If there’s any one that knows how to save money in the kitchen, it’s me.

I shared with my dad this weekend that it’s a little weird to referred to as a frugal living expert, since there are so many areas of my life that I just feel so inadequate in, but I have embraced the fact that yes, if there’s someone that can give encouragement about cutting expenses, I am your girl. I have lived it. I continue to live it and it’s finally really paying off, since there really is no such thing as small change.

For most, the easiest area to see immediate results is in the kitchen.

One of the biggest couponing complaints that people share with me is that they just don’t have “time” to coupon, or they are just too overwhelmed with cutting and organizing them.

My organizational answer to that is fully covered in my Grocery Guru workshops, like just printing out some great salad dressing coupons to make it easy, but every once in awhile I just want to encourage and remind you, my lovely readers, that cutting your grocery budget in half begins without even using one coupon from home.

One of the largest topics I cover here on my blog is actually cutting the food expenses and saving money without using coupons.  If you need a quick little shot in the arm, spend some time perusing those posts.

When I wrote 31 Days to More with Less, I also covered Easy and Odd Ways to Save money in the kitchen as well as some of the basic ways I budget for food . I offer many free printables to help you get more organized in that area because sometimes it is just hard to get started.

But if you want to get started, it begins with using those Grocery Guru “Eagle Eyes,” as I lovingly refer to them. I can’t just pop in a grocery store. I have to attack it with my Eagle Eyes, and that can be done very quickly for me. I scan for those unadvertised deals because 3/4 of my grocery trips, they are there.

Last night is a perfect example. We are holding a cookout for my son’s graduation party and I honestly did pop into our local store just for their great hanging plant basket price of 2/$10. But since I had an extra five minutes I decide to quickly scan for any deals that might help me for the party and I totally hit the jackpot.

Here’s the kicker, most people never ever see these deals because they aren’t looking.

Notice the picture above.

First, I always look for marked down produce, meats and dairy. I scoured with a few gallons of milk. Next, the soda was BOGO Free, so I stocked up on some specifically for punch. Third, the Lipton Iced Tea were also BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free), AND there were hang tags on the drink for an additional dollar off of two. PERFECT! Since I can use three like coupons, I purchased six drinks, received an additional $3 off and ended up with those yummy Lipton iced teas for only $0.75/piece. Another perfect drink for the party.

Lastly, and the best part was the candy. They were right at the check out for $1.09 for one, BUT they were on sale BOGO making them $0.55. Here’s the kicker. Stuck to the end cap were coupons for $0.50/2. Now, do the math. At this store, they double coupons, so that made the coupon worth $1. I scored 2 candy bars for $0.9. Since I can use 3 coupons, I bought 6 candy bars, and you can believe I will be going  back in today. They will be perfect for some Snicker type of dessert for the party.

That only happened because I used my Eagle Eyes. and a few extra minutes to scan for those unadvertised deals. I watched at the check out. Five families with children bought their groceries. Not one of them noticed the candy bar sale. I can guarantee that if I pointed out any of those candies were nearly free, they all would have purchased them. Of course, we don’t live on candy, but full size Snickers for less than a dime? You can believe I am buying those (and hiding them as soon as I walk in the door, which I did.)

So make sure and use those Eagle Eyes every time you shop. Just that one tip can save you lots of money.

All of these concepts I cover in my Savings Nation Grocery Guru/Ten Minute Dinner workshop (partnered with Savings.com). If you are within driving distance, I would love to come to you.  If you are interesting in hosting a Saving Nations Meal Planning & Coupon Class, fill out my info form.