Friday, May 27, 2005

Tips on Grocery Shopping

Well, it’s Memorial Day Weekend and the grocery stores are teeming with special buys. It’s a great time to fill up your frige and stay within your budget. While the children were living at home I had a grocery budget of $ 100.00 a week. I decided not to write checks for groceries because I would tend to go over my weekly budget. When I had $ 100.00 cash in hand, I couldn’t go over. If I used the money up early in the week, then I just didn’t spend any more till I got my next $100.00. In Houston, our grocery sales start on Wednesday and go thru to the next Tuesday. I get our grocery ads, that come in the paper and mail, and sit down on Wednesday morning with a 4”x6” card and a pen. I look thru each ad sheet and select the items that I need from each store and write it down. I also write down the items that I know I have to get on the back of the card and I use this to shop from. The grocery stores are close in proximity to my house, so I don’t usually go out of the way to shop. As I drive by one of the stores I will stop and shop.

1) Don’t forget to carry your coupon box in the car so you won’t forget to have them with you at all times. My husband used to fuss at me about cutting coupons until he saw what I was saving. Most stores double and triple the value of the coupons. Learn the rules of “couponing” and you will save money.
2) Know your store. Where are the discount counters. What part of the meat case do they put the day old meats. Does your store have extra specials on certain days?
3) If you live in a part of the country where it gets hot, carry a couple of insulated bags in your trunk to put your refrigerated items in. These bags cost only $ 3 or $4 and you can get them at Costco, Sam’s or Wal-Mart.
4) Purchase items when they go on sale and you have a coupon for it. I bought barbeque sauce the other day that was on sale for 69 cents and I had a 25 cents coupon, that they doubled, and I got that barbeque sauce for 19 cents.
5) Don’t buy items that you are not going to use. It is tempting to purchase something because it is just too good a price to not buy it. If you want to try something that is new, just buy one, try it and decide if you really like it before buying it again.
6) Don’t be afraid to purchase store brands. Many of them are just as good as the name brand ones. Again, just buy one and try it before buying extras.
7) It is best not to buy “dented” cans. If you must, buy one that is not dented on any of the seams and use it right away.
8) If you are a mom, buying diapers for your baby, know what the prices are at the stores that you shop in. Wal-Mart usually has good prices on diapers and they will take coupons. Usually the larger the box, the better value per diaper.
9) Stick to your list. Ahhhhh….this is hard to do. I almost always get more than what is on my list. I guess I’m just not that disciplined. OK, so I have a weakness! Don’t we all?

If you have your own grocery shopping tips, share them in the comment section. Thanks
Have fun shopping, and enjoy your Memorial Day.

5 Comments:

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous tfstern said...

One important ommission to the list of staying true to the list you have prepared; NEVER take your husband along if you plan to escape within budget.

I add important items along the way, Ding Dongs, Oreo Cookies, Clausen Pickles, and Cheetoos.

By the way, Wal-Mart brand of Cheetos are just as good as the original and cost exactly half as much; Krogers brand are so bad my dog wouldn't eat them.

 
At 5:30 AM, Blogger John & Elaine said...

Also, you can limit the number of times you go shopping each month. Typically, if you go to a store a dozen times (or more) a month, you'll end up spending more money for stuff you don't need than if you schedule when and where to shop.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Lori said...

Thanks for stopping in at my blog. I am a severe coupon shopper/bargain hunter/deal maker. I love to re-sell my kids clothes when they are done with them and either exchange them for 'new' clothes at the used shop down the street or have a pay out. Have you used any of the websites for coupons and deals and the like? We only have a few up here in the Great North.

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Revswife, I haven't used those websites for coupons because every time I would look at one they wanted me to buy something. I cut all the coupons out when they come in the paper and separate them out in two piles: the keeps and the give aways. There are about 4 or 5 of us that trade the coupons we don't want. We also know what coupons each of us like the most, deoderant, shampoo, mouthwash, dog and cat food. We will save these for each other. It works out great. Visit again and I'll check in on you.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Linda said...

One thing that I do is make a menu and stick with it. I start by going through the cabinets, to see what meal options I already have in the house. Then we pick one new recipe to try that week, and list items for a repeat of a meal we really liked. I also pick up items so we can pack our lunches to work: not eating out during the week also saves a ton of money. (I also have a wonderful babysitter who feeds my little one breakfast and lunch during the week -- singing that lady's praises is a screed for another day -- so I also bake muffins or banana bread, or something to help out.)

 

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