The leaves are falling and the stores are decorated for the holidays. For many that means entertaining. For some, however, the excitement of entertaining ends with the cost associated with the menu. But there are ways to cut that grocery bill considerably. Incorporating the ease of price matching and coupons, with a little creativity and flexibility thrown in, you can throw a great holiday party without busting your budget.
Price matching is the new way to save on groceries thanks to its ease and efficiency. Price matching is a store policy honoring a competitor’s lower advertised sales price for an identical item. Consumers save time and money because they get all the surrounding stores’ best grocery sales at just one store. Through a sound price matching program you can achieve a 30 percent average savings on the price matched groceries, with savings reaching as high as 40 percent to 50 percent on fresh produce.
Busy moms like Nichole Daniels, a working mother of five, are turning to price matching to offset the rising cost of groceries. Since this past Spring Nichole has saved over $700. “I have been setting aside the money I save from price matching in a Christmas account and I have already saved $742. I have really saved that much money with price matching.”
Use the strategies of price matching to get your holiday menu items at the lowest price. The result is you serve popular party food such as Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Roberts Sour Cream and Dips, Nabisco Crackers, Kraft Chunk Cheese, Frito Lay Chips, and Pillsbury Rolls for a fraction of the cost and a great savings on time.
To get these savings through the ease of price matching, simply include sales items from your local stores on your weekly shopping list. Organize your price match items by grocery department and write down brand and size, the price match sale price and the price match sale store. For example, under the Cracker department write Nabisco Snack Crackers, 5.5-9.5 oz., $1.49 at Price Chopper.
With your price match grocery list you are ready to shop and save. Walmart does not require that you show the store circulars. Therefore, checking out is as simple as telling the cashier the price match price and price match store. For example, if you are price matching the Nabisco sale, you simply tell the cashier that Nabisco Triscuit crackers are $1.49 at Price Chopper. With your price match grocery list in hand, the checkout process at Walmart takes little additional effort.
Coupons are a great way to supplement your price match savings. Coupon may be a four letter word to some, but it can mean the difference between a good sale and a great deal. For example, you can price match the Nabisco Triscuits at $1.49, which retail for $2.50. That gives you are great price match savings of 41 percent. When you add the additional $.50 off coupon, your savings percentage increases to 61 percent.
And couponing is becoming much more convenient. Sunday papers are no longer your only source for coupons. Internet coupon sites such as coupons.com, smartsource.com, redplum.com, couponnetwork.com provide easy and efficient access to great coupons. Some of these sites have convenient search engines so you can enter the grocery item on your list and it will tell you if a coupon is available. With these convenient sites couponing can be as easy as click, snip and save.
Now that you have the basics to saving with just a few more simple strategies you can complete your holiday menu.
Shop a few weeks ahead of time. When you see party staple items on sale buy them and put them away for the party. For perishable items be sure to check the expiration dates.
Create your party menu around the price match sales. Let the sales guide your menu and you will be able to host a fantastic holiday party at 30 to 40 percent savings. The more price match items you can serve at your party the more you will save.
Get creative. You may be looking at some of your price match groceries and not know how to transform them into fabulous party fare. No worries. Recipe websites, such as Allrecipes.com, have search engines that allow you to put in a list of ingredients and it provides you with several recipe options. You can even narrow your search by food categories, such as appetizers, main dishes and desserts. Just enter in Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Kraft Shredded Cheese and chicken; in minutes you will have several menu options to choose from.
Do the work yourself. You can prepare items such as large appetizer platters for a fraction of the price that stores charge. With an average price match savings of 40 to 50 percent on fresh produce you can save a lot of money by making the vegetable, fruit and cheese platters. Just use the price match produce on sale, such as the baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower for the vegetable tray. Add Robert’s French Onion Dip that you price matched at 32 percent savings and you could have a large vegetable platter for under $10.00, compared to the $28.00 and up that many stores charge. Similarly, use the Nabisco crackers, the Kraft chunk cheese and the red grapes, strawberries and apples to complete an economical, yet impressive, fruit and cheese platter.
With these simple savings strategies you can throw an impressive holiday party without the exorbitant cost. The result is easy and affordable entertaining without sacrificing taste.