“When I first started teaching workshops on how to save money on groceries, I realized that people knew how to get free stuff with coupons. In fact, they had closets full of free shampoo and toothpaste, yet they weren’t really reducing their grocery budget.” – Carrie Isaac
That was the quote the made me want to give Grocery University a try. See, I’d done the whole coupon thing before – and still have some free, unopened toothbrushes to prove it. The toothpaste lasted for two or three years. I finally donated and/or threw out several unopened boxes of Hamburger Helper, which I discovered that my kids don’t like.
It was fun. I even had a frugal,money-saving blog like 50% of the blogging population. I saved lots of money – on stuff that, for the most part, we didn’t really need. I didn’t really learn how to save money on my overall grocery bill.
With skyrocketing prices and a single-income that isn’t increasing proportionately to food and gas prices, I decided it was time to get started with coupons and grocery savings again. So, I emailed Grocery University creator, Carrie Isaac, to see if she’d provide me the opportunity to review her product for my readers, knowing that the majority of you are also single-income, stay-at-home moms and she graciously agreed.
Grocery University is over 2 hours of audio training, along with a 40-page PDF workbook to teach you have to save money at the grocery store through strategic menu-planning and, if you so choose, coupon clipping. The $24.95 instant download also includes the 10-page Grocery University Rock Bottom Prices Database so that you can become educated on what is really a good sale price.
Topics covered include:
- Strategic menu planning (a key component of the Grocery University teaching)
- Grocery budgeting
- Understanding coupons and their terms and conditions
- How store sale cycles work
- Combining sales and coupons for maximum savings
- Organizing your coupons
I really enjoyed the audio file format and I appreciated the fact that the student workbook wasn’t simply a print copy of the audio files. Both combined to give me a good understanding of the concepts being taught.
Have I put those concepts into practice? Well, yes and no. No, not to the extent that I was hoping to have done at this point. No matter how you look at it, reaping significant savings on groceries requires a time investment. Between being sick, an uninspiring week of coupons, and, well, forgetting to get the paper one week, I haven’t been as diligent in working the sales as I’d hoped.
However, I have had some good buys and have stockpiled a little and I am being more conscious of the savings opportunities. I’ve been diligent in only stockpiling things that we’ll actually use, no matter how good the deal. Where I need to put more effort is in menu-planning according to Carrie’s tips, which will help you save regardless of whether or not you choose to work the coupons, and matching coupons with sales, which takes a little more effort since really good sale-plus-coupon deals are not at the store where I do my main grocery shopping.
I really appreciate Carrie’s outlook on grocery savings, too. For one thing, her strategies come from the heart of being good stewards of what God has given us. Grocery U. students are encouraged to only stockpile what they can use or give to others. She also cautions against comparing your grocery budget to others because you may not always see the full picture. For example, someone who purchases half a cow to stock their freezer once a year may not include that purchase in what appears to be an incredibly low monthly grocery budget.
Carrie gives some great tips on creating a monthly, rather than a weekly grocery budget to achieve maximum savings and to be able to work the sales to your family’s best advantage. These “little things” can add up to a much better overall picture of what saving on groceries can and should look like.
If you’re new to coupon strategies, Grocery University is an excellent place to start, with in-depth explanations and tutorials. Can you find the same information on the Internet for free? Probably. Would it take more time than the instant download and 2+ hours of audio files? Most likely.
Be watching in the weeks to come. Though I’m not posting today that Grocery University has taught me to save 50% or more on my grocery budget, I am committed to applying the principals I’ve learned over the next few weeks and months. I’ll be posting some of my deals and updating periodically on my savings.
I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of reviewing it. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.