How Much I’m Spending on Food This Holiday Season

Americans probably spend more money in November and December on groceries than several months combined. With back to back holidays and cooking large meals for each, taking goodies to holiday parties and additional grocery spending for while the kids are out of school – out of pocking spending on groceries hits your budget a little hard.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation: The retail cost of menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings increased about 13 percent this year.

I am not sure how much my family spent on our 2011 Thanksgiving grocery purchases but I do know that I spent a lot less than the folks ahead of me in line. And, I know we didn’t spend 13% more than last year!

Alright, so let’s figure out how I am going to beat the national average for our Christmas dinner shopping:

PRICE MATCHING: We price match the items we want from multiple stores and buy them at one store that has a generous price match policy (there are several super stores who price match.) Examples of savings of a few produce items I will be price matching at my favorite super store:Celery: $1.18 each vs. $.50 each Cucumbers: $.68 each vs. $.20 each Onions: $1.68 per lb vs. $.14 per lb Potatoes: $.79 per lb vs. $.49 per lb Yams / Sweet Potatoes: $.86 per lb vs. $.25 per lb

COUPONS: Once I have price matched the items I want to buy, I then add in my coupons for additional savings. Examples of additional savings:Our Thanksgiving turkey I price matched to almost ½ per pound and then used a $3 off coupon! If I remember correctly, I saved 67% off the “retail price.” The next time I go to the store I will be scoring some of our favorite crackers for only $.86 a box instead of $2.50. Again, price matching another store’s advertised price and adding coupons to reduce my overall out of pocket expense.

BUYING AHEAD: I don’t buy the items a few days before. I plan ahead a few weeks prior getting the best deals on each item and save for the big day.There are items I bought near Thanksgiving because they were such a great deal so I bought extra to use for Christmas. During the holidays all these items are on sale at some point and the manufacturers start flooding the market with coupons. This is the best time to buy and save these items for your big cooking day.

Price matching – you do it; you just might not realize that you are. How many times are you online shopping for an item and you visit several online retailers to find you the best price before you buy it? This process can be used to buy groceries too! Did you see how much I saved per pound / each for a few produce items I listed? Think about it – just on my onions, which I use a lot of during my day of cooking, I will save almost $8 for just that one item! Did you realize that you can save that much just by comparing prices?

So, how much will I be spending on my Christmas dinner? I do not have a definite answer but I do know that through using the savings process outlined, I will be saving over half than others in line with me.

The methods I mentioned above are easy to do with a little time invested (not hour and hours each week). If you have questions on how to get started with any of the savings methods mentioned above, please feel free to contact me. I love helping people save money.

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