Christmas food spending

So far I haven’t spent a lot of money really and the latest update is:

 

Garlic – 90p           Was 1.20£

Salt (1kg) – 25p

 

My total spending before rebates is currently: 8.85£

Total after savings: 7.45£

 

Still not a huge savings percentage : 15.82%

But it will probably improve as I go on.

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What is a good price list (UK)

Product Price
Shower gel (brand product) 75p – 1£
Spreadable butter (brand product)
Eggs 10p each
Uncle Ben’s microwaveable pouches 75p-1£
Toothpaste (brand product)
Pens (no brand, pack of circa 30)
Pencils (no brand, pack of circa 30)
Washing up liquid (brand, 1050ml) 1 – 1,50£
Carrots (1kg fresh) 50p
Sanitary pads (double pack, brand) 2,50£

 

Ben & Jerry’s 2,50£
Sweet chili (brand, 190ml) 75p-1£
Soy sauce (brand, 190ml) 75p-1£
Stock cubes (brand, 8 & 12 pack)

 

Shampoo (brand) 1.50 – 2£ per 500ml bottle
Wet cat food (12 pack, brand)

 

Laundry detergent (pods, 29 pods, brand) 4.50£
Laundry detergent (pods, 19 pods, brand) 3.50£
Washing up liquid (383ml, brand) 50p

 

Dry cat food (brand 800gr) 3.50£
Cereal (brand, 500gr)

 

Crisps (brand, in a tube, c.200 gr) 25p – 1£
Cleaning spray (brand) 50p
Jar of pesto (brand, 190ml) 1£-1.50£
Sanitary pads (brand, single pack)

 

This is the start of a list and it will be updated from time to time.

 

Update:

Minced meat (Brand, 500gr, 5%) – 1.70£

How to combine coupons

Coupons used on their own doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to save huge amounts of money every week, not unless you know how to combine them with each other and instore offers. That’s what determines your final savings and out of pocket expense. If you use a coupon on an item while it’s full price and without any other vouchers or rebates, then that’s a wasted effort and certainly a wasted coupon. Let’s say that you’re going to buy two packs of canned mackerel because you have two 50p off coupons for brand X. The full price for one pack of mackerel is 1.50£ and if you use the coupon it would make your final price 1£. Let’s say that the coupon is valid for 30 days, do you buy it now if you only printed the coupon today or a couple of days ago? No, this is the time to wait and see if it goes on sale in your shop or in any of the other stores that you shop in. If you wait two weeks and see that Morrisons have mackerel on sale for 1£ per can instead of their regular price of 1.50£, then this is where you want to go and buy the two cans. You get the two cans and use both your coupons and end up paying 1£ for both cans. If you would have bought them two weeks ago at full price at shop number one then you’d have paid 2£ after coupons, now you end up 1£ instead – a 66% saving instead of 33%. Now, imagine if you’d have other coupons or rebates that you can combine with the manufacturer’s coupon – that could give you even greater savings or even free food. I’m going to go through the most common ways that you can combine coupons, instore sales and rebates, as long as the coupons allow it. Make sure to read the coupon and see if you can add other coupons to your purchase, or if you can only use one coupon per item. Remember that this usually means money off coupons and not points coupons – you can combine a point coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon.

  1. Peelie and manufacturer coupon

No, you can’t use them both since they’re both manufacturers’ coupons, but with different names and looks. They’re still coupons made by the manufacturer of product that you’re about to buy.

  1. BOGO + manufacturers coupons

This varies from chain to chain, so be sure to ask the particular shop that you’re in – it depends on what the management says. If they say no, then respect that. It can also depend if it’s a Buy One Get One free or if it’s a Buy One Get One half price. Be sure to ask for their policy for both occasions – BOGO free and BOGO half price. Make sure that you get the answer in writing if you’re asking the management, then you have an official letter that is more valid than words and can’t be refused.

  1. Manufacturer coupon + instore coupon

Generally yes, since they’re two different things, instore coupons comes from the shop and manufacturers coupons from the manufacturer. If you get Catalinas, then they’re instore coupons that comes from a manufacturer but can be used with a manufacturer coupon. Read the manufacturer coupon and if it says something like “one coupon per item”, it most often means that you can’t combine two manufacturer’s coupons.

