Couponing (err, sort of) Take II.

You all may remember that I became especially fond of couponing a couple months ago.

I still am.  I really haven't found any other way to save significantly in our food/household/toiletries budget.  There were just a few blips in the system.  One big blip is that items that should have been occasional treats were so cheap, they were becoming part of our usual menus.  What I was finding super cheap was not necessarily super healthy.

Yet loading up the grocery cart with cuts of meat and fresh veggies isn't always helpful to your budget bottom line.  I knew for our health and our wallets there needed to be a happy medium.

I think today I may have found it.

Now, our family has a modest income.  We may never be able to purchase organic or grass fed.  But 'fresh' is an improvement upon any modern processed diet, and we're making the effort to keep 'fresh' a priority in our home.

So what's the solution?  Walmart price-matching.  You can find their policy here.

I searched through the ads of about three grocery stores in our local area, including one that is always known for great produce deals.  I found the best 'fresh' sales - produce and meat cuts, and made a list of those to take with me to Walmart.

Once inside Walmart, I found the items that matched my list (a few of the items Walmart didn't carry, like Vidalia onions - what a shame!).  I then made a second list while I was in the store of the items I was actually purchasing, and the prices I needed matched (on a sticky-note so my cashier could stick it to the bottom of her register key-pad).  I searched for a kind-looking cashier. (Hardest part of the effort, I tell you.)  And then I placed my price-match items on the belt, spaced out and in THE EXACT ORDER of my sticky- note list.  I was OVERLY friendly to my cashier and went at a time of day where the lines were low.  I told her how grateful I was for her help, and that her help made it possible for my family to have good food on a modest budget.  (Which really is true!)

It worked.  (I hear wild applause, thank you.)

And here's what the savings looked like:

1 lb of 93% Lean Ground Beef - was $4.48 - price matched at $2.99

Chuck Roast - was $12.01 and $9.05 - price matched at per lb sale price $6.94 and $5.23

Cantaloupe - was $2.18 - price matched at 2 for $1

Red, Yellow, and Green Peppers - were $.75 - price matched at 2 for $1

Campari Tomatoes - were $3.99 - price matched at $.99

Nectarines and Plums - were $1.48/lb - price matched at $.88/lb

You can see the savings added up!

I was able to get the rest of the items I needed at the regular Walmart prices, which tend to be fairly good.  

I can't possibly go to three grocery stores each time we need food.  This saved me an incredible amount of time and gas.  I'm excited to see how this system continues to work for us.  One last tip - the price-matched items only accounted for about 1/3 of my total order.  The process takes a bit of time for the cashier, so you might want to keep that in mind when deciding just how many items you'd like to price-match each trip.

So what's the meal plan?  Shepherd's Pie tonight topped with parsnips and cauliflower.  Crock-Pot Roasted Chicken tomorrow night, and Chuck Roast for Wednesday!  My mouth is watering already.

Hope this is a help to you!  Blessings!

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