Coupons and Grocery Bill

Updated on November 22, 2011
C.S. asks from Nottingham, MD
14 answers

How many of you use coupons and check the ads and save lots of money? What is your average grocery bill for family? How do you do it? I have watched Extreme Couponing which I have read that the stores make exceptions to the rules just for the show. I would love to start a stockpile of my own and also for homeless shelters, soup kitchens and the troops.

What can I do next?

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M.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

I buy about 100.00 in groceries per week. I have tried the coupon thing and just end up buying food we don't eat. I buy store brands for less than the brand name with coupon anyway. I do try and use coupons on diapers and wipes but that's pretty much it. If I do have a coupon now I tend to forget to use it anyway.

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V.M.

answers from Cleveland on

i don't have time right now but i did some drug store couponing last year and made out well and had a stock pile of toilteries. It was great at the holidays when everyone and their brother want a donation for shelters or troops. I just pulled out toothpaste i'd paid less than .50 cents for or some shampoo or soap. it was great. and the only 2 stores i went to were rite aide and cvs. I could stop in for 15 mins get my stuff and get out. and it was on my way to other places i was going to it wasnt' like i made a special trip just for that.

I guess people don't include toiletries in their normal grocery shopping, but i always did, anything i spend money on counted to me, Toothpaste, mouth wash, shampoo and soap etc are all stuff it is easy to find coupons for. Easier than organic carrots.

Another thing about drug stores shoping is a little tricky but if you spend, say $2 on tooth paste but they give you a voucher for $2 to use on your next purchase, they you can put that towards something you need say laundry detergent even if you wouldn't normally buy detergent at the drug store because it's $6 there and $5 at your local grocery, but since you have $2 off you can get the detergent for $4 which is less than you would get at the grocery. And if you know the cycles and can get the detergent at the drug store when it's on sale for $4 plus use your voucher Then you get it for $2. They hook you in that way but if you are smart you can make that system work for you in the guidlelines of their coupon policy.

hth

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V.S.

answers from Harrisburg on

I coupon and save an average of 60% per trip which is more normal then what the show portrays. I say any savings is better then none.

I do about $40-$60 a week for a family of five and I buy alot of bulk at places like Sam's Club which sometimes save more then using a coupon at a regular store (not always)

You don't even have to check the ads anymore just type in your favorite grocery store and the words deals, coupon match-ups, etc and many sites do that part for you! You usually just having to be on their mailing list which isn't a bad trade off to me.

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M.F.

answers from Portland on

$300 to $400 a month for 3 of us.
That is including toiletries. laundry detergent, dish soap, trash bags, and vitamins and such.

I too end up buying stuff I don't need when I try to use the coupons or special sales stuff.
Much easier for me to just stick to what I know.

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S.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

Someone just asked this question a week or two ago..... search for it on the site b/c several people gave great sites to go to and step by step what to do. Good luck!

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

Just lately - i saved $115 in coupons and store sales savings...my final bill was $75...I liked that!

i do NOT extreme coupon - not all stores will break the rules and I won't buy stuff I don't need and/or won't use...when there is a food drive, I buy for that - I don't save it.

I DO have reserves. I DO have an emergency food stock. I do NOT send food to our troops - I send them candy, chap stick, hand warmers, pictures, etc.

How do I save with coupons? I make a menu for the week. I go through the coupons I get in the paper as well as on-line - penny pincher gazette, hot coupon.com, pillsbury.com, betty crocker.com, etc. and then see what's on sale in the store. If they have ketchup on sale and I have the coupons? I will buy it.

I make a list of what I NEED. Get the coupons for those items.
I make a list of what I WANT. If I have coupons, great! If I don't? I don't NEED it at that time.

I spend about $400 a month for a family of 4. This includes dog food, soda, cleaning products.

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L.K.

answers from Kansas City on

I am not an 'extreme' coupon person, and quite honestly don't understand stockpiling 52 bottles of Nyquil.

