I love my wife. Not only is she the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, but she is also very, very thrifty. I had previously highlighted her thriftiness as she obtained free baby clothes, toys and even strollers while we were saving money in preparation for baby.
One aspect that I haven’t shared is how she is able to save money on food and groceries. If she had more time on her hands, I really think she could compete with an Extreme Couponer. She loves coming home from the store and playing the “Guess How Much I Paid” game with me when she pays near to nothing for an item.
Before I got married, I regularly spent $500 on groceries alone for myself per month. Not to mention the $200 per month that I spent dining out at restaurants. I wasn’t even dining out socially or leisurely most of the time. Usually it was just because I was too lazy to cook that particular night.
Once I got married, I basically stopped eating fast food for dinner because my wife can cook. Have I bragged enough about my wife yet? Because she is truly amazing. I grew up eating typical American food, but my wife is Iranian and makes these incredible homemade dishes that make my mouth water as I think about it. My picky palate was skeptical about this foreign food at first, but I quickly became a convert and wondered where this food had been all my life.
The Way I Grocery Shop
Early on, I still did a little grocery shopping. That was short-lived though. She didn’t understand why I wouldn’t create my grocery list in adherence to the weekly deals. She also didn’t understand why I insisted upon going to the more expensive grocery store in the area. My grocery receipts would appall her. I had no excuse except for the fact that I preferred the more expensive grocery store since the aisles were wider and since I was more familiar with where everything was located in it. Needless to say, she didn’t find those reasons good enough to justify my spending.
She and I both knew I was willing to pay extra for the convenience. But, she insisted that taking some time on the front-end would save us time and more importantly money on the back-end if shopping trips were planned in advance.
Starting then, each week she would go through the circulars for four different grocery stores in our vicinity, circling that week’s best deals. In no time at all, the amount of money that we were spending dropped by $100 for groceries, with two mouths to feed. One of our most-circled advertisements is that of Aldi. The prices there are so low that they usually beat out the competition.
I know many people also save a ton of money by couponing. We clipped coupons regularly before the arrival of our little guy. Since he has joined our family, my wife doesn’t seem to have enough time to go through the circulars and clip coupons from the weekly newspaper. However, if she knows she is buying a certain brand, she will look online to find any free printable coupons.
The nice thing about some grocery stores like Aldi is they don’t even accept manufacturer’s coupons. So she doesn’t feel as bad about her lack of couponing these days.
However, my restaurant spending hasn’t dropped much. Totally my fault though. I use to bring leftovers for lunch at work, but I found that eating outside for lunch provided a much needed break midday. When I previously brought lunch with me to work, I definitely saved a ton of money. But, I like to get out of work environment and clear my head. It allows me to relax and decompress from a busy morning.
I know many of you that are striving for FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) bring your lunch with you to work, and you save a ton of money. On top of that, many of you are amazing cooks and enjoy eating your leftovers. As amazing of a cook as my wife is, I have never enjoyed eating the same meal two or three days in a row. I am a leftover snob, and I know it. It’s a weakness of mine that I recognize. Fortunately for us, my wife is not nearly as picky and often times prefers leftovers. So thankfully, food is rarely wasted in our home.
So, with the knowledge that I frequent a handful of restaurants weekly, my wife was determined to help me save money during my lunch hour. She peruses through websites like CardCash and Cardpool to see if there are any discounted gift cards for the restaurants that I go to each week. Discounts range can range from 2-30%, but whatever the discount, it is money saved.
So what do you all think? What do you do to save money on groceries? Have you ever purchased discounted gift cards? Share your thoughts below.