So, in past works 4 me Wednesday posts Ive told you how I do my grocery shopping at a multitude of places. This is true! I do my main shopping at Giant food stores (following the sales) and then pick up additional sale items (that I also have coupons for) at Weis, Food Lion, Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-aid and Wal-mart. What I didnt talk about though was my love for shopping for our households produce at the local farmers market. Close to me are 2 really great farmers markets. One is open on Tuesdays and the other on Fridays. Between the 2 I can usually buy almost all of my produce at one or the other for a significantly lower price than the grocery store!
I decided this week to really take a look at the items I was buying and price match them for you for this weeks post. This is just a sampling of the items I bought, but overall my savings by shopping at the farmers market is quite significant!
Here's the comparison¦
Giant VS Market
Bananas @ 0.59/lb Bananas @ 0.39/lb
Kiwi @ $0.69/1 Kiwi @ $0.33/1
American Cheese @ $6.99/lb American Cheese @ $5.19/lb
Lemons @ $1/1 Lemons @ $1/4
Lettuce @ $1.89/1 Lettuce @ $0.89/1
Tomatoes @ $2.99/lb Tomatoes @ $1.79/lbStrawberries @ $4.99/quart Strawberries @2.99/quart
Again, this is only a sampling. However, just looking at this list you can see that I save about 50% on our familyâ€™s produce needs just by taking a separate trip to market each week. Some other tips for buying at Marketâ€¦
Shop early in the day for the least amount of crowd, but later in the day for the best deals. (Often the stand owners are willing to cut more of a deal if they have items left at the end of the day. They donâ€™t want to have to haul them home.)
Comparison shop prices. Do a full circle of stands before beginning your shopping. Often there are 1 or 2 stands that are cheaper than the others.
Don't be afraid to ask for negotiations on price, but be fair!
Take your own bags/baskets. This helps to keep the stand prices low and helps the environment.
If you love to shop at market or are giving it a try for the first time I would love to hear your comments. Please leave me a note at Melanie@dearlydomestic.com or on facebook.
Works 4 Me Wednesday~ Why I Donâ€™t Shop at Wal-mart (well- not regularly anywayâ€¦)
Todayâ€™s works 4 me is not intended to dis-respect or â€œbad mouthâ€ Wal-Mart. But, in fact, it is just that â€“ what works 4 me. In the past my husband and I used to do all of our grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. We found it was so convenient to just go there for our groceries and while there be able to get a pretzel at the Auntie Anneâ€™s, pick up some other household items, and even drop off film and wait for it to be developed while doing our grocery shopping. All of these facts are still true of Wal-Mart. If we wanted to we could still do one stop shopping there. However, we found out that shopping at Wal-Mart in this way came with a humongous price tag for our family. Our grocery budget was way too large. And after some comparison shopping at other grocery stores we found we could save so much more money by shopping elsewhere. So below are the reasons why I do not do my full grocery shopping at Wal-mart anymoreâ€¦
*While Wal-Mart may do â€œroll-backsâ€ rarely do they run real â€œsales.â€ Their everyday prices for many of the items our family buys do not compete with the sale prices of these items at other stores. And by following the â€œstock-pileâ€ rule of thumb for sale items we can save so much more money.
*Wal-Mart wonâ€™t double coupons. Other grocery stores will take my .75/1 coupons and double them. This saves me a lot of money because I use a lot of coupons.
*There is no on-site butcher. At the other grocery stores we frequent we have gotten to know the butchers. We know the days and times they discount their meat and can ask the butcher to slice cuts certain ways for us.
*Typically speaking they do not buy their produce fresh. I prefer to get my produce at the local farmerâ€™s market. This saves me money and helps the local community and economy.
*Itâ€™s too convenient to just pick up â€œthis or thatâ€ while doing your grocery shopping because most Wal-martâ€™s are of the SuperStore variety. I may have to make an extra trip later in the week to pick up a household item or what-not, but often times I find after Iâ€™ve come home and thought about it, I really donâ€™t need that item afterall.
I would like to note, that I do shop at Wal-Mart. If they are running a roll-back on an item I have a coupon for and I can score a great deal or for certain items whose everyday items are cheaper I do shop there. However, we have found that for our family doing our regular weekly or bi-weekly shopping there does not make sense. It is not what works 4 me. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please shoot me an email at Melanie@dearlydomestic.com or leave me a note on Facebook.
I recently read an article about how switching from monthly to annual payment plans on many insurance policies can save you money. So, I decided I would look into the matter and see if it could save our family money. I spent only a few minutes digging out our families car insurance and life insurance policies (because my filing system is so efficient now! *see last week's works for me...). After making some phone calls here is what I found...
1) Our car insurance provider does not offer a discount for paying your car insurance once a year instead of monthly when you have your payment automatically withdrawn. However, if you pay with a check each month then sending a check once a year could save you some money on your car insurance. (You'll want to check with your individual provider. This was only the case for Nationwide.)
2) Our life insurance carriers DO offer a nice discount for paying only once a year instead of paying monthly. By switching my husband's life insurance policy, as well as my own, to being paid annually instead of monthly I saved our family $60 for the year on life insurance policies. (Again, this was for Nationwide. You'll want to check with your own provider.)
3) I did call our home insurance provider, but because of the way our escrow account was set up I was unable to make any changes to this account.
For my family, saving $60 for the year on these payements was definately worth the few minutes I spent on the phone making the changes. Don't forget to look into business and renter's insurance if these apply to your particular situation. I would LOVE to hear how you make out after calling your providers. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on facebook and leave me a comment.
