Sarah Krause
Sarah Krause

Everyone’s looking for a bargain these days. And finding great deals and saving money at the supermarket tops most moms’ to-do lists.

While money-savvy moms employ several strategies when feeding their families, retailers will be glad to know that scouring the weekly grocery ad circular tops most moms’ lists.

“With the overall cost of groceries going up, being able to save on sale items just makes sense,” said Jenny S., mom of two children. “I don't go to the trouble to clip coupons, so making the most of items on sale is important to reducing my bottom line.”

I usually plan my family’s weekly meals around those supermarket ads, making my shopping list based on what is on sale at my preferred store. I, along with several other moms, do go to the trouble of clipping coupons, and then check to see if I have coupons for any of those sale items. I’m not alone in my thrill of these savings bonuses. My friend, Beth O., agreed that buying items on sale with coupons was a great strategy to save cash.

“I have to say that I enjoy getting good deals,” she said, adding, “Money saved on groceries can be spent other places!”

To clip or not to clip? It remains split. Some of us take the time to cut and organize coupons: “The main way I save on groceries is via coupons!” said Karen P., mom of one. And others find it a waste of time: “I don't do coupons because I spend time collecting them and I usually forget about them or it's not always a big savings,” said Jennifer P., mom to five school-aged kids. My friend Chris agreed. “I’m not good at keeping track of coupons, and they are often for brand name products (that I don’t normally buy).”

What’s the one approach all these moms do share? Despite pinching pennies, they still want to provide healthy meals for their families.

That’s why everyone I talked to looks for good quality produce on sale, including organic fruits and veggies. “In the summer, I’m always looking for sales on all the fresh produce we (typically) purchase,” said Chris W., mom of two boys.

“I am especially interested in organic items that are on sale,” added Jenny S. “Also, I am especially tuned-in to watching for discounts on my other higher-priced staple items, like bacon, juice and cereal. Butcher items that are on special help direct some of my meal planning.”

While every mom has her own reason for shopping a favorite grocery store – low prices, discount cards, reward programs, double coupons, selection, etc. – each seeks out good deals on pantry staples, such as flour, sugar, canned foods, cereal, spaghetti sauce or salad dressing.

Other ways to save?

Besides seeking out sales, moms like Jennifer and Chris buy the cheaper store brand when possible. Jennifer also avoids buying off the ends of the aisles “because those are usually impulse buys and not the cheapest either.” Shannon R., a mom to four kids, often shops at Costco “for bulk deals and fresh produce, which I find is quite a bit cheaper there.” Her other piece of advice: “I find that shopping only once a week really saves money by cutting down on impulse purchases, and I don't shop with the kids, as they always want to add in extra items!”

A few other mom-friendly tips: shop at stores that price match, use a store’s reward program or promotion, look for online deals or coupons and shop at discount stores, like Aldi.

Busy mom, Shannon, summed it up, “I think it is important to save wherever you can!” When all else fails, take the tactic of my mom friend, Courtney: “We just eat out a lot!”