If you have noticed by now most of my recipes use fresh ingredients, which are often hard to find coupons for. When I plan out my grocery trips I only have 2-6 coupons to use. Some weeks I don’t use any. I save money by buying with the sales. On a recent trip butter was on sale buy on get one and I had a coupon for $1 off two. It will take me a while to use two tubs of butter, but I stuck the extra one in the freezer and now when I am running low I know I have a backup in my freezer and don’t have to pay full price when it is not on sale.
I most often use coupons for frozen vegetables, coffee creamer, boxed potatoes, rice, canned tomatoes, cheese, and breakfast products. I always like to have frozen vegetable and boxed potatoes or rice on hand to make easy side dishes. They aren’t necessarily the healthiest, but sometime convenience wins out.
For fresh fruits and vegetables I shop around. I have a produce stand nearby that often beats the prices of Publix. Sometimes on a good sale I can find better prices at Publix though. I encourage you to find a local market and walk around to get a feel for the prices. They usually don’t fluctuate too much week to week, only seasonally. I have found that I can always purchase tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and herbs for cheaper prices at the produce stand, but others such as berries, lettuce, even zucchini and asparagus can sometimes be a better buy at Publix. I try to use the produce that I think is the best buy at Publix in most of my recipes, but for a vegetable side get creative and find some fresh local veggies.
If a meat we like and eat a lot of is a great price I stock up. At Publix $1.99/lb for boneless chicken breast is a good price. This sale only happens every 6-8 weeks or more. When boneless chicken breasts are on sale again I will probably buy 7-10 lbs so I don’t have to pay $2.99 or $3.99/lb. When I get home from the store I break the packages down and individually freeze each breast. A meal for the two of us is one breast, split. I also freeze a few two to a bag incase I will be making a bigger casserole.
For our family of 2 I try to keep our grocery budget in the $25-$40 range each week, trying to stay towards the lower end of the budget. I make a trip to the produce stand about every other week where I spend $5 or less.
I have never had a trip to the store where I save 80 or 90%, but we also don’t eat boxed macaroni and cheese every night. Buying with the sales is a great way to begin saving money and adding in coupons for pantry staples is helpful. Begin by buying items your family eats a lot of and only purchasing them on sale. Buy enough each trip to last 6-8 weeks, until it comes back on sale again. When I see meat at a great price I will point it out. Following these tips and buying with the sales should help lower your grocery bills and feed your family a healthy meal.