Tiffany Dockery was a casual coupon shopper at best. She clipped when it was convenient, and had no real savings strategy when it came to grocery shopping.
“I found broke before I found frugal,” said Dockery, a Grayson resident and author of the Living as Mom blog.
Starting a family changed that. As daily expenses mounted with the birth of the first of her two children, Dockery buckled down, becoming a champion at paying basement prices on even the most popular items. The budget loosened a bit after her husband’s pay structure changed, but by then, Dockery was all-in. She rarely pays full price for anything in the grocery aisles, and she regularly beats the sales prices, too.
Her enthusiasm — she’s now saving 60 percent off what used to be a $189 a week grocery bill — blossomed into a blog.
“I started the blog just to show my family and friends,” she said. “It started out as a joke, but it grew and became bigger than anything I would have imagined.”
As Labor Day weekend approaches and families are planning backyard bashes, we asked Dockery to show us how to cook a barbecue on a budget.
“Learning to be a strategic shopper day to day helps prepare you for entertaining any party,” Dockery said. “It helps to make sure your basics are covered. It’s not as hard nor as difficult as you might imagine.”
Take this menu for example:
Chips and dip. She found Lay’s potato chips on sale, but didn’t stop there. She went to the manufacturer’s Web site and found a coupon for $1 off. The dip was on sale for $1.99. Regular price for the two items: $6.38. Dockery paid $2.99.
Chicken. The grocery store’s sale was $1.99 for skinless chicken breasts. The regular price is nearly $5. “Kroger puts chicken on sale about every two weeks,” she said.
Marinade. Dockery got this nearly free. Lawry’s is often buy one, get one free at Publix . That brings the price for a single bottle down to about $1.50. The manufacturer had a 50-cent coupon, which Publix doubles (as does Kroger). That made the $2.99 item 50 cents. The same approach led to her paying 25 cents for a bottle of Kraft barbecue sauce from Kroger, where it sold for $1 with the $10 for 10 promotion.
Combining sales and coupons, Dockery could throw a party for 10 — making her own vegetable tray, getting chips, salsa, dip, chicken, ground beef, buns, prepared salad, veggies for side dishes, brownie mix for dessert and fruit — for $38.75. Sticker price: $95.10
Other tips she suggests:
Can you do it any cheaper?
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