Last week, I shared some tips for how you can reduce your grocery budget BEFORE you even leave for the store, but the saving doesn’t stop there. You can shave even more off your grocery expense with WHERE you shop and HOW you shop.
Where you shop ~
Discount grocery stores
Places like Aldo or Save-a-Lot can help you save as long as you know your prices. Typically, the quality of meat and produce is of a good quality but I have heard some reports of issues. The only way you will know is to go check it out. Keep an eye on the sales flyer and when you see something that looks good enough to warrant a trip, go plundering.
Buy specialty items online
I purchase our organic maple syrup, agave nectar, peanut butter, Nutella, diapers, wipes, and some other specialty items from Amazon.com in bulk with Subscribe and Save. Typically, the discount and free shipping makes the value better than purchasing at our local Sam’s Club.
We do have a Sam’s Club membership but reserve it for paper plates, baking basics, coffee, spices, pasta, (Mommy’s Stacy’s Pita Chips addiction), and nuts. If you are considering purchasing a membership to a warehouse, understand that most do not accept coupons nor do they host a rock-bottom price on most items. Keep in mind that the cost of the membership plan should be deducted from your potential savings to determine whether or not it will be a wise investment.
Shop at drugstores
I was very surprised by the amount I could save when I first started using the stockpile-coupon method at drugstores. By purchasing our toiletries from drugstores on sale with coupons, I was able to save up to 90%. So, I purchase our personal products from local drugstores when I can achieve huge savings and avoid paying higher prices at grocery stores, which leaves me with more money available for groceries.
How you shop ~
Shop with cash
I truly believe in the envelope system made famous by Dave Ramsey. If you walk into a store with $X, then you are going to be more mindful of what you place in your cart. The urge for impulse shopping is stifled. Your choices become more apparent. For instance, “I’m craving potato chips, but do I want to spend $4 on a pound of chips or get 2 pounds of chicken breasts with that money?”
And just a note from personal experience… leave the debit card at home. I cannot tell you the number of times that I walk into a store and realize that the contents of my buggy will be precariously close to the amount of cash in my purse. The thought pops into my brain, “That’s okay. I’ll just use my debit card for the difference.” Not a good idea.
Shop from a list
You’ve made your menu and kept a list on the refrigerator for those items that need to be replaced. You’ve checked the sales ads and made notes of items to add to your stockpile. Your list glows with the sweat of your preparation. Now, stick to it, and never, ever just go to the store to “window shop.” I know that many of our readers keep their list in order according to the layout of the store. Browsing can put you in the hole really quick because marketing analyses show that the longer your spend in a store the more money you will spend there.
I love my husband. I love my children. But, I want to shop alone. When they come with me, someone is going to ask for something that is not on my list. A child is going to demand my attention when I need to be looking at the price per unit to make sure I am getting the best deal possible. Shopping will cost you if it becomes a social outing. My goal is to get in the store and out of the store as quickly as possible and without distraction. I am a woman on a mission and my mission is to save!
What are some money-saving tips you have for WHERE to shop or HOW to shop?
Don’t miss the rest of this series ~
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