What are your top tips for shopping on a budget?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Heather - posted on 12/31/2010

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I always make a list. I plan the meals for the week and put everything on the list. I know hw much i have for the week and since i always shop at super walmart i know roughly how much each item cost. so once my list is done i add up what o think it will cost to make sure im not over. then once at the store i write done the price next to the item on my list. when my list is finished i add it up. If i have money left i get a few extra things or put it away.

Brianne - posted on 12/21/2010

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I don't know where you live but I always start at Aldi or Save-a-lot then go to an overstock store like Big Lots or even Dollar General. Then I go to the stores with the best sales and use coupons. After that I hope I don't need more groceries but Walmart. It helps to plan your meals for a week or two, it's a lot of work but really helps. For kids clothes and such I'm lucky enough to get hand me downs but I start at a resale store when I need something. Even for my clothes I am cheap. My house isn't filled with second hand and I love to shop when I can but I do what I have to do at the time.

Brittany - posted on 12/20/2010

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I look at all the sales ad and see whats all on sale.Then I price match(Not so sure if this goes for every state) but in Ohio if you go to Super Walmart. And if any store has any sales and thats cheaper than them. All you have too say is Kroger's has milk for $2.00 and you'll get it for that price:)

Heather - posted on 11/24/2010

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Buy meat in bulk and freeze it. I won't pay more then $1.99/lb for any meat, so when it's on sale I stock up. Most meat is good for a few months if put in the freezer quickly.
Also, it's very rare that I will buy something if I don't have a coupon. I get things practically free with coupons.
Some drug stores have rebate items that you can get for free. I have even given a coupon too and they have paid me to take the item.

Carolee - posted on 09/25/2010

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Honestly, I send my husband. He always spends less than me, and he has the advantage of working at a grocery store, so he knows when things are on sale and if the sale price is truly worth it. I clip the coupons at home.

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Jessica - posted on 04/29/2013

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On Tuesdays I get the weekly grocery circulars in the mail. Then I start planning! I have not found a way to make extreme couponing work in Southern California. Stores only take coupons at face value, and the number is limited at certain stores. Albertsons does put out an ad with several "double coupon" coupons where they will double any coupon up to $1 (2 per transaction.)
I get the Sunday paper, print coupons online, and use my Kroger, Safeway, and Ibotta apps for my iPhone for coupons/rebates, and double up coupons at Target, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS when possible. We don't really have a stock pile of free goods anymore, but we buy in bulk at Costco.

Jessica
www.picklesandranch.com

April - posted on 04/27/2013

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Love all the comments on this post! So helpful! I am a stay at home mom and I currently started my own online boutique for extra money. I always post coupons on facebook and have free shipping. My prices are much lower than boutiques that I have been to for the same brand names. I want moms to be able to afford to buy something for themselves! I know I usually buy for my daughter rather than myself! Please check it out! www.glowboutiqueonline.com

Bigleocat - posted on 10/28/2012

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There is the alternative choice. Check your local ads as soon as they come out and see which items are on sale at great deals for you to make a purchase. Then, got to one of the coupon clipping websites and look for coupons for things you are going to buy. There are strict legal rules for charging for this so you can get $40 worth of coupons for $5. I sometimes use www.thecouponclippers.com but my favorite is

https://www.couponsthingsbydede.com/ (the best part with this site is you earn point with each order. The points are turned in for $ off your next purchases and the points do add up quickly.)

Despite being half of the way across the country from me and I have them ship standard mail the coupons arrive before the sale is over. Then, I have plenty of extra coupons and only the ones I need for shopping.

