As I am waiting in line at Publix today, I have a girl and guy in front of me checking out. I can't help but look at what groceries are on the belt as I wait (C'mon, you know that you do this too). I notice that they have a plethora of hot dog buns, 6 cases of a variety of Dr. Pepper, and Totino's Pizza rolls galore. While I am standing there, the cashier begins to ring the coupons through, which takes no less than 10 or 15 minutes. Her stack of coupons is amazing, I can't take my eyes off the ones that just keep on coming. I am so utterly interested as to how many she really has and how much savings that this is going to add up to. The girl turns to me, nods and apologizes for the seemingly never ending scans of coupons. "I have my own large stack too, so I understand," I offer, but she really doesn't give me the time of day, as I desperately wanted to chat about this to find out if she knew any secrets that I have not yet found. I continued on even though she wasn't really inviting me to, "I use southernsavers.com, it's a great website, they do all the work for you." This time she nods again and tells me that she uses that site too, offering nothing more. Feeling a little obnoxious, like those strangers who think it's OK to touch other people's children in public, I finally close my mouth and mentally tell myself not to open it again until she is gone. As her receipt prints out, I can't help but eavesdrop, because I am dying to know after this production exactly how much she saved. Her total savings was $215.00 - WOW!
Ok, then I begin to remember the items in her cart again and I have come to a conclusion. If you don't mind buying junk food, you can essentially get a super savings at the grocery store. Not for nothing, because my savings was $70.00, it just couldn't touch $215.00. For me there is a fine line, I definitely will have a few junk food items in my cart, but I know that it's also important to eat healthy and know what you are putting in your body. If you don't believe that, then I would urge you to watch both the documentaries: Food Inc and Super Size Me. Food Inc has changed the way that I buy food, and has if nothing else, made me more aware of the hormones, pesticides, and additives that are put into the food that we purchase from the grocery store.
Just a little side tip that I have started doing, before you throw out your already read magazines, flip through them for valuable coupons as well. Most magazines will have at least a few coupons and their expiration dates tend to be much later, the magazines that I found good coupons in were: Southern Living, Good Housekeeping, and Parenting.
I have also decided that I need a better coupon organizer, as I currently only have them separated into 3 categories right now which are: baby, food, and not food. I am finding that the more coupons you clip, the harder it gets to remember what you've got, so I think it's time to spend the $5.00 and upgrade to one with a few more compartments. Here is what I am thinking for more categories: Baby, Frozen, Dairy, Cereal, Paper goods, Canned goods, Drinks, Animal, and Personal Care. I again may need a Misc category too but I think that will better help me when I am preparing for my shopping trip.