While it is fairly easy to get health/beauty items for free (or next to free) at Walgreens and CVS, grocery shopping takes a bit more effort. In the Midwest, grocery stores do not double coupons like they do on the East coast or in the South.
My successful grocery runs rely heavily on my Five Fundamentals of Frugal Shopping:
1. Shop sales and use coupons to get the best deal.
2. Take advantage of all customer loyalty programs and rebates whenever possible.
3. Stockpiling: when something goes on sale, buy as many as you can reasonably afford, use and store.
4. Don't bother with brand or store loyalty. Buy the best deal and shop where the deals are.
5. Prepare for each shopping trip with a plan/list and stick to it!
Bonus #6: Take advantage of all Catalina promotions and rebate offers.
By following these rules, it is quite easy to cut your grocery bill in half or more. Personally, I strive to save at least 60% every time I walk into the grocery store. My personal best is 102%--I'm seriously thinking of framing that reciept. What would Martha do?
I recently participated in Dominick’s Living Well, Feeling Great promotion. For every $30 of participating products bought, Dominick’s would give you a $10 Catalina coupon (just like a Register Reward from Walgreen’s, but ‘roll-able’) for a future transaction.
I rolled that deal 6 times in one day (note to self: that was out of control...never again!), and got $320.07 worth of groceries and household products for $83.35 out-of-pocket. I’m stocked up on pasta, frozen entrees (lunch during the work week), pasta sauce and more for quite some time. And I walked out of the store with a $10 Catalina coupon to use on my next trip.
For examples of great shopping trips in the Chicago area, check out these blogs:
Annie at Chi-Annie at the Table
(note: Annie always knows the great deals at SuperTarget, too)
Carrie at Shoplifting with Permission
Helen at Helen Knits and Saves