Learning to be Frugal – Grocery Shopping 101

I have been posting on Facebook how I have been saving money with couponing.  A few people have asked for a couple of hints, so here you go!

Check out the pros websites.  So far, my favorite is http://www.couponing101.com. I started with the Couponing Terms and Abbreviations page.  Most couponing websites use this format, and it is imperative to having any idea of what they are talking about.  Many people have also recommended http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com.  From both of those pages, I check out what deals they have and then I take off to other blogs they have tagged and check them out.  Coupons that come in the mail are different across the country, so sometimes it takes a little bit of research.  The majority of it is the same, though.

What I already knew, that isn’t common knowledge (although I thought it was):

My dad was in grocery store management for years.  So, he would often talk about how people wasted money by buying name brand instead of store brand.  I have been buying store brand forever.  There are only a few times I won’t.  That’s when it comes to canned corn and mushrooms.  Store brand cereal?  Yummy!!!  Store brand medications?  A must!!!  They can be half the price, and as I have actually been a chemist at a company that made brand and non-brand drugs, it’s all the same thing!!!  Nothing is different.

My parents also had me doing the family grocery shopping as soon as I got my driver’s license.  I would take the list and head to the store.  My dad would have already gone through the add and written down the big deals he wanted me to grab up.  Even though he wrote it down, I often brought home the wrong item because stores can be deceiving.  They will put the sale tag below a size of the same product that isn’t on sale.  So always make sure to check the ounces/liters/grams/etc of the sale item and the one you have in your cart.

Just because it is 10/$10, you don’t have to buy 10.  Often, most of these items are just $1 each.  Now and again the add will specify that you must buy ten, but usually you don’t.  Watch out for the teasers, “Buy 4 for $10!!!” because the price is often only $2.50 on a regular day.  You aren’t saving a thing.  If it is a great price at 4 for $10, remember, you only have to buy one, not four.

Look at the labels in front of the products that are slid into the shelving.  When I can’t decide if I it’s cheaper to buy the big portion or the small portion, I cheat and look at the label for the per unit cost.


As I have known most of these things since I was in high school, I’ve been having a riot learning about couponing that makes it so I can get things for free or close to it.  Last week I spent $7.?? for $44.?? worth of product!

Check out the websites I gave above.  I will post again about what I’ve been learning when I’m not so sleepy.  Happy learning!

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