnecessary items that might be less nutritious or outside of your budget. I had a friend once tell me that I was going to “go broke saving money.” That means that by purchasing an item just because it’s on sale—but you don’t need it—still means you are spending too much money, even if you are “saving” 60% in the process.
8. Another savings opportunity is digital coupons. Many stores have their own app for smart phones. The typical way this works is by downloading the app on your phone and sign up for an account. Then go into the app and clip the coupons that are offered. You can often access the digital coupons from your computer as well, and do not need a smart phone to use this method. Just go to the customer service desk at the store and request their store card, then use the number on the card to register it from your computer. If you attach your phone number to the card number then you don’t have to carry the little card with you, you can just enter your phone number at the checkout instead.
9. If you have a store that you prefer to shop at, you may be able to find a blog that reveals the weekly sales and discounts offered. One example is www.iheartPublix.com. Bloggers take the time to compare the store’s weekly sale with the available published coupons, to help you save the most money. They will also typically state whether the deal price is low enough and considered a “stockup” price or just a good deal. When they have “stock up” price deals, you’ll want to buy items in bulk. Be sure to consider expiration dates and available storage space.
I recommend you establish a secondary email address to use just for newsletters and such. This will help you keep your primary email address clean from what some might consider junk mail. If you shop online, there are ways to save extra money there as well. Amazon offers coupons on some of their items. They also offer a “subscribe and save” option on many items with a percentage discount based on the number of items you are subscribed to. It is best to comparison shop when deciding to purchase items from Amazon. While ultra-convenient—especially with the Amazon Prime membership—it is not always the lower price if you consider store sales and coupons that might be available.
10. Other online savings opportunities come when you shop at a rebate site and click through to your store site. Examples are TopCashBack.com and Raketun.com. These sites work in similar ways; you start at their site and search for the retailer you want to shop at, then click through to that site. The retailer provides a cash rebate through the first site. We personally use TopCashBack for all of our travel purchases. We have been able to receive several thousands of dollars back in rebates for my husband’s work travel. This system is very helpful during holiday gift purchases as well.
As you can see, there are so many ways to save money while shopping to meet the needs of your family. I hope you will try out some of these tips to see which ones work for you.
Dana Delaney is a gluten free, mom to 3 mostly-grown kids, mountain loving, Jesus follower who is happiest when puttering in the kitchen.
Thank you Dana Delaney for stopping by the House and sharing your money saving knowledge with us.
Previously posted articles regarding saving money can be read here: https://thehallelujahhouse.com/2020/09/08/how-to-save-money-stocking-your-food/