  1. Instore coupon + points coupon

Depends on what kind of coupon it is. You can’t use two X amount of points – those coupons that say 2, 3, 4 or 5 times the points that you earn in a transaction – but you can use a paper coupon that states “get 200 points for buying Catty’s cat food” with a digital voucher that’s loaded to your loyalty card and says “get 50 points if you buy a Catty’s cat food”. Plus, you can add those X times the points earned in a transaction in the end too, but just one.

  1. Rebate + manufacturer coupon

Yes, you can use these together since you’re not actually using them at the same time. Just use the coupon as usual at the register, save your receipt and then scan it into the rebate app to get that retroactive cashback.

  1. Rebate + instore coupon

Yes again. This is just the same as the example above. Use the coupon instore, get the receipt and scan it in the rebate app.

  1. Rebate + manufacturer coupon + instore coupon

This is the third yes. If the manufacturer coupon allows that you stack an instore coupon to it, then you can get an extremely good deal and quite possibly a freebie or a moneymaker. Getting all three in combination with a sales price is the best thing and all though it doesn’t happen very often, it can still happen.

Different types of coupons

There are quite a few different types of coupons out there for food products and these are the ones that you’ll find when you go grocery shopping!

  1. Instore coupons & Catalina’s

Instore coupons are often sent to you via mail and looks like regular coupons from a manufacturer and some are printed in the shop and comes from their Catalina printer. An instore coupon can only be spent at the shop that you’ve done that purchase in or in any of the chain’s shop across the country. Some chains, like Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, have machines at the register which prints coupons at the end of your transaction – these are called Catalinas and are money off a certain type of product, a money off your next purchase, a points coupon on a product or a coupon that says two, triple or quadruple the amount of points you earn at your next purchase. The Catalina machine and the shop’s system will save what you buy via your loyalty card and can therefore print coupons based on that. I often get coupons for money off cat food because I have a cat, you might get money off laundry detergent if you often purchase laundry detergent.

  1. Manufacturer coupon

This is one of the most common coupon out there and they are produced by the company that make the particular product that the coupon is for, for example Coca-Cola and Santa Maria. They give you money off if you buy their product and the amount off is usually somewhere between 50p and 2£. There are many type of manufacturers’ coupons, as you will see in the upcoming examples.

  1. Tear pads

These are found in the aisles of the grocery store, next to the products that it gives discounts on. Tear pads are not always valid only on the product that they’re next to, so be sure to read the coupon through thoroughly as you might not be limited to a certain size or product from the company that the voucher is for. These are manufacturers’ coupons as they are made by the manufacturer of that product.

  1. App coupons

In-app coupons can be either manufacturer’s coupons or bound to a certain chain of shops, like Sainsbury’s or Tesco. Some coupons are available in the shop’s app and can be loaded onto your loyalty card, some are codes that you can use online and some are a barcode or a QR box that you present to the cashier and they’ll scan it. These can often be points coupons that can only be redeemed instore.

 

  1. Point coupon

I get these all the time when I do my weekly shopping and they’re quite common, most people have seen them – but not used them. This type of coupon gives you points on your loyalty card or it can give you a fixed amount of points for buying a specific product of a specific size – for example, get 200 points for buying Catty’s dry cat food (700gr) at your next check-out. The points will be added to your card the same day or within a few days after using the voucher and have a monetary value set by the store chain. Point coupons are a type of retroactive coupons, since you don’t get money off your bill but you can spend the point at your next purchase. A lot of point coupons gives you double, triple or quadruple the amount of loyalty points when scanned at the till, this is a very common coupon to get at Sainsbury’s. Every week it seems like I get one that I can use next week and I can earn a couple of extra pounds from just one of the triple point coupons alone.

  1. Digital and printable coupons

Printable coupons are distributed by manufacturers’ on different websites, including their own and can be printed at home on your printer. Usually they have a limit of two per printer or one per email address.

  1. Peelies and Hangtags

These are manufacturers’ coupons that are glued to the product and has to be peeled of the product (peelie) or hung around the neck of a product (hangtag). Peelies and hangtags work exactly like tear pads and usually have an expiration date that are at least 30 days away, sometimes even a few months away.

