Before I took the couponing class last May, I had no clue what we spent on groceries. Even after I took the class, I got so excited about saving money, that I went out and got almost everything that I found a good deal for. I had no idea how to stop myself from buying up too much. Yeah, I was getting a ton of stuff, but was still spending too much money.
I was plagued when I would see chicken for $2.00 or less a pound and want to buy up a year's worth. ;) I didn't have a way of knowing how much we would use of it or know that it would be on sale at least every other week (most weeks if you go to different stores).
When we sat down to create a budget (as I spoke of in a past post), we came up with $450 as our goal for groceries a month. To some that might seem like too little and to others that might seem like a lot. Our grocery budget includes all food, personal care, and home care products.
I decided to break it down so that I could really figure out how much I wanted to spend on certain things.
I divided it up into three categories:
1) Monthly things - meats, toilet paper, and paper towels (I aim to buy these things for a great deal and get them at the beginning of the month so that I don't have to go looking for them all the time during the month)
2) Weekly things - milk, eggs, and produce (We go about once a week for these things - I don't include yogurt or cheese because those are couponed items)
3) Couponing things - this is what is left over for me to stretch as far as I can to get pantry food items, cleaning products, and personal care items
Monthly Things (I aim to spend $100 a month):
Chicken - aim to get this for less than $2.00 per pound
Ground Beef - aim to get this for less than $3.00 per pound
Roast - aim to get this for less than $3.00 per pound
Fish (Tilapia) - aim to get this for less than $4.00 per pound
Shrimp - aim to get this for less than $5.00 per pound
Toilet Paper - aim to get this for 12pk for $5.00
Paper Towels - aim to get this for 6pk for $5.00
Weekly Things (I aim to spend $25 a week):
I shop around for the best deals on the produce I want. I tend to shop more stores than the average person because it is worth the time for the savings to me.
Couponing Things (I have about $250 a month):
I aim to get as much stuff (especially things we are low or out of) for my budget.
Once you figure out your budget and break it down, you will find that you have a lot more control over getting coupon-crazy.
REMEMBER: There are always good deals. :)