I heard on the radio this morning that the cost of groceries will be rising 6% in the next year due to increasing costs of feed for pigs, cattle and chicken. Get your pocket books ready!
I have been couponing for a good while now, and I'd like to tell you how I do it:
I use to think generics were cheaper. If you hit a good sale AND have a coupon, it's usually as cheap as a generic. If you want to, you can try the site I use: thegrocerygame.com You can have a free trial... start NOW and save some weekly coupons.. just save the whole insert. After a few weeks, sign up for the free trial and you will see just how many coupons you use and how much you save. I was hooked right away. It's THAT worth it.
I take the weekly add and kinda skim through my pantry and freezers to build a menu** for the week. After deciding what to cook, I go through the recipe for each thing and make sure I either have it or need it and make my list based on that. You know there are certain things you buy over and over. See if that item is on sale. If it is, stock up! Why pay full price? It can sit a few weeks in your house. I buy what I need for that menu for that week, items we normally use if on sale, and the munchy things.
I shop once a week so if we run out of anything it's milk and Hubby will pick that up. I have been known to take 1/2 gallon of milk and add powdered milk to it to make it stretch.
I also no longer shop at Walmart - unless absolutely necessary! I get all my stuff - cleaning stuff, a/c filters, toothpaste, etc.. at Kroger's. It beats the stress and gas going to walmart and fighting the crowd. My sanity is worth way more than that.
Also, thegrocerygame.com will show you how to get free stuff at walgreens and CVS. If you sign up for the free trial make sure you click ALL stores in your area. It's free, so take advantage of it. I use to do CVS and Walgreens, but with limited time it's easier to grab it all in one place.
** Menu - I made a list of all our favorite meals in categories: beef, chicken, pork, veggies, sides, quick meals, crockpot. Having a list handy reminds of things I had forgotten about. And I can mix and match meals instantly by looking at the list. OH! Potatoe soup! Haven't had that in a looong time. Guess what we are having? If it were not for my list I would have completely forgotten about it. I keep these categories on index cards in my coupon binder and look through them when planning my menu for the week.
Hope this helps.