A good handful of us have tried it and failed miserably.
You vow that THIS time when you go to the store, you are buying only what's on your list and nothing else. You have a budget and you are sticking to it! We walk out with our arms loaded down and in sticker shock from what we spent. So imagine what it must be like when there are 10 mouths to feed in your home; that's right, 10.
With that said, as the FOX 17 Smart Shopper, I have found my new bargain shopping hero and she lives right here in West Michigan! Her name is Jennifer Roskamp, author of theintentionalmom.com.
Any guesses on what it would cost to feed a family of ten? What if I told you Jennifer and her husband can do it for around $350 a month!
Helping families spend wisely is just one of the many things that you will find on her extremely popular blog. I had to know how she does it, so FOX 17 went along to Meijer as she put some of her tips into motion.
By no means is Roskamp an "extreme couponer" but she does buy between four to eight Sunday papers, depending on how many coupon inserts there might be. Yes, that might sound pricey, but when you figure a paper is around $2 and there are some coupons with even a $4 value, she's already ahead. Once she gets the coupon inserts, she doesn't just start clipping coupons she thinks she "might" use. Instead, she places them in a filing system, intact, with the date on a tab from which paper they came from.
Why does she do this? First of all, it cuts down on buying items you really don't need but the deal just seems to good to pass up. Secondly, one great online site that she uses faithfully is krazycouponlady.com. On this site, there are a list of stores for you to choose from, like Meijer. The Krazy Coupon Lady lets you know what is on sale and where to find the coupons from the Sunday paper, for example, that go along with them. Since The Intentional Mom keeps all of the coupons in dated folders, she can easily go back into her files and then clip as needed.
On theintentionalmom.com you can also download a price log template. Over your next few shopping trips, keep track of what items you are repeatedly buying and just jot down the price. Eventually, you can fill out the "Good, Better, Best" sections on your price log. This helps someone like Jennifer determine if she wants to buy a whole bunch of something or hold off, because it's not the best bang for her buck.
Also, pay close attention to the small print on the price labels under each item on the store shelves. There, you will find that the price per ounce or per pound is broken down. You will quickly learn that getting something in bulk size, doesn't mean you are always getting the best value, Roskamp added.
As you make your way to the checkout, double check your coupons to make sure you got the right product and you didn't exceed what the coupon says you could purchase. Once you check out, Roskamp highly suggests that you look over the receipt to make sure you were charged correctly. If you don't realize that it's wrong until you get home, chances are you won't go back, right?
Did you know that you can keep on saving even AFTER you've checked out?
I might be the Smart Shopper, but it's actually my husband who is big on using another cost saving app that Roskamp is a fan of as well, called ibotta. Simply download the app, unlock rebates on select items, buy the items, scan the code with your phone, take a picture of your receipt and then within 48 hours, cash will go into an ibotta account. That money can then be transferred to PayPal or even gift cards. One year, Roskamp actually helped pay for Christmas with this type of rebate system. As I mentioned, we are also big fans in our household. Click here for further explanation.
Bottom line, if you want to learn how to be frugal when it comes to spending smart, home organization tips and beyond, check out theintentionalmom.com