Works 4 Me Wednesday! ~ Saving on Baby.
Most likely you know someone who is expecting or has a little one or you yourself do. Lately it seems like everyone I know is having a baby. In fact, as many of you know my husband and I have a little one who is only days shy of becoming 11 months old. And â€“ to add to that â€“ we are expecting another bundle of joy in September! So, saving on baby has become even more important to me.
In thinking about where most of my money goes these days for my little one it would have to be towards diapers, wipes, and formula (Breastfeeding worked for us up until the point of pregnancy. ) These items can be SUPER expensive. But they donâ€™t have to be! So, todayâ€™s works 4 me post is dedicated to saving money in these areas.
Two websites/programs that I love are Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards Program and Pamperâ€™s Gifts to Grow Program. If you arenâ€™t currently using these two programs I highly recommend signing up! Iâ€™ve earned and won coupons for several free packages of diapers, wipes, and other gifts from them. It doesnâ€™t cost you anything to join and the rewards are wonderful.
How it works...
When you purchase a Pamperâ€™s or Huggieâ€™s product there is a sticker on the product with a rewards code. You enter these rewards codes onto their websites and you can then redeem them for coupons, instant win games, and prizes. I love playing the Huggieâ€™s instant win games. Often I play late in the day or early in the morning for the best chance of winning.
If you would like to get started with Huggies here are a few codes you can use to start building your pointsâ€¦
BFHFCXTSNWHKPGB (5 Points)
BGTRQWCSXXZRPGB (5 points)
BHDKRRTJGTKSPGB (1 point)
â€¨BHDXQNGLHTWCPGB (1 point)â€¨
BHDZCSZGHZPLPGB (1 point)
Pampers codes worth 10 points eachâ€¦
Another way I save money on these items is by using my high value coupons at Walgreens, Rite-aid, and CVS stores. If you watch the flyers in your Sunday paper you will notice that one of these stores runs a sale on either Pampers or Huggies each week. Stack your store coupons and manufacturers coupons with the sales and you can really save big!
In fact, today, I took a trip to Rite-Aid to stock up on Huggies. Hereâ€™s how I scored $30 in diapers for under $5.
I bought 3 packages of Huggies diapers on sale for 8.99/each (until March 27)
I used (2) $3/1 coupons (here and here)
I stacked this with a $5/$25 Rite-aid coupon and
I also had a coupon that I won on Huggieâ€™s website (using my points) for a free pack of diapers.
As far as formulaâ€¦
I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding. But this is only my opinion. If you are a mom who relies on formula then there are ways you can save on formula too. Wal-mart often offers samples of their brand of formula, as does Samâ€™s club if you search for â€œfree samplesâ€ on their websites or go here for Wal-martâ€™s freebies. Also, many of the big formula manufacturers will allow you to request samples and coupons. Check their websites and email them asking to join their mailing lists. If you are into social networking on Facebook and Twitter you can always put a plea out asking other momâ€™s whose kids are older or who donâ€™t use formula to pass their samples and coupons onto you.
And what about when baby moves to solids? Most people stock up on jars of baby food. We did this some at our house at the very beginning. But as Hannah began to be able to pick foods up herself she graduated to eating exactly what we ate (minus the spices and such). At almost 11 months she now eats exactly what weâ€™re eating at the dinner table. But if youâ€™re looking for a few coupons in the jarred baby food realm, here they areâ€¦
Register with Gerber here to have coupons mailed to you at home or to print.
*Clothing, hygiene and other items we'll have to save for another edition of Works 4 Me as there is just not enough room on this post! (smile)
Finally the sun is shining here in our neighborhood after a week of rainy, cloudy weather. But while I was stuck inside I decided to get a jump start on cleaning. I wasn't just doing your ordinary house cleaning, however. I decided to attack my filing cabinet and bill paying station. You see, once a year (usually tax time- so i can get everything in order) I completely tear apart and re-organize my filing cabinet and bill paying section of our home office. I completely encourage you to give it a try. It is something that if you only do once or twice a year will definately make a big difference. So, here are the steps that WORK 4 ME to get my office in order...
1) Start with the filing cabinet (if you don't already have one- make a place where you can store financial statements and receipts in a way that is easily assessable).
2) Make sure you label each folder in your cabinet clearly. My cabinet contains the following categories... (Your may be different depending on what works for you.)
*Savings Statements (a folder for each account. Label the folder so you'll know which account goes where.)
*Savings deposit slips
*Checking Statements (again, one for each account)
*IRA or other retirement and banking accounts
*Insurance (health and otherwise)
3) Besides my filing cabinet I also have 2 other stations for organizing and filing paperwork.
*A fire safe that contains all of my family's important documents (birth certificates, social security cards, copies of wallet contents, stocks, bonds, etc...)
*A file box for receipts.
My receipts are also broken into categories...
*Receipts that go back 1 month from current date... (where i can put clothing receipts and such in case of returns...)
4) And finally, I have a bill paying station. In this I keep current bills that need paid (ordered with dates due chronologically). I also keep extra envelopes, stamps, calculator, checkbook, pen, and return address label. My address book can also be found here along with thank you notes. (For sending out a quick thank you if need be when i write the bills...)
Some people hang on to much more paperwork than I do. I am a "thrower." I don't hang on to grocery receipts and clothing receipts and such past a month. I'm not saying it's wrong... it's just what works 4 me. What works for you and organizing your family's finances and paperwork? I'd love to know. Leave me a comment on facebook or send me an email at email@example.com.