Monday, May 7, 2012

Shopping/Buying Bulk/Couponing

After I've made my menu, list, and shopped my pantry I am ready to head to the store.

Here are a few common going to the store tips I try to adhere to:

1.  Go in the morning, it's not usually as busy.
2.  Eat before you leave the house.
3.  Don't forget your list.
4.  Try to limit distractions in the store if possible.
5.  The only go down isles that you know you need to buy something.
6.  The freshest food is usually around the outer perimeter of the store.
7.  Just because it is on sale doesn't mean you have to buy it.
8.  If it's a really good sale and you have the money, buy a little bit more than you normally would
     if you have somewhere to store it.  Next time when you shop your pantry it will be there.
9.  Only buy meat that is on sale, if possible.
10.  Don't forget to check the bargain bin or clearance racks, but only buy something you know you
       will use and that truly is a good deal.


 When I go to the store I be sure to take my list and I try to take as few children as possible.  Less children makes for less distractions and I can pay attention to my list and not just buy stuff that I see and know we buy regularly.  Jeff is wonderful at keeping the kids home so I can shop on a day that he is off work.

The following ideas I may or may not do, but may be helpful to you.

Try to move through the store as quickly as possible.  If you organized your list by aisle that can help.  The longer you are in the store the more money you will spend on things you weren't intending to buy.

If there is something that you use a lot of you might want to consider buying it in bulk.  Meat is usually cheaper in a family pack.

Use coupons.  They can help.