One of my goals (okay, resolutions) for 2011 is to try to find ways to do so in ways that fit our family, not always ways that work for others or that I read about.
For instance, last summer, I really experimented with using grocery fliers and coupons everywhere I could find them to save as much as I could.
What I found was that I ended up with a ton of granola bars, cereal that hurt our tummies (too much fiber), cans of spaghetti sauce I still haven't touched, and overall, I realized that while I was certainly saving money off the regular cost of the coupon/sale items, these items were a lot of processed foods, not so healthy for us, and I didn't like that.
Sure, it took us through December to go through all the toilet paper, deodorant, and bath soap. That was good, and we used them. One plus.
I found also, that I would still use most of my budget to try to get all the savings I could, and sometimes feel that still, I didn't really have components to make meals I normally make, or would have wanted to make.
So, I started only collecting coupons for items we use all the time and didn't obsess about not having coupons for meals I wanted to make. I felt like I tried the obsessive system, and while there is a place for it, in my busy schedule, I want to know I have ingredients for meals and I'm feeding my family in a healthy way.
I've recently started doing Bountiful Baskets, and have loved, for the most part, what I get from that each week. It has its pluses and minuses too though and I'm wondering if I should continue.
Pluses? It seems like you save a lot on produce for the week. There are also some unique items which get you to be creative and try new things (like my persimmon cookies).
Minuses? I usually do my grocery shopping on Friday late afternoons. Bountiful baskets are picked up on Saturday mornings, and I never know what I'm going to get. This causes me to either wait to grocery shop, cutting into my weekend, or I end up going back to the grocery store again, to have things that are needed for the items I get.
I guess there are pluses and minuses for everything, but I'm curious, what are some methods that work for you for saving money on groceries? My ears/eyes are open to hear all kinds of suggestions I might not have tried yet.