I mentioned recently on my Facebook page that I have a kitchen cupboard full of cereal, all of which I purchased for less than $2 per box. Cereal is something that we go through quickly in our house. It’s also something that I hate to buy, because full-price cereal can really strike a blow to a grocery budget. $2 is the most I like to spend on a box of cereal. While many of my readers are seasoned couponers and much more expert than I am, many of you are just getting started. So, I thought I would share my savings strategies for this item that is a breakfast staple (if not separate food group) for many of us.
1. Find Coupons
I have the Sunday paper delivered to my door (I would forget to buy it otherwise), and I clip any breakfast cereal coupons for varieties that I would eat. I personally stick with cereals that have a good amount of fiber and whole grains rather than types that are mostly corn and sugar or loaded with dyes. I also check online coupon sites such as Coupons.com (their coupons are also available on my website), Smartsource.com and Redplum.com. I also check manufacturer’s websites to see if they offer any printable coupons. Kellogg’s has a printable coupon page on their website that you can access by signing up. And, finally, I check cereal boxes for coupons–sometimes high value coupons are printed right on the box, either on the outside or inside. The best coupons offer a good discount on an individual box of cereal, but it is more common to find coupons for two or more products. I clip those too, just in case.
2. Stack coupons
Grocery store cereal deals are very cyclical, so when there are great sales I stock up. I typically do my grocery shopping at Price Chopper, and check the weekly circular for store coupons. Other grocery stores and even drug stores offer cereal deals as well. Recently there have been store coupons offering 4 for $8.00 boxes of cereal. That’s a pretty good deal in itself, but armed with my manufacturer’s coupons, I can make it even better! Most grocery stores allow you to combine manufacturer’s coupons with store coupons. My Price Chopper will accept one manufacturer’s coupon per box of cereal in addition to their 4/$8 coupon. I check my coupons to see if any match the specific brands and varieties listed on the store coupon. If I’m very lucky I will have one coupon for each box, but any additional discount is great. If there isn’t a store coupon available, simply see how your coupons match up with the sale prices. Buy One Get One or half price sales are particularly ripe for great deals.
3. When there aren’t sales
As I said, cereal sales are cyclical. There will be months when the prices aren’t that great, or the specific varieties on sale are something I won’t eat (even though I try to be as flexible as possible). During those times I will usually look to generics. I’ve found store brands to be perfectly fine substitutes, and those bagged cereals are a great deal too. The only drawback is the lack of variety. I am also hoping to develop a few convenient non-cereal breakfast ideas. Although Mr. Boy does not eat cereal, it’s the go-to breakfast for hubby and I because it’s so quick and easy. Freezing breakfast foods like muffins or pancakes and then using them as needed can be a great alternative, and instant oatmeal is also a quick and healthy idea.
I am hoping to make “How I Save” a regular series. If you’re curious about my savings strategies for specific product categories, let me know! And if you have any specific cereal savings tips beyond what I have already mentioned, please feel free to weigh in.
DISCLOSURE: This website is monetized with affiliate links. I earn a small percentage of the sales price when visitors make purchases through affiliate links. Thank you for your support!