Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday's Tips

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Saving Money
on Produce and Meat

It can be a little harder to find ways to save money on perishible items while shopping. I've been working on this lately as I am wanting to limit the number of boxed/prepared item my husband and I consume, and up the amount of fresh items we eat. Thankfully, spring is here and as more produce is in season, it will be cheaper than ever!

So I've been doing some research and have come up with a few tips for myself, and anyone else interested in saving money on things you can't normally find coupons for!

  1. Shop at Aldi
    If you're not familiar wtih this store, they are a no frills grocery store with basic prices thanks to you bagging your own items, and paying a quarter for shopping carts (which you get back when you return it!). They have a lot of off brand items and their own store brands, which are pretty good. One of the best things, is they have local produce at great prices, and it's usually pretty good! I also buy fish and shrimp here if there aren't any other sales elsewhere. They have the lowest price on shrimp I've found, and it's yummy!
  2. Use Food Lion Flip coupons
    Of course you can use these at Food Lion, but other stores sometimes accept them as competitor's coupons (Like Publix!). FLIPS (Food Lion Internet Printables) are varied, but there are often ones for $2 off $5 produce, or deli items. You can usually find some good ones here.

  3. Use overage
    If you are using coupons that give overage (take off more $$ than the items is actually worth- don't worry it's legal because the store will get back the full amount of the coupon!), use some of that overage on items that you can't use coupons on. Even if it only saves you a little, it's still a savings! You have to buy something anyways to cover it because a store shouldn't have to pay YOU to shop there! :o)

  4. Buy discounted items
    This is one of my favorite ways to buy meat! Kroger, Food Lion and Harris Teeter often have great deals on this! It's usually meat that has a sell by date of that day or the next, that they want to get out the door fast before it expires, so they drastically reduce the price! I love ribs, but don't love the prices! I usually snag small amounts at a time from Kroger and HT and keep them in the freezer until I have enough to cook all together! Make sure that if you are buying discounted meat, you use it that day, or immediately put it in the freezer when you get it home! I usually break up the packages first, or make them up into meals (meatloaf, hamburger) and throw them in the freezer the same day. See my recent Saturday Savings post about how I got 10 meals worth of meat for about $5!

  5. Stock up on good sales
    Seems like a no-brainer to do this one, but buy more than what you currently need because meat lasts for several months in the freezer! I got a few whole chickents at $.59 a lb, an amazing price, a couple months ago, and then when the sale was over and they still had lots left, they were reduced to $.29 a lb!! I got several whole chickens for around or under $2 a piece! WOW!!! I wish I'd gotten more because they are long gone! I also snagged some $.99 a lb ground turkey recently, but after I saw how fast the few I got went, I wished I'd grabbed a whole lot more! Next time these sales come around, I'll know to get lots!
  6. Buy small amounts to cover coupons
    Publix allows you to use more than one coupon per item, but their register beeps if you end up with more coupons than items! While it should be overriden, often cashiers don't know this and tell me I can't use a coupon! So I buy a banana or two if I have more coupons than items. Or other small amounts of produce. I try to use the self -scan lanes because then I can ring up 2 bananas separately and it's letting me pay only a little to use all the coupons to make my deals better!

  7. Use competitor's coupons $/$$ or RR
    My Harris Teeter accepts money off total order coupons from other stores, and often gives them out themselves. If I'm in need of something I don't have coupons for, I try to take any Register Rewards from Walgreens, or buy things that earn me money off your next order and use them at HT on things like milk, produce, and meat. (You can always throw in the discounted meat there too!)
  8. Buy in bulk
    Check out Mercedes from Common Sense with Money's tips on buying in bulk. I don't have any experience in this since I'm not a member of any warehouse store, but it can be to your advantage to buy in bulk and separate it yourself in to smaller portions. Especially if there are no good deals elsewhere and you are in need of it! Sometimes Costco or Sam's offer one time free passes to their stores, or discounts on memberships. I know for some it is worth it but because I don't need *that* much food, it's not for me!

  9. Buy a cow!
    Yes, I said buy a cow! Can't see myself doing this one anytime soon, but probably because I wouldn't have the space for it, or know how to find one! And I don't mean to buy a live cow and butcher it yourself! I've heard of many people going in together on a cow and sharing the meat that comes from it. This can be a great way to get pricier portions for cheap if you price each portion of the cow the same. Southern Savers recently did this with great success and bought 78 lbs of meat for $3 a lb!
  10. Transfer prescriptions!
    Its easy to save money on your prescriptions by moving them around to different stores with all of the offers for gift cards when you transfer. The idea is to get you to be loyal to one store, but you don't have to be! CVS and Kroger accept competitor's coupons so even if they don't have one you can transfer there. Recently Rite Aid and Walgreens have had coupons, but I've used them at CVS and Kroger. Just last week, I transferred to Kroger, and they attach your gift card to your store loyalty card. I then used the $25 to buy chicken, some produce, and other necessities that I didn't have coupons for! (Do be aware that if a competitors coupon says you can't transfer more than once every 6 months, Kroger will stick to the terms on those coupons!) Many times what you pay for the prescription is less than the value of the gift card, so you can actually make money!

~Stacey of Daisy's Deals~

Please email me for questions, suggestions, and anything else at daisysdeals (at) hotmail (dot) com. As I begin this journey, please bear with me as I am still learning myself! If you see anything that you feel is inappropriate or against store/website policies please "politely" let me know.

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