Practical Saver: I subscribe to an online newsletter that tells me all of the best deals in my area and how to couple coupons with the deals to get these items for free or for just a few cents. This is a really good way to save money on food but it does require (at least for me!) a lot of time and preparation. I mentioned before that I haven't been utilizing this service since I have felt overwhelmed with other responsibilities. I'm thinking about starting back up this month just because it is so hard to miss out on those deals. Hmmm... sanity or savings? SAVINGS! Haha!
Price Matching: I almost always do price matching, at least for fruits and veggies. I save an enormous amount of money this way, often getting blueberries, strawberries, and pineapples for .99, romaine lettuce for less than a buck, and apples for around .69 a lb. I just grab my ads (usually 5 in all) circle the item on the ad, and write down than item and the price on a cheat sheet. I am amazed at how much produce I can get for so little utilizing this method of spending.
The 99 Cent Store: Lastly, I often shop at the 99 Cent Store-- not to be confused with the Dollar Tree! The 99 Cent Store has buyouts-- items stores are getting rid of. I get cookie dough (convenience, I know!), yogurt, and crackers for cheap! Occasionally, I will buy the boys lunchables for a treat. The lunchables I bought last time were a great deal considering that they were the large ones that included a drink, the meal, and a snack; these are normally twice the price I paid. I also buy my flour tortillas and enchilada sauce from there. You just never know what you will find at the 99 Cent Store! I once found those Vita-balls-- the vitamin gumballs-- and bought up the entire shelf for my sister who's children will only take vitamins that are chewy and wrapped in sugar and food coloring. Hey, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down-- right?
From the 99 Cent Store
(Athenos Yogurt was .25)
These are a few of the ways our family stretches our food budget. So, we aren't the greatest at saving, but we aren't the most frivolous either-- we do what works for us :) There are many more websites and blogs that know much more about this kind of thing than I do. If you would like more information, leave me a comment and I'll send you a link to one of those websites.