Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Food and Grocery Coupon Conglom-o-rama

Last night my husband and I paid the monthly bills and we realized something entirely shocking, we’re broke. We are going to have to tighten our belts, count our pennies, and yes… clip our coupons.

Because it is fashionable these days to be low on dough, I have collected a group of coupon links for all of us little people struggling to stay afloat in this economy. Save a penny, earn a penny, right? Coupons are a great way to slow the hemorrhage of cash going to the grocery store as food prices rise. Just be careful of how you use them. Coupons are enticing advertisements designed to lure you to certain products, so try to use them to buy things you would buy otherwise.

These links are somewhat Southern California Centric, so if you have suggestions for other coupon sources, please leave a comment with your tip. I have put a Bookmarker at the bottom of the post so you can check back to this post whenever you need coupons.

Whole Foods - This link lists Specials at the market. The offers are limited, but you can still save money at Whole Foods by sticking to the “365” house brand for staples, cooking fresh foods instead of buying prepackaged, and by checking the following websites for manufacturer coupons.

Organic Valley - Coupons are good for organic dairy.

Organic Prairie - Coupons are for organic meats.

Earth’s Best - Coupons for baby and toddler foods.

Kashi - You have to join MyKashi to get these Kashi coupons, but who knows… maybe you’re a big Kashi eater.

Trader Joes - Their legendary “Flyer” is like a travel magazine complete with pithy stories and hand drawn illustrations. New products and specials are highlighted in the Flyer. Also on the site is a radio Flyer which has Trader Joe’s Staff talking about their products, this will only likely make you spend more dough as you are tempted by the stories.

Bristol Farms - Get the weekly specials for your local store with this link, though generally Bristol Farms is not the place to save. - This site is easy and loaded with brand name savings, but you have to install printer software which keeps track of the coupons you print so you don’t abuse the system.

Smartsource - This is a general coupon site. Unfortunately you have to install printer software here, too. The following stores seem to use the Smartsource coupon engine, so you may want to stop here first.



Von’s / Safeway

Kroger - Ralphs is a Kroger store, so is Food 4 Less, Smith’s, Bakers, and others. If your Kroger Store isn’t listed, check the corporate site here.

Safeway - Vons is a Safeway Store and so is Pavillions, check this site for local Safeway stores in other parts of the country.

Supervalu - Bristol Farms and Albertsons are Supervalu stores. Check for local chains here.

Stop and Shop - An East Coast favorite, check the Circular for bargains before you shop.

Target - No special software required, just pick your coupons and print. Target is so nice.

Smart and Final - Click on Store Specials Button for the local circular. If you haven’t been to a Smart and Final, it is like a Small Club/Bulk Store, but you don’t have been a member to shop there. Lots of great bargains to be found, but some items are limited, for instance they carry no baby supplies.

For Baby Supplies try this link. They’ve got a long list of offers and coupons for your perusal.

Here’s to us all saving a few bucks. Just doing tests for this post I found $15 dollars worth of coupons for things I need and if I take them to Ralphs or Vons, those coupons with be worth $30, since both of those stores have Double Coupons. Check your local stores for Doubling since the savings can add up quickly that way.

Good Luck and Happy Saving!


Son of Food said...

Coupons are great for saving money on products that you buy normally, but we generally try to buy food, not products. Our latest money-saving food adventure has been to participate in in a cooperative beef purchase.

Here's how it works:

We've got a friend who knows a guy who raises and slaughters high quality grass-fed beef. By asking for sides of a certain weight range and knowing a little bit about the herd, we can usually get beef that grades USDA Prime or close to it.

Through an online discussion forum, we figure out who is interested and how much everyone wants, usually in units of 1/8 of a steer to figure out how many sides we want--a side is 1/2. We don't have much freezer space right now, so we split 1/8 with someone else. It comes out to about $2.50-3.00 a pound, independent of the cut of meat, not counting organ meats or bones, which are giveaways to anyone who is interested after we split all the regular cuts.

The organizer takes a survey to figure out what kinds of cuts people want in general, so in the summer we might get more steaks and in the winter more roasts, for instance. The meat comes frozen and we all meet up to make the split--always a festive event. You can't pick and choose every cut like you would at the grocery store, but we try to make it equitable and individuals can make trades among themselves as they see fit, and then you get the challenge of figuring out what to do with a cut you might not normally purchase.

If I get something I don't care for, I figure I can always throw it into the stock. I got a big bag of bones (that I wanted) and a heart that no one wanted, for instance, and made about six quarts of rich beef stock to cook with and in the process rendered about a quart of beef fat for serious French fries.

A couple of weeks ago we made a really nice porterhouse on the indoor grill pan (apartment living, alas, but we do our best) and Grandson of Food (17 months old) couldn't get enough of it. He kept finishing whatever we put on his tray and saying "meat! meat!"

Family of Food said...

Son of Food, your beef co-op experiences would make a nice post of its own... hint - hint.

Son of Food said...

I'll take pictures and write up the next one. It happens about once a year.

Sophia Teper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Family of Food said...

Sophia, thanks for your comment, but it had to be removed.

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