Bigleocat - posted on 10/28/2012

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There was a time when my mom made very little money and she was too proud to coupon. She would look for the lowest price per unit, hit the KMart type stores for clothes but that's it. It influenced me until like the Huggies commercial says I got over it slowly but surely. I coupon all of the time. My youngest children are learning that that is how you shop. I buy what we need and stock pile where I can. There are too many families hit with low incomes for me to reliably shop at Goodwill and garage sales. When those don't pan out I make sure that I shop sales with discounts online via Ebates and use Savingstar (both give you a small cash back for purchase and I've received as much as $30 in my PayPal account at one time.) I a bigger family and everyone has some sort of allergies. Then, there is the cost of laundry soap, whichwas really bugging me. After doing a lot of online reading I have been switching over to making my own laundry soap, dish soap and all purpose soap, body wash will start when my small stock pile runs out. The best part of making my own soaps is that I don't have to worry about someone having an allergic reaction to the soaps. My new favorite way to save is a new store in my city. It is a mini farmers market that is year round. The quantity and quality is so much better and the prices totally beat grocery store prices. I found out too late this year but I plan on joining a CSA next year. For those who are unfamiliar with CSA like I was, you prepay a farmer at the beginning of the spring/summer and with some even fall seasons. The amount up front is around $500 BUT they deliver to you or a designated drop off location a box of their produce every week for that entire season. If you have kids and your family likes a variety of fruits and veggies this can save you money in the long run.

Hanna - posted on 02/25/2011

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Plan around you stockpile and stick to your budget. Here is a great website athriftymom.com she goes over all of this just click categories on the left side of the screen.

Hope - posted on 01/31/2011

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I definitely do circular shopping and clip coupons. I also find that spending more one month by stocking a pantry can be advantageous for weeks when money is scarce.

Tracy - posted on 01/31/2011

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I sort my coupons alphabetically by brand. I then put them in a binder in baseball card sheet protectors. So that if something is on sale I can quickly find it. I used to sort by category but then you get coupon with buy milk and get $1 off jelly, Where to put those? So I do it all alphabetically now. I also use ecoupons that load to my kroger card that automatically get used when I scan my card and I also print out internet coupons and take advantage of sales that tell you to buy 10 and get $5 offf participating items. I buy only participating items with coupons. I also use a clipping service to get multiples of those coupons that make a particular sale item FREE!

Valerie - posted on 01/30/2011

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www.mealtimemakeover.com for family of 4-6 that shops at Kroger, used in conjunction with www.couponmom.com, print online coupons along with buying 2 Sunday papers. I also buy meat in bulk when it goes on sale and repackage in freezer bags for later. Stick to you list and don't go to the store hungry! Don't limit yourself to just one store if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Get in, buy what's on the list and get out!

Works for me anyways!

Valerie - posted on 01/30/2011

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Hi all, new to this community. I have to tell you about a website that I tried and even though I don't use it exactly as it is meant to be, I love it! It is called e-mealz.com or www.mealtimemakeover.com. I listen to Dave Ramsey on talk radio a lot and this site has been great. What it does is give you a weeks menu (most of the stuff is delicious!) and it breaks down what you need by grocery section. I use the family of 4.6 plan that shops at Kroger. So when I get my menu on Sundays from the site, it has already planned the menu around the Kroger sales in my area. I combine that with the couponmom.com system and I have been pretty happy. I like the e-mealz site because I have gotten soooo many good recipes from it and none of them have been duplicated so far since I signed up in November. It cost $5 a month and you pay for it 3 months at a time. My three boys are pretty picky, but have started coming around to see what new and different yummy thing mommy is gonna cook tonight..... Of course, there are some nights that I know my kids are not gonna like the meal (or me either) so I will substitute one that we have already tried and do like. It is designed to save you money and cut down on the time you spend planning meals. Great for me because I work full time and have an extremely busy schedule taking care of my four men. If you go there and sign up, please tell them I referred you if there is a place to do so. my email is valerientn@bellsouth.net



Oh yeah, it gives you a shopping list with the main ingredients and sale prices on it also so all you have to do is get your coupons ready and go with the list they give you. I use it regularly with the coupon.mom site. They also tell you what staples for each meal you'll need so you don't forget anything. Its great and I can't tell enough people about it!





Thanks!

Valerie

Carlene - posted on 01/28/2011

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i go to sams club for diapers, fruitsnacks, soap (laundry, dish, body) after that i check the ads.

