Several people have recently asked me how I save money at the grocery store. Rather than reply to each person individually I decided to do a post about it. It's rather long but if you want to start saving money I think the details will be helpful.
This is my coupon binder. For several years I used an accordion filing system. You know - the one with the flap and string? It worked well when I only had a few coupons but when you have hundreds it is a frustrating mess. I was constantly sifting through piles of coupons. I know the accordion filing method is the most popular and if it works for you - great! But I needed something that was more easily accessible so that I could quickly see what coupons I had.
I now use a three-ring binder with dividers and baseball card sheets. It took me some time to get set up, but now it's a breeze. When I get the Sunday paper I simply clip my coupons, flip to the appropriate category and slide it in the pocket. Ahhhh, I love to be organized!
I have 21 dividers. The categories are as follows:
To make shopping and sorting easier, I use the grocery lists at www.freeprintablegrocerylist.com I keep a blank one on my refrigerator and check off the items I know we need. I no longer keep a linear grocery list. When it comes time to shop, my list of needed items is already made. As an added bonus, the items are all categorized so that I no longer end up in produce only to discover that I forgot to pick up something in the baking aisle. Keeping a list is helpful because it prevents me from buying more than I need. I try very hard to only purchase items on my list.
I clip my grocery list and my sale sheet from the Grocery Game to this manila folder. On the left hand side I have two envelopes. The top envelope is for the coupons I plan to use. I pull them out of my binder and place them here and have them ready to go before I leave the house. I then put the coupons in the bottom envelope once the item is in my cart. When I get up to the register I just hand over the pile of coupons in my bottom envelope. Yesterday my total was $90.47. After I handed over my pile and my Kroger Plus card my total was $46.76.