BUT, just last week I did scour the ads, pulled out my coupons and saved $76 or 29% of our total food bill. My husband was shocked! That was everything needed for Thanksgiving next week for 12, dinner here for a few days and stocking up on things I will use.

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S.H.

answers from Richmond on

I have been a couponer for about 3 years now. Grew up in a house that used coupons but have definitely taken it a step further. That said, I am not an extreme couponer by any stretch - I actually get aggravated about it - people clearing the shelves and taking things they don't need - stupid and rude! I have a SMALL stockpile and regularly donate to the Food Bank. Anyhow, I get most of my coupons from www.coupons.com - online printables are great and definitely supplement the regular newspaper coupons! Check out sites like www.hip2save.com and www.moneysavingmom.com If you just want to click and print (not go through pages of deals) then www.printablecouponsanddeals.com. I saved $133 on my grocery shopping last week (a much bigger haul than normal b/c of Thanksgiving). Still spent $181. I still spend a lot on food but, due to health problems, we eat almost entirely organic - meat and produce - so that adds a lot. That said, my health and beauty aid product budget is almost nil - I play the drug store game to get those items for free or close to it and then can use that $ for quality food! You just have to prioritize and decide what's most important. Honestly, I coupon b/c it saves us $ but also b/c I enjoy the challenge - the thrill of the hunt! - and I can be a little bit of a shopoholic while only buying things we need and getting the best possible deal!!! I buy virtually nothing without a coupon or coupon code - groceries, clothes, you name it - all gets price compared and shopped around! But I will say, you have to enjoy the process or it will make you crazy! That said, it's TOTALLY worth it. My husband and I are 100% debt free and couponing had a lot to do with it! PM me if you have specific questions.

M.B.

answers from Orlando on

my last shopping trip this week i saved right around 100$, which was more then usual, but on a normal trip i can save around 50-70$.

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K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I use a website that is great. It is www.thegrocerygame.com. There is a small fee but it is well worth it. It tells you what to buy at what store and with what coupons. I have saved about 50% or more on my groceries by using this.

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M.S.

answers from Boise on

I checked the ads and tried to stock up when they are on sale. I subscribed to Sunday paper for the coupons. I saved $5-10 per grocery trip/wk using coupons, not counting the store ads savings.
For a family of 4 (girls age 9 and 11), for grocery: $700/month (all groceries, food, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc)

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B.C.

answers from New York on

I spend on average about 600 a month for my group of 5 and I save on average about $100-150 a month with coupons. I get the circulars for the three closest stores and I make my list I match what's on sale with my coupons and pretty much that's how I do it. You have to know the store's policies because two out of the three places I shop double coupons which is great so I really way my options when deciding where to go and what coupons I will use. For instance let's say I have two coupons for yogurt one is for 25 cents if I buy one pack of yogurt and the other is for 75 cents if I buy two. Now the market that doubles has a sale on yougurt two for $3.00. By using the 75 cent coupon I am doubling that to $1.50 so basically I am getting one of them for free. If I had used the 25 cents it would have doubled to a 50 cents but at the regular price I would be saving but why not get something for free? You really have to know policies and look for the biggest bang for your buck.

C.N.

answers from Dallas on

Man! I need some training from a few of you guys! I spend about $160 a week for a family of 4. Myself, my mom and 2 boys that are 9 and 13. Im not good at finding coupons. Ive been griping about how high the food bill is every week and have been trying to find coupons for the regular bought items with no luck!

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S.L.

answers from San Diego on

since it is only me, I shop daily to every other day. I don't keep a lot of food in my pantry - just the basics/staples. I think I spend MAYBE $50 a week on food. I love fruits and veggies...i will buy a bag of chicken breasts and keep them in the freezer...hamburger patties, etc. so it stretches.

I use coupons. I work at the Wal-Greens pharmacy so I get to pick up things as I need them. Our store is next to Albertson's so I can pick up my meal(s) there.

When my boys come to visit - I do more shopping to make sure I have stuff for them as well. And I use coupons.

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