If you're like me, you want to save some money on your groceries, but you hate couponing. For me couponing took a lot of time and energy. They were usually for items I didn't use or need and I often forgot to take them along. When I did take them I would often come home only saving a few cents. Since my goal wasn't to stock pile a garage full of toothbrushes ( who needs that many toothbrushes anyway?) I soon gave up on couponing.
Determined to find a way to save and lower my grocery bill I learned to Shop the Deals and to Price Match.
Shopping the Deals is simply to look through the ad's to find the sales and best deals of the week at multiple stores in your area. This can be a great way to get the very best price for your groceries.
But wait! You don't want to spend all day and drive all around town just to save a few bucks? What if I told you that you don't have to!?!
This my friends is where the wonderful world of Price Matching comes in.
Price Matching is available at Wal-Mart. Their policy states that if you find the same item for a lower price, they will match it at the register with no ad needed!
Price Matching has saved me anywhere from 30%-50% on my groceries. I've been at this for a while now and had to learn the ins and outs. I got discouraged at times but I have now perfected my system. It's easy, organized, efficient, and dare I say FUN?!
Let me share with you a few tips and tricks to get you price matching and saving your family some money!
1. Look through the ad's. Most stores have their ad's online. Store ad's run through different days.
Don't have time to look through all the ad's? Try pricematchwithrachel.com. ( Local to Utah only. If you are out of state, just try googling price matching lists and you can usually find something!)
Rachel is super duper awesome and has all the deals ready for you on her website!
Her site has been a lifesaver/timesaver for me so be sure to stop over there to take advantage of her awesome service. Just be sure to leave a comment that I sent you!
2. Plan your meals. You can do this before or after looking through the ad's. I do a little of both. When I was first starting out it was easier for me to plan my meals and then search the ad's to see if what I needed was on sale. Now that I am in more of a flow I am able to plan my meals around the deals.
3. NEVER, EVER, shop without a list. If you do, I promise you will spend more time and more money at the store. I shop with my grocery list and price match list.
On my grocery list I have a little * by the items that I will price match. I also write down the original price of an item so that I can calculate my savings once I get home.
4. No Kids. At least for your first few price matching trips. If this means you have to shop at 10:30 p.m. then that is when you should shop. Leaving the kids at home will help you to concentrate, get you through the store faster, no tantrums, and as an added bonus a little break for you!
5. Shop Organized. As you can see in the list above that I categorize my grocery list. That way I can get through the store quickly and not miss anything and have to go back. I start my trip in the produce section and work my way back around the perimeter of the store. Produce > Meat> Cheese>Diary> Frozen> back down through the aisles ending with the bread section so that it doesn't get smashed flat.
6. Use stickers, post it's, or labels. I take along a sheet of labels with me. When I come to an item that I am going to price match I simply write the price and the store that the price was found at. I stick it on my item. This saves so much time at the register and your cashier will love you. I promise, they have told me!
7. Match store brand to store brand. If Western Family is on sale then you would buy the Great Value brand at Walmart. Make Sense?
8. Make sure your ounces/lbs match up. When price matching it must be an identical item. So make sure that if the 18oz of peanut butter is on sale that you get the 18 oz and not the 32 oz.
9. Be courteous and friendly. First thing when I start loading my groceries on the belt is let the cashier know that I am going to be price matching some items. I try to put items that I am not matching up first and leave all the matching to the end. Also good so that I can watch and make sure prices are being entered correctly.
Let those who get in line behind you know that you are price matching. That way if they don't want to wait they can choose another line. ( I've even been known to let those behind me know that they can get lower prices on some of their items that I see in their cart!)
10. Be confident and don't get discouraged/overwhelmed. Be confident when you are at the register, and review the policy before you go so you don't run into any trouble. ( as a side note, I have never had any trouble, but it never hurts to be prepared!)
Don't get overwhelmed. This took me many months to get to a comfortable level of price matching and organized shopping. Maybe start slow. Instead of trying to price match your whole trip, just try a few items. Give yourself time to learn.
If you need to, ask for help! I've already gone on two personal shopping trips in the past month to help others learn the ropes of price matching and organized shopping.
If there is one thing that makes me happy like saving money does.....it's helping others save money! Don't hesitate to ask for help!
I hope these tips and tricks help you out. Now get out there and start saving your family some money!
If you have any questions, need something clarified, or have tips of your own please leave a comment!
Linking up today with ABowlFullOfLemons