  1. Free products

If you’ve got a bad product from a company and you’ve made a complaint to the manufacturer of the item, then they can issue coupons for you to get free replacement products at the shop.

  1. Rebate apps

This is a relatively new type of voucher that works retroactive. If you download a cashback app and then buy an item that’s on the list, for example if they have a 1£ cashback on Catty’s dry cat food then you go to the shop and pick up the cat food, scan the receipt in the app and get a 1£ cashback on your account. Once you’ve got a certain amount on your account, you can get it as a payment to your bank account, Paypal account or as a check.

Oven baked Pastrami Sandwiches

Baked sandwiches are amongst my favourite types of foods, hands down! The simpler ones require hardly any prepping and are filling on their own, or with a salad. When it comes to toppings, the combinations are almost endless – it’s so easy to make sandwiches for every taste and these are very cheap and budget friendly. I chose pastrami as my protein but you can naturally use ham, turkey, a selection of veggies or any plant based food you like.

Ingredients

4 slices of toast

Butter

4 slices of pastrami

Grated cheese

Mustard

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 Celsius
  2. Place the slices of toast on a baking tray
  3. Butter the toasts on the side that you’re putting the filling
  4. Put the slices of pastrami on the toasts
  5. Drizzle mustard over the sandwiches
  6. Top them with grated cheese
  7. Place the baking tray in the oven and cook until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

What are coupons & why should you use them?

Coupons have been around for decades now, but few of us actually know how to use them, think that they’re something for old people or poor people. BUT! While it may be true that old people and people with limited means use them, middle class people use them too to help them save money and spend it on other things. Or, they’ve been inspired by a certain TV-show on TLC.

Have you watched Extreme Couponing on TLC or on the internet and now you want to do that for yourself, but don’t know where to begin? Well, look no further – this is The Poor Man’s Guide to the Galaxy’s very own “Couponing 101” crash course, which will teach you the foundations of couponing. Not extreme couponing like you see on the telly, but everyday couponing that will reduce your grocery bill by at least 40% every week – reasonable and responsible couponing! If you want to use these skills like the ladies (and gentlemen) of the TV show, go for it – just remember to not clear the shelves while you’re at it.

A coupon is a piece of paper (or a piece of data on you mobile) that has a specific value of a certain product or a range of products from a manufacturer, all specified on the coupon itself. Let’s say that you have a coupon worth 1£ off Pixie washing up liquid Platinum and the bottle costs 2.50£. That means that you get a 1£ rebate if you have the coupon scanned by the cashier at the checkout. The bottle will, after the coupon is applied, cost you £1.50 instead. However: you can’t cash in the coupon all by itself without purchasing the product that it’s valid on, as it holds no value without the product. It’s like a gift card, you can use it in the shop, but not exchange it for hard cash. Every coupon has a different value and ranges anywhere from 20p and up to about 1£. Those are the regular coupons and anything beyond that is called “high value coupons” because of their higher value. The high value ones are rarer and don’t get distributed as often as the lower valued ones. Coupons are also often called vouchers in the U.K.

These days you can find coupons of off anything, basically, from milk to microwaves and the sky’s the limit on the types of coupons that are out there. But why should you be using them on your groceries? Most people I meet say that it just doesn’t pay to clip, look for, print and use the coupons – they don’t save anything, or a minimal amount! Well, then you’re using them wrong. It’s like with anything, you need to educate yourself on how to use this to your advantage, which the vast majority don’t do. But, with the easy steps that I’m going to show you in this educational series you can save at least 40-50% on your grocery bill, without even feeling like it’s a lot of work. Honestly, who wouldn’t like to spend less for more? This doesn’t even mean that you have to compromise on what you normally eat, it just means a bit more planning but other than that – nothing changes. You can even use vouchers to save on other things that groceries; travel, holiday, everyday things like coffee (or covfefe…), going to the cinema, fast food etc. You can live a full life, with more savings to spend on other things; paying of your mortgage at a higher rate, pay your debts faster, student loans can be memory much faster and you can start building a savings account for your retirement or unexpected costs.

 

According to my calculations I’ve saved about 1200£ since I started using coupons 3 years ago; that’s 400£/year! And you could do even better!