In my on-going quest to save money on groceries, I found a few great sites that will eliminate your need to ever buy a Sunday paper again! Let’s face it, print is out and virtual is in. Not only do you save money (don’t have to buy the newspaper) but you are also creating less waste and saving trees, woohoo! I have Neighbor Nancy to thank for this great site called Sunday Saver, which allows you to view all of the Sunday paper ads (not just groceries, but everything else too), create a “shopping list” and it even automatically prints out all the coupons you need for the items on your list! You can select by state and even by a specific store. I simply select everything I want to purchase, add it to my “shopping list”, then print it out and place it on our fridge with a magnetic clip. Then, next time I’m heading out the door to run errands I just grab them and go!
The Sunday paper does have a couple other coupon booklet inserts that you won’t find on Sunday Saver, but don’t worry, I’ve got it covered! To get the rest of the coupons that are not store specific go to Coupons, Cool Savings, P&G Saver (not available for all areas), and Kellogg’s. My favorite are the first 2 sites, as they seem to be the most comprehensive.
Shopping with coupons is not only a great way to save money, but it is actually an integral part of meal planning and is highly cost effective! Basically you plan your meals around the items that are on sale, add on any other non-sale items you may need to your shopping list, and stick to the list while in the store! What usually gets the bill running up so high are all of the “impulse buys”, stuff you don’t really need.
For meal planning ideas I love to use the recipe sifter on Recipezaar, so handy for finding ways to use those ingredients that are just sitting in your pantry! You can filter by category (meal course), ingredient (type in whatever you want), or nutrition (great for those on a restricted diet of some sort). My favorite is the ingredient search! Yes, at first you will have thousands of recipes to choose from for any ingredient you type in, but then you simply include or exclude other ingredients as you go along. They will list the most popular ingredients that are also found in recipes with the one you typed in, but if you don’t see something just manually key it into the “search ingredients” box. Play around with the recipe sifter a little, you’ll love it and wonder how you ever got along without it.