A STAY-at-home mum has revealed her supermarket spending tips and how to get an £630 food shop for just £3 using coupons.
Michelle, 27, from the US, began budgeting when she became a mum, after relying solely on her husband's wage to get by – and now will only shop using food vouchers.
"I hate full price. It needs to be with a coupon or on clearance," she said in a clip on the TLC UK YouTube channel.
While the family-of-four are lucky enough to grow their own vegetables and a chicken coup for eggs, their food bill is still pretty high if they pay full price.
Which is why Michelle has a massive stockpile cupboard (which was actually a spare bedroom) hoarding 1,700 food items, including 55 bottles of hot sauce and 100 protein bars.
These were all paid for using food coupons which Michelle tracks using a detailed Excel spreadsheet.
By doing this, Michelle has reduced her usual $800 (£585) monthly food shop to just $200 (£146), and with her husband Cory, will use the saving to build a new family home.
Explaining how she gets it done, she says: "I'll cut my coupons out, I'll organise them and then I get my spreadsheet with all the items that are on sale and match with my coupons and I print them out and take it to the store. "
While her current system has worked for her family so far, the mum-of-two decided to challenge herself to spend just $10 (£7.31) on her usual $200 (£146) shop.
However, with some savvy shopping, she ends up walking out having spent just under $5 (£3.65).
With her mum and husband in tow, clutching her giant folder of 4,000 coupons, Michelle hits up her local supermarket where she normally shops.
First on her list was Cory's favourite coffee drink, and with coupons covering the full cost of the item, they managed to bag 112 of them for free.
Similarly, the couple picked up 20 bags of brown rice, normally costing $1.39 (£1.02) a pack, for just 39c (28p), knocking a dollar (73p) off per item.
In addition to the coupons she already has, Michelle will often price-match if other supermarkets have the items for cheaper so the coupon deal will be based of the new, lower price.
For example, the dog treats the family normally buy cost just $1 (73p) from another store, and with a coupon for $4 (£2.92) off every four items, Michelle manages to grab 60 items for free – that's a year supply.
As you could imagine, this level of organising takes work, which is why she has the spreadsheet to keep track of the original cost of items, the sale cost and the amount after applying the coupons.
She's also able to track the price items from different stores, helping her with price matching.
While some deals come easily, Michelle admits in the clip that she has to "work hard" for others – but it all pays off in the end.
She says she drove a fair distance just to pick up a brochure which had her favourite cereal reduced by more than half price – then added a coupon on top.
While at the checkout, Michelle asks to process the items as tree separate transactions, so that she can use as many coupons as possible.
The first comes to a total of $110.67 (£80.88), but despite knocking the price down to just $5.26 (£3.84), Michelle was hoping it'd be less if it meant meeting her $10 goal (£7.31).
The second lot cost $117 (£85.51), down to around $6 (£4.39) meaning she'd gone over her budget.
After all three transactions were complete, Michelle had spent around $26 (£19), down from $860 (628),but was desperate to find a way to make it even cheaper.
The savvy shopper inspected the receipts of the first two shops and realised there'd been a mistake with the added tax – which is why it ended up more than they thought.
Michelle and Cory had calculated a total tax on the items, but the store manager later confirms it's calculated on every item – meaning it's slightly higher.
That is until the family finished their shop and the manager returned admitting he'd made an error and that Michelle's calculations WERE correct. –
With this extra discount, they were able to knock off a further $20 (£14.62) bring the whole shop total to just $4.84 (£3.54) – so it definitely pays to check.
Meanwhile, a mum bagged £867 worth of groceries for just £26 thanks to coupons – and it takes her NINE hours to pack her shopping.
Plus, mums share their epic discounted Tesco hauls – and how they bagged a few weeks' worth of food on the cheap.
And this mum-of-10 spends $1k on huge shopping haul which feeds her family for a month including 180 eggs and 16 loaves of bread.
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