I’m a bargain hunter. I love a good deal. I’ve gotten pretty good at stretching my grocery budget. Here are five of my favorite suggestions for getting the most out of your grocery dollar.
You paid for it. Strictly from dollars and sense, don’t throw your money away. Thinking bigger than that? Any wasted food is a drain on our environment. It takes manpower, diesel fuel, electricity, and an incredible amount of water between the farming and the production of the food as well as the packaging to get that food product from a farmers field to your local grocer. With current food shortages and predicted population growth, we owe it to humanity and the planet to clear our plates. Put less on your plate and take second portion if you’d like. If you are concerned with managing your carbon footprint, this is a great place to consider.
I like to shop on Monday morning for the best deals. The weekends are prime time in retail. The grocers stock the meat cases as full as they can, and on Monday morning they markdown what’s left.
Some chains discount by percentage. Others use a flat $1 or $2 off per package. If that’s the case, look for smaller packages to get more bang for your buck. If they do the percentage markdown,run the numbers and make sure you’re getting the percent off advertised.
I recognize that shopping on Monday morning isn’t practical for most, but if you can make it work in your schedule, I suggest it. Drop the kids off at school and cruise the perishables isle on your way home. I might not stock my freezer this way, but I do like to go to the store and see what I can find a deal on for dinner that evening, and then plan my meal around it. This might not be the best for the die-hard meal planners, but it works well for my family.
Grocers get you in the door by advertising big discounts. Sometimes they sell it for less than their cost hoping to make it up on the other groceries you’re sure to buy. I watch for the loss leaders and stock up when they’re on special. Most grocery chains run a six to eight week sales rotation. Watch the ads and plan ahead based on what you know will be on sale next week.
I hate them, but if you’re gonna eat, you might as well take the savings. Most of the grocery chains require you to have the club card to get the sales price. They track your buying habits and build a consumer profile about you. It’s a trade off of personal privacy for a break on food prices. I’ve got a keyring with a half a dozen store club keytags on it. I keep it with my reusable shopping bags.
Our Kroger stores give bonus points for prescription refills. The points get redeemed for fuel savings.
Aldi. Save A Lot. Food4Less.
Quite often I go to Aldi and then to the big grocer they built next to. Get the deals at the little store and round out your shopping list at the big store or your local grocer.
So many foods are manufactured by producers that label it for themselves as well as for private label brands. Many of the store brands are the same as the brand names, just without the cost of the brand name attached to it. Do your own nutritional label comparisons and taste testing. Take advantage of the house branded products that suit your tastes.
Big Box Members Only
Costco, Sam’s Club
I shop at them. They are clearly very popular with many people as is evident by the masses of humanity crowding their isles on a Saturday. I don’t like the crowds, the Fleetwood class shopping carts or the fact that i have like eight things in the cart and I still end up spending a hundred bucks. If you have a large family I’m sure the savings help tremendously. For our small family the big box turns out to be a six month stockpile.
I don’t use coupons very often. I thumb through the packs that come in the sales ads or junk mail, but I don’t see anything I’m interested in and I haven’t had much luck finding coupons for the name brand products we use. Hats off to the extreme couponers that can see a return on investment for the time they put into it.