Crystal - posted on 01/28/2011

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Coupons!!! Im 22 and A Motherr To A Beautiful 1 Year Old Baby Boy and People Look At Me Like Im Crazy While Standing In Line Paying With Coupons! I Use Them For Everything, Soap, Diapers, The Necessaties....You'd Be Amazed How Much You Can Save! I Joined A Bunch Of Online Baby Clubs That Send Out Free Samples And Lots Of Great Coupons Too! Mysavings.com Is A Wonderful Site!

[deleted account]

get the catalogues and look for the specials then plan your family meals around the specials (ie if mince is on special make dishes out of mince...rissoles, spaghetti, cottage pie etc) and I only by one 2 liter bottle of fresh milk a fortnight the rest of the time we use devondale long life milk and this week it was only $1 for a liter bottle so i've bought 4! long life milk is generally cheaper than fresh milk (even if you buy brand name which i highly recommend if you want to taste more like milk) I go generic for a lot of staples such as bread butter ice cream pasta flour eggs milk (fresh) baby wipes tea and sugar (i love my expensive coffee though) i even buy generic biscuits as well. also look out for multi buys on products you buy regularly (ie two packets of pasta for $3)

[deleted account]

Plan your meals and buy real food! Buy rice and steam it - buy dried beans and stick them in the crock pot over night! buy real food and cook. You may think it is more expensive but it is not! I have 4 kids and we have been severely affected by the recession- but real food is never compromised. It also saves you in medical bills as well- less colds, better immunity smarter kids with more energy! Buy real foods and stay away from the center aisles. Also, pair down cleaning supplies with vinegar and and concentrates- soooo much cheaper!

Sandra - posted on 01/23/2011

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definately couponmom.com, coupons.com, start upromise.com account not only can u upload coupons to your kroger cards you also save for your childs future, if you live by a kroger you can also go to kroger.com to upload coupons to your card

Leilani - posted on 01/18/2011

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You should also always have a meal before going shopping so your full! If you go hungry, then you always buy what is not needed and you regret buying it later...

Serenity - posted on 01/15/2011

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hen things go on sale we buy lots of that item ie: pasta sauce, flour, noodles. we do the same thing with baby items like clothing and diapers. if it's a really good price we'll buy it even if we won't use it right away also we buy the larger packages of shicken and hamburger and repackage them into ziploc sanwich bags and freeze them (also great for controlling portions) we will make large amounts of certain foods and freeze them as well, but only if it's cheaper to make a lot at once.

SONJA - posted on 01/15/2011

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clip coupons!!!! the coupons and sales circle every month-so clip your manufactures coupons and save them to use when that item goes on sale- then you will get stuff dirt cheap! on sale + coupon= GREAT savings! don't be afraid to stock up on items that have a long shelf life and that you use frequently either.

Joan - posted on 01/15/2011

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I'd like to say a lot of things like when you get your local paper every week to plan your meals around the weekly specials, but you know what, that doesn't work. Because if like me you run out of time during the week to make that dinner that you counted on because of the weekly special well that's out the window. What I have found to work, is to buy those weekly specials and shove them in the freezer so when you do have a chance to use them they are there. Also, use your coupons. Cut them out and put them in an envelope and leave them in your car. Not in your purse, because sometimes we only have our wallets. Don't know where you live, but if you need things for young children try Once Upon A Child, they have great gently use items at greatly reduced prices. Also, are there any outlets near you. Even though the outlets I frequent are a distance from where I live, it's still cheaper for me to travel there once a month then purchase off the rack. The internet will become your best friend when it comes to great buys. Google everything!!! Kijiji has great bargains and in your area. And so do many other sites. I have three daughters that love to shop and they are like me. I never pay full price for anything. Talk to other Moms for where they shop. You'd be surprised at what you can get!!

Sara - posted on 01/14/2011

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Mary McCreery~ I have been told the same thing about printed coupons so I don't even bother going to any of those sites anymore.

