More On Meals: Spend Less Make More

There are a metric fuqueton of coupon-clipping, money-saving websites designed to keep you searching for the latest, greatest, biggest deals and savings every single minute of every single day. To that, I say:

Sure, if you don't have to work and you can afford the gas to drive here, there, hither, tither and yon just to save 10 cents at one store, go for it. And, since I am most definitely known to be wrong, on many occasions, I could be wrong about this observation--couponing actually makes you buy MORE. I hear the stories about the women who can get a month's worth of groceries for a measly $20...but I have yet to make that happen in my own shopping cart. I do not have the patience, the time, or the dedication to buy 5000 newspapers just to get the coupons, nor do we have stores here that double coupons, or let you combine a store coupon with a manufacturer's coupon, etc.  They're getting wise to it, and those days, trust me, will come to an end.  

So in the interest of saving your sanity, focus on the things that ARE reasonable.  
  • Loyalty cards 
  • BOGO offers
  • 10 for $10 offers
  • Sunday coupons
  • Online coupons
  • Store or generic "value" brands
  • Clearance items
Any combination of these will help you save several $ on your shopping without driving you insane in the process. Well, maybe just a little insane. 

Loyalty Pays

I have yet to see a Wally World loyalty card and I despise that particular business, so I attempt to avoid shopping there whenever possible. The only reason I go there now is to get Polaner All-Fruit because my normal store, Meijer, stopped carrying it for some ungodly reason.  Damn them. Kroger, while carrying it charges about 50% MORE than Meijer did, and I can get it for $1.98 at Wally World. Puke, but it works until I find something better.  

Anyways, get loyalty cards at the stores you shop most....Meijer, Kroger, Costco, wherever. These cards give you access to savings that you won't get if you do NOT have them, especially at Kroger.  Keep in mind that I'm writing about what works here, in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana, but this can apply to whatever stores you have in your area. At Meijer, the loyalty card is in the form of "MPerks". You go online, clip their store and manufacturer coupons, and get the chance to earn big bucks for buying so much of whatever....say, buy $20 worth of produce and get $5 off coupon.  They don't offer rewards as often as I would love them to, but when they do, I can usually hit the big mark and earn $20 off my bill. Kroger, you have to swipe your loyalty card at check out...and their "sale" prices for loyalty will NOT apply if you don't have that card.  Kind of a bait and switch tactic, in my humble opinion....because they make the loyalty price big, and keep the normal price small...and then leave you with sticker shock at checkout if you don't have their card.  I don't shop there much. Their stores are weird and somewhat very overpriced. I have a CVS card, but rarely go there, as we don't use a lot of prescription drugs, so there's not much need to make a special trip. (See you save money on gas, if you do NOT go places!)  

You get it.  Card = Saving Money


The ultimate delight when you want to stock up, if you can find multiple coupons...the BOGO coupons.  I just had one for shaving cream that the beloved uses...so we get two. Stocked up. VOILA. Stores will also offer BOGOS on stuff too, just have to watch the ads. 

10 for $10

My personal favorite. Who doesn't want stuff for a buck. You DO have to watch it though because sometimes, the stuff is already a buck, so you're really not getting a deal at all. This is great for produce, like bell peppers or carrots or mushrooms....not so great for those individual broccoli crowns, which are like $0.75 regularly...you'd be paying MORE. Yikes.  Also great for croutons, or canned fruit that's normally way over $1. You get it. And, usually, you do NOT have to buy 10 items to get the $1 price....just make sure your store allows that first before you go insane. You will NOT be saving much money if you have to buy 10 of everything.


Whether you get them from the Sunday paper, at the checkout lane or online, coupons work. Even if you can't find a store that doubles them. Places like Coupons.com and Redplum.com let you pick what you want to print. The coupons that print at checkout at your store (at least at Meijer) SOMETIMES are a killer deal....but mostly I get coupons for Coffeemate, since that's the one thing I buy EVERY SINGLE TIME I am there. Then, when you have a favorite brand of something (here, it's Earthbound Organic or Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressing), you can sign up on their company websites and usually on FB to get even more coupons.  The real trick is to use them when the stuff is on sale.  For instance, sometimes, Meijer has a 2 for $4 sale on the Marzetti dressing, so I get them and use the coupon which makes them 2 for $3.  Can't really beat over 50% savings, now can you?  Same with the Earthbound stuff.  2 for $5 lettuce, less the $1 off 2 coupon...you get it...just watch for sales. They happen often. Sign up for the coupons, clip the Sundays and of f you go.

Store Brands

Ewwwwwwww. Sometimes, yeah, eww. Other times, no...it's good. It's the same.  Pasta, croutons, dairy (sour cream, milk, half & half, etc.), spices. You just have to watch and make sure it really IS cheaper than the name brand stuff.  And, surprisingly, Meijer carries all natural, peanut only peanut butter...no added sugar, no added nothing, just peanuts. And it's cheaper than the overprocessed, sugar-ridden crap.  We will be oh-so-very crushed and saddened if they ever stop making it. You just have to try things and see what works for your own tastebuds. That really is the only way.


Especially meat, which you can freeze as soon as you get home or use immediately, produce, which yeah, I'm not into the whole everything organic fad, because I've worked in produce. I know. I see. The ONLY way you're going to get truly organic stuff is to grow it yourself and even then, you're going to fail unless you live under a dome on land that has never been touched by humans.

So, I guess what I want to emphasize is that there are tons of ways to save money. Maybe not as much as the coupon-freaky people do (no offense), but still....
  • Use these methods (coupons, clearance, etc.)
  • Make a list
  • Buy what you really need and only what you really NEED 
If you have some trick or method to your own shopping madness, do share!  

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