Since I can’t control the price, I needed to look at some ways to combine grocery savings and gas savings. Step #1 was to find out how I was burning up so much gas. To do this, I started to break down my weekly gas purchase. In January I put 18 gallons of gas in the van. In week #1 I ran out of gas in less than a week. Yikes. I was using more than 18 gallons per week and wanted to slice that expense. I could quite driving, or drive smarter.
Step #2 came shortly after. I started keeping a daily odometer log of how many miles I was traveling and where I was going. This was my “Oh I see what’s happening” moment. Although on my running errands day, I thought I was being frugal, I was actually burning up my savings driving all around town for my deals. I hit the locations as to what I was shopping for more than working in one route.
Step #3 After my second week of recording miles driven and locations on my errands list, I mapped myself. I was driving the long way to locations. Somehow, by looking at my routes, I managed to find some less hectic routes, that got me to my destination in less time and with less gas. How much less? In week #3 I saved a whole $6 by traveling to my same destinations, but by different routes. Step #4 I started cutting out places I would go, that were non essential. A good example was my weekly stop for lunch after leaving coupon club. I found a closer fast food, and picked up a $.50 soda out of the machine after leaving the store. Wow, that’s another $3 per week.
Step #5 That got me to thinking about all the coupon users I know who do the Route to savings. They hit 6 stores per week to save $3 at each. Is it worth the drive and the gas? I’ve implemented a new rule for my minivan. If I can’t save at least $5 on the items in the cart, I can’t pay for the time and gas to drive to get the deal. Not only that. I need to be really sure I am saving. Now I’m into week #5. I’ve managed to get down to around 20 gallons per week. I stopped idling the car if I’ll be sitting longer than 30 seconds (self appointed experts online seem to think that saves money...so far I can’t argue).
I’ve consolidated my shopping and limited myself to 3 stores per week, or saved $7.50 spent driving to do my shopping. What do you know….that’s the price of a couple gallons of milk. To me, I’ve found a way to cover my Milk buys in 2013 and I’m not missing out on any deals by driving all around.
Coupon Clipping Services:
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