Using the weekly grocery flyers to plan my menu has been a key to keeping my grocery bill down. After first “taking inventory” of what I already have on hand, the next step is to look at what the sales are that week. For me, I get my weekly flyers twice a week – on Thursdays and on Saturdays. My Sobey’s flyer comes on Thursday and my Superstore flyer comes on Saturday. As I’ve mentioned before, I have found these two stores to be the best bang for my buck. There are rare exceptions, and I’m always scouting for better deals, but for now, this is my method.
Flyers can be tricky. Generally speaking, the items advertised on the front and back pages of the flyer are the best deals. Inside the flyer, there are sometimes other sales and good deals, but the front and back pages are the best. Also, flyers often list items with the price, leading you to believe that it’s on sale, when in fact, it’s the same price as it always is! This is one reason why it’s a good idea to keep track of what you’re spending for your usual items. Some people use a price book for this. I have yet to start mine, but I plan to do that in the near future. You can do a search online for pricebooks and come up with a wealth of information.
Anyway, after perusing the flyers and getting a good idea of what will be on sale when I do my grocery shopping, I plan my menu using as many of the sale items as possible. For example, if canned tuna is on sale for a great deal, you can bet we’ll be having tuna sandwiches and probably at least one other tuna meal that week. Also, if you have enough room in your grocery budget, when you come across a really amazing deal, stock up on the item if it’s something you use regularly.
For Canadians, http://www.flyerland.ca has most of the flyers you would need to plan your grocery shopping wisely. There are all the major grocery store flyers on that website. Make use of them!
For Calgarians, if you live in a community that publishes a monthly newsletter booklet, make sure you look in it for the 10% off Sobey’s coupon! If the book isn’t delivered to your home, check your local library. I noticed that the library nearest my home has all the neighborhood newsletters for my quadrant of the city. This coupon is very valuable particularly on Sobey’s Dollar Days. HEADS UP!!! That is happening THIS WEEKEND till next Friday. This is a WAY better deal than the 10% Tuesday. Often, the 10% Tuesday is a trick – they jack up the prices for the 10% Tuesday. If you WAIT and use your coupon with Dollar Days, not only are the prices great, but you get an EXTRA 10% off.
For example, this week, many of my staple items are on sale at Sobey’s for Dollar Days. There’s canned tuna, canned tomato sauce, canned pineapple, etc. All for $1. With my coupon, I’ll get each item for $0.90. In many cases, this is cheaper than Superstore, but not always.
Another advantage to keeping tabs on the flyers is that you learn the patterns of the sales. I’ve noticed that many of my regular items are on sale in approximately 6-week cycles. This is helpful because I can then buy 6 weeks worth of the item when it’s on sale, if I have the room in my budget, enabling me to never pay full price for that item. It’s also helpful because I can wait for an item if I know it will be on sale in a week or two. If I’m wanting to buy chicken legs and I know they are on sale in two weeks, I won’t plan meals that use chicken legs until the sale week arrives.
Practice using flyers and save!