Shopping Tip- Don’t let the picture on the coupon fool you!!!

Strategic Shopping Tip – Don’t let the picture on the coupon fool you!!!
One thing I have learned from using coupons for a while is to always read the coupons.  The picture on the coupon does not mean it is the only product that the coupon can be used for!!  Take the coupon above. There is a picture of Enfagrow Toddler Powder. If you just looked at the photo you would think you have to buy Enfagrow Toddler Powder at the size shown on the coupon.
When you read the coupon it says “On any can of Enfagrow Powder”. ” This means you can use this coupon on any size or variety of Enfagrow Powder.
Make sure you always read your coupons!

The Cost of Convenience

Strategic Shopping Sunday – The Cost of Convenience
This week I want to talk about the cost of convenience. Manufacturers make it very easy to pick up packages of products that are perfectly proportioned at 100 calories or snack size. When I was working at my old job I used to pick up at least 1 box of these a week because they were super easy to throw in my purse.
Now that I am a strategic shopper I would rather buy a regular box and take the few minutes to divide out the packages.
I decided to figure out just how much the cost of convenience was for 100 Calorie Cheez-It Snack Mix packages.
I purchased a box of 100 Calorie Right Bites Cheez-It Snack Mix and 1 box of Cheez-It Snack mix at Safeway. I used my club card but did not use any coupons.
Price Comparison
100 Calorie Right Bites Cheez-It Snack Mix – $2.99
Cheez-It Snack Mix regular box – $3.49
Just glancing at the price tags it looks like the 100 Calorie box is the cheaper option.
Price per ounce
100 Calorie Right Bites Cheez-It Snack Mix – $.67 an ounce
Cheez-It Snack Mix regular box – $.33 an ounce
The regular box of Cheez-its is over half the price of the prepackaged box.
From this point I knew that the regular box was a much better value but I still wanted to see just how many more packages I could get from the regular box
Total number of 100 calorie bags in each box/ price per bag
100 Calorie Right Bites Cheez-It Snack Mix – 6 bags in the box = .50 a package
Cheez-It Snack Mix Regular Box – 14 bags in the box – $.25 a package
Cost over 1 year using 1 bag a day
100 Calorie Right Bites Cheez-It Snack mix – $181.89
Cheez-It Snack Mix Box – $90.99
A difference of $90.90
This is based on only eating 1 bag a day. I have to say that most of the time I would eat at least 2 bags during the day.
One way to cut your grocery bill and stretch your dollar farther is to look at the cost of convenience food. Are you using items that are pre-packaged that you could buy in normal size containers and package yourself.
Pre-packaged lettuce shreds versus buying a head of lettuce
Pre-packaged fruits and veggies versus cutting your own
pre-made snack trays versus making up your own
There are so many more exampled I can think of. Let me know what you come up with when you look around your pantry or kitchen.

Make your own baby wipes

Strategic Shopping Sunday – Make your own baby wipes
I know many of you have babies and I wanted to share a tip I found on making your own baby wipes.
I know that baby products can be crazy expensive at times. I thought this was a great way to cut down on costs and know exactly what you were using.
What you will need
-Roll of heavy duty white paper towels
-Sharp knife
-1 1/2 cups water
-1 1/2 tablespoons baby oil
-1 1/2 tablespoons baby shampoo
How to do it
1. Cut the roll of paper towels in half with a knife and remove the inner cardboard core.
2. Mix liquid ingredients in container.
3. Place the paper towels in the container
4.Secure lid tightly and allow to sit until all liquid is absorbed into the paper towels.
5.Turn the container upside-down and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
6.Open container and ‘start’ the roll by pulling a towel from the inside of the roll.
7.Wipes are now ready to use.
Save the other half of the roll for use next time you make wipes.
Make sure the container is closed tightly after each use to prevent drying out.

Strategic Shopping Sunday – Produce

Strategic Shopping Sunday – Produce
Every Sunday I am going to highlight strategic shopping practices that can help stretch your money farther.
Today we are going to focus on produce. This is an area of our grocery bill that we do not see a ton
of coupons for so it is really important to do everything you can to stretch your dollar with strategic shopping.
 Weigh flat rate produce
If you are buying produce that is sold at a flat rate you can stretch your dollar by weighing a few packages.
Example – 5 pound bag of potatoes
Try weighing a few bags of potatoes to see what they weigh. You may find that 1 bag weight 5.1 pounds but the next weighs 5.5 pound or more for the same price.
This is a great way to stretch your dollar without using a coupon or sale.
Buy in season
A great way to stretch your dollar is to buy what is in season. This produce tastes better and you are not paying the price of the company holding the produce in storage for months on end.
Know how many you need
Buy what you need so you do not end up with produce that has gone bad. We love having produce in our house but I find there are times that we do not get to some of it fast enough. I have started to list out what we go through each week and buy that amount. This has helped lower our produce expenses and saves me from having to compost produce that has gone bad.

Find alternative uses
Finding alternative uses for produce can save a ton of money and stretch your dollar farther. I love having bananas in the house and tend to buy them at Costco because they are normally the cheapest. There are weeks that we do not get through all of the bananas before they go bad. Each week I go through the bananas and pull out the ones that are too brown for me. I mash the bananas into a Ziploc bag and freeze them. They work perfect to have on hand when I want to make banana bread. When I want to make bread I pull the bag out in the morning and they are ready when I want to use them.
Leftover vegetables can be used to make soup. If you do not have time to make soup you can cut the vegetables and freeze them. That way you have them on hand the next time you make soup.
Check unit prices
I look at the price of produce to determine what we are going to have in the house for the week.
This week when I went to Costco they had strawberries for $1.49 a pound or blackberries for $2.50 a pound. I quickly decided that I would buy more strawberries and wait on the blackberries. Knowing that I could stretch my money buy saving a dollar a pound.