Ever since posting about my 50% savings on groceries last week at Harris Teeter, i’ve had several people mention how crazy that is, how they want to know my secrets, or how they just couldn’t imagine spending all that time couponing to save a dollar.

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I’ll begin with some details regarding a normal week’s grocery run.

My go to grocery stores are generally Harris Teeter, Costco, and Food Lion, depending on specials. If I REALLY wanted to get my grocery budget down, i’d likely throw in more stores like Aldi and Walmart, but they aren’t terribly convenient to me and I’m not about to drive all over Raleigh to save a dollar when I can save quite a bit with my triple threat there.

Harris Teeter is truly where the magic happens. On any given day, they double any coupon up to $.99, and often they run a special doubling all coupons up to $2.00. This has allowed for killer savings such as $4.00 off things like Splenda packets.

I understand paper coupons are not the most glamorous or exciting way to save money, but it works. I recommend you sign up for your local Sunday paper, and spend about 20 minutes each week combing through the sale coupons. If you’re local to Raleigh there’s an amazing deal happening on Groupon where you can get a years worth of Sunday News and Observer papers delivered for under $40 with the discount code EXTRA20.

By spending roughly an hour cutting coupons and doing a little research, Kevin and I saved over $30.00 alone on our grocery bill. To make things a little more bearable, equate your savings into an hourly pay rate – I just made $30/hour from the comfort of my home with a glass of wine and Netflix. I don’t even have to worry about income taxes! When you find a company that pays that well with these sorts of benefits, let me know. 😉

Next, I look through a couple grocery store sale ads. Like I mentioned, I stick with my triple threat of Costco, Harris Teeter, and Food Lion. I look at protein options to see what is on sale and what I need to stock up on. Unless I’m getting an everyday low price on bulk purchases from Costco, I generally don’t buy meat or protein options unless they’re on sale. If they are, I stock up big time and freeze them with my Food Saver system. This makes my overall price of groceries go WAY down, and it makes planning meals throughout the week much more enjoyable when I already have a bunch of options on hand.

When grocery shopping, keep in mind that grocery stores will offer convenient ways to up sell you.  You’ll find that a whole onion or pepper costs so much less than the pre chopped options in the veggie or deli sections. Don’t fall for it! Unless you are truly super busy with work or life, I suggest buying items and chopping/dicing/cooking yourself. I tend to prep all of my foods on Sunday to make cooking a breeze throughout my work week.

How about you, what strategies do you implement to cut down on grocery costs? Share in the comments!

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