Friday, May 20, 2011

Someone else has already written the grocery-saving post...

My friend Jen (who really needs a blog, but to my knowledge doesn't have one) sent me a link to a website she found today. Specifically, she linked me to a page on the site in which the author took my no-spend grocery challenge to a new level. The author lived (successfully) for 100 days spending only $1/day. Wow! From what I can tell, his "family" unit consists only of himself, so if you multiply his $30/month x 5 we're still in that range, but $1/day certainly sounds more impressive!
Anyway, while browsing the website, there was a link to a page on "lazy couponing" as I read along I realized that the article basically outlines my grocery-saving strategies and my philosophy on couponing. I wouldn't have put any of it as bluntly as the author does, but the bones of it are nearly identical.

He states one of his basic philosophies on couponing/saving like this:

Second, you need to be willing to shop in a way that is in your best interest. While this sounds like something that everyone would instantly say “yes, of course I want to do that,” the reality is that very few people do. Doing so will likely require a significant change to how you currently shop. If you are reading this, the chances are overwhelming that you are currently shopping the way grocery stores and manufacturers hope you will shop, not in your own best interest.

He then outlines a very effective strategy for changing how you think of grocery shopping which at least in our family's case has drastically reduced our grocery bill (as promised):

The way that the grocery stores and manufacturers don’t want you to shop is to only purchase the very best deals available each week and nothing else. The way to accomplish this is to plan your meals from what you already have in your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards (your stockpile of food). When you begin to plan all your meals on what you already have on hand, then there is no longer any need to purchase anything at full price. In fact, the only time you need to purchase any item is when it is at the very best price you can get it.

This simple change in the way that you shop will instantly save you 50% or more. In fact, this change is far more powerful than couponing, although the addition of couponing will further reduce the amount you spend on food. If, however, this is a change that you are not willing to make, you are probably better off not even bothering to read any further. While coupons can still save you money without this change, the savings will be minimal and you will quickly grow tired of using them due to the seeming small amount that they help you save (Don’t believe me? Then why aren’t you couponing right now?) Once you make this fundamental grocery shopping change, you take the control away from the store on how much you spend each week and give that power to yourself.

You can go to his blog directly here or to his grocery challenge here. I'd still like to try my hand at outlining what we do and don't do to reduce our grocery bill, but as I can't seem to find the uninterrupted time to write it, hopefully this will point you in the same direction and provide inspiration and ideas that you can incorporate into your own saving strategies. Enjoy!