Conniemarie - posted on 01/14/2011

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I try to find it online :) like amazon. I have diapers shipped to me and it is WAY cheaper than ANY place i have found. join their moms member, then sign up for recurring shipping, by diaper bill went from almost $100 a month to $50 for 6weeks!!! it's all huggies brand I use too!! But u can also use other brands and it goes for other things like cleaning supplies. shipping is 2 days and FREE :)

I shop @ woodman's here for groceries. They r hands d best for milwaukee area. I literally would spend $450-$600 a month on food, Now is can do it under $325 most times :) and no cards needed!!!

Lauren - posted on 01/13/2011

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I always buy clothes at the end of the season and buy bigger sizes for next year as well as things they can still wear this year. Target, GapKids, Old Navy and Bloomingdale's always have great deals for my sons' clothes- I average $5 per item, even at Bloomies. We shop at BJ's also, they have great store coupons plus they accept manufacturer coupons and have a cash back program. I usually buy store-brand and my dad taught me how to quickly price items by price-per-weight instead of just the price. We also buy all of our electronics on-line since the prices are always way cheaper.

Heidi - posted on 01/12/2011

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I usually first try craigslist...... It's amazing how many bargains they have!!! I also go to a lot of second hand stores and even goodwill ...sometimes even the dollar store has some pretty good deals :o) those would be my suggestions

Karren - posted on 01/12/2011

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For Queensland families - For clothing, toys, shoes, prams, nursery furniture, maternity items - anything to do from maternity to pre-school age, Zero 2 Five Markets is where you can save up to 80% off retail. There are quality pre-loved and new products. Check it out on www.zero2five.com.au or look them up on Facebook - Zero 2 Five Markets.

Jessica - posted on 01/12/2011

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I use kroger's online coupons.. if you go to their sight you can load coupons right on to your plus card.. when you buy the item the savings come off automatically when you use your plus card!! and yes the online coupons are hard to use in stores.. you can also sign up with places like johnson and johnson and the will send you coupons via snail mail!

[deleted account]

Make a list and stick to it. Do not go to the store hungry. Clip coupons (even for things that you may have never tried before). New items usually go on sale to promote it in the beginning and paired with a coupon is twice as nice. Make a point to shop at stores that offer double coupons. Stock up on items when they are on sale and if your store offers gas points...collect them and use them!! I try to do the grocery shopping alone. The more people that are with me, the more hands are putting things into the cart.

Mary - posted on 01/12/2011

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Just curious...many of you have mentioned online coupon sites that allow you to print coupons. Most of the grocery stores in my area will not accept these coupons & will only accept manufacturer coupons &/or coupons clipped from newspaper flyers & ads. They cite rampant counterfeiting of coupons by either the websites themselves or by individuals scanning & photoshopping. Have any of you coupon clippers run into this?

Jessica - posted on 01/12/2011

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coupons! also I find that if you buy in bulk you save money.. You can separate meat packages into several meals.. And I am a big fan of meals that stretch.. (vegetable soup, soup beans) these things can be a later in the week lunch or you can freeze them and eat it next week.. hope this helps!

Stacy - posted on 01/12/2011

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I use our local weekly ads and coupons to then make out a weekly menu including snacks. If you plan ahead and make a list you'll find that your grocery bill will go down quite a bit. Also try not to grab up last minute items, the whole plan will go out the door. It's better to get your list and then if you need more items you can make another list to keep track of what your spending. Good Luck!

Melissa - posted on 01/12/2011

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Clip lots of coupons, shop on double coupon days, and only use coupons when the item is on sale. a good website to use is couponcravings.com >> this site has so many money saving tips (not just grocery)

Brittany - posted on 01/10/2011

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Check out websites like
hip2save.com
moneysavingmoms.com
and others like iheartpublix.com or one that focuses on a grocery store near you. They will tell you the deals of the week and the coupons to use. You can plan your meals around it and save a lot of money.

Dee - posted on 01/08/2011

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We have a budget of $250 a month for groceries in a family of four. I take stock of my pantry & freezer and make a monthly menu using foods we already have first. Then I check the local food market papers for sales and compare them to a list I keep on the food prices at the local stores (pain to set up but has saved us a bunch - really know who has real "sales" and who doesn't). Then I finish the monthly menu using the sale items.
As an early Christmas gift we got a meat grinder and now I can buy meat in larger quantities and grind my own hamburger, make my own sausage - it has been pretty awesome. I leave some of the meat in chucks in case I don't want a hamburger dish at the last minute. All radical things to take on all at once and they take time but now that we are on a single income, you do what you do and be happy to do it at all! Besides, turning it into challenge to see the saving has it's own special kick.

Annie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I go to Aldi first. I save a lot on the essentials, plus there milk is hormone free. I buy meat on sale and freeze it. I also use a lot of recipes from foodnetork.com that are money savers. I love target brand everything! Don't stray from you list. Or budget in an amount that you can spend on extras.

Bethani - posted on 01/07/2011

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look threw flyers, get coupons, if there is a walmart near u they usually have cheaper things then a reg supermarket.

Ilse - posted on 01/06/2011

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I personally believe that you should not shop for "everything" at one place - convenience shopping is what escalated the bills (in in SA we don't really have the coupon thing so we need to shop around)

Kristin - posted on 01/06/2011

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make a list and stick to it, plan around sales, don't buy what you don't need, and never shop hungry.

Natalie - posted on 01/06/2011

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I do a lot of what the other moms say. I use a program called YNAB for my budget to help keep my spending in check, I use thegrocerygame.com for coupons (yes I pay for it but it works out to about a 1.25 a week and is totally worth it), when I make a meal that I can freeze I double it so on those nights that I don't want to cook we aren't tempted to go out, I shop the sale racks at stores for my kids clothes and mine, for my kids I buy a size up on the sale racks ( I love Kohl's for this because you can use their cash back and coupons off), and with YNAB it allows me to save up for bigger purchases items in my life.

Sja - posted on 01/05/2011

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The key word here is budget first you need to sit down and concentrate on the things which you need there are things which you can purchase in bulk and store them in them in the refrigerator and cupboards itemize those items.
second itemize the short term items these are items which you need weekly and have a very short life span.
third purchase things which you know will make meals that the entire family will enjoy so there will be no wasting or making separate meals for some family members.
fourth from your list look for those items which are on sale or discounted items.
Always remember do not purchase things you do not need and always stick to your plan and list do not stray from your list. And if after you have gotten all which is on the list and you have some monies left over you decide what you gonna do with it.

Many times persons make a list and when they get to the store they are overwhelmed and stray completely from the list and after checkout when they reach home they are angry with themselves because the stuff they needed was not purchased.

Cathie - posted on 01/05/2011

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for me i try and get most of my personal toiletries through avon im a rep so i get a discount and as for food and stuff i shop at dollar stores for pantry items and try to buy in bulk whenever i can and i kno its something im going to use in a reasonable amount of time like rice and frozen vegetables as for bread and bread products i go to the bread stores they have here in NC thts how i make the most of my grocery money

Julinda - posted on 01/05/2011

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I match the sales ad to the coupon to get the best deal. I buy meat that is marked down and freeze it. I shop at Sam's club for our steak, as we love it. I buy it in a large Roast to be cut down cheaper than hamburger in my area. All toiletries come from sales with coupons. I use www.thekrazycouponlady.com to match my sales and coupons for me. It is free! I rarely have to do anything but pull out the coupons/print them from her site and shop. I love it. I have saved so much. I buy in season fruits and veggies to save money. I tend to buy at Aldi since their prices are cheaper. I also buy potatoes in a 50 lb. bag. We go through them.
I tend to meal plan from my cabinets, but if you are not stocked up like me, then you will have to do it then shop. I shop for simple things when I don't have them such as green peppers.

Jennifer - posted on 01/04/2011

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Check your local grocery store's circular paper ad from the mail to see what's on sale that week. Then, plan your dinners for the week around those items. It takes prep work, but will end up paying off by saving you money.

User - posted on 01/03/2011

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best buy instead of buying refills for toilet cleaner just buy the bottle duck and refill whenever you like it last in my house up to 4 weeks

Shayla - posted on 01/03/2011

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I shop for things I need and I use coupons.. nothing too special but i also price match.. most stores will honor this. You can also find coupons online

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