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Alright, who ate all of my 100 calorie packs? No one? Yeaaaah….seems like “No one,” “I didn’t do it,” and “I dunno” make an appearance at my house at least twice a day. Sometimes I feel like I have 3 more kids with those names. Luckily, I won’t have to go without them for too long since I’ll be placing my monthly free grocery order in a couple of weeks. On Friday, I showed you how I earn free gift cards so that I can order free gift groceries and how I do it every single month. That’s all fine and dandy, but if you aren’t sure where to look for the deals, it won’t do you much good. Am I right?
Did you miss part 1 of this post? You can check it out HERE. You’ll want to take a look at it before you read this one.
How I Buy $275 (or MORE!) in FREE Groceries EVERY Month
When you’re earning free gift cards each month specifically to buy groceries with, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to watch how much you’re spending. Yes, you’re shopping online, but the entire idea of getting the gift cards and buying what you can with them is to save money. The very last thing you want to do is waste the money that you’ve worked so hard to earn. So as much as I would like to tell you to just run out and grab whatever deals you want, I can’t.
You will still need to hunt for the deals.
The thing with searching for grocery deals online though is that it isn’t quite as hard as it might be if you were searching for deals in store. There are so many different sites available that you really do stand a fantastic chance at finding a deal or a good price. There is one thing I want you to remember though:
Even if you end up paying the exact same price that you would in stores, you’re still saving money. How? Because you are using gift cards to pay instead of your hard earned cash. Any money left in your pockets that you would otherwise spend should be looked at as a savings. I would rather pay full price for something and use gift cards to pay for it than I would pay full price for an item and pay cash for it. Wouldn’t you?
When I’m ready to search for deals, I hit very specific sites. First, I head to Amazon. Amazon has two programs that I really like to use to help save on groceries. The first is Subscribe & Save. With Subscribe & Save, you save between 5% and 20% on your order by agreeing to a monthly or bi-monthly delivery of that item. This can be especially good for saving on things like toilet paper, detergent and other household items. I know that an auto shipment sounds scary, but the absolute fantastic thing about Subscribe & Save is that you don’t have to continue it once you receive your first delivery. So if you find a better price (and chances are good that you will), Amazon allows you to cancel the auto shipment.
The other Amazon program that I love is Amazon Prime Pantry. This program is for Amazon Prime members only, but you can score some big deals on everything from seasonings to dog food. Prime pantry does cost $5.99 per box to ship, but usually, especially if you use Amazon coupons with your order, you will save much more than that shipping fee. I have gotten packages of razors that retail for $10 or more for as little as $0.79 with the right coupon, detergent for less than $0.05 per load and more. If I could give you one tip about using Prime Pantry it would be that you have to dig through to really find the deals. There are so many items included that if you’re unwilling to search, you’re probably not going to get the best deals possible. You do have to be a Prime member to use this one. If you’re not already, you can get a free 30 day Amazon Prime trial to test it out to see if you like it. It is well worth it though in more ways than one.
With all of that being said, I don’t always use Subscribe & Save or Prime Pantry. In fact, of the $276.00 order I placed this month, only one item was Subscribe & Save and I did not place a pantry order. Amazon can be awesome for buying items in bulk so sometimes, it’s better to go off program for the items you want and just place a regular order.
Another site that I use heavily is Target.com. You know those awesome Target gift card deals that you love rolling in store? I like them too, but since we don’t have a Target within an hour, I have to do them online. Since Target doesn’t sell groceries online, I use the cards I get from ShopKick to buy things like toilet paper, dog food, laundry detergent and shampoo. I watch Target.com for when they are offering a gift card when you purchase x amount of items then using the gift cards I have on hand to pay, I buy.
For instance, the last Target order that I placed for toilet paper (a couple of months ago) ended up getting me a 2 year supply of toilet paper plus a 3 month supply of paper towels. By the time it was all said and done, I had spent $17.06 cash out of pocket, but got a $10.00 gift card back. My final net price of $7.06 brought my cost down WAY lower than I ever could have gotten in store in my area and I don’t have to worry about stocking up on those items for a while.
One other thing that I like to do when my pantry is full is to cash my earnings out for Paypal. Most of the sites that I use have a Paypal option. In that case, I either pay a bill with it OR I will use that cash to pay for a Zaycon Foods order. Doing a Zaycon order allows me to get fresh meat for my family, in bulk, without paying a dime of my grocery budget. We have a small family so when I buy 40lbs of chicken, it lasts us quite a while. I usually end up freezing 20lbs, dehydrating 5lbs and then canning the remaining 15lbs. The canned 15lbs can feed my family a meal with chicken twice a week for several months and I don’t have to worry about it going bad.
Finally, Walmart.com can be a great place to find deals on things like bottled water and cleaning supplies. The catch is that you have to watch the site for markdowns and you need to use site to store shipping. Otherwise, the shipping costs will make the savings on your item a moot point. The only exception to the Site to Store rule is if you’re spending more than $50.00 overall since they usually offer free shipping on $50 or more.
While I do understand that my method won’t work for some, for us and for a lot of others, it can be a fantastic way to save on their grocery bill. Using this method, I have managed to get my grocery budget down significantly. Yes, it’s work. Yes, it does have its hiccups, but in the end? I’m saving much more than I would if I did it differently and after all…isn’t that what most of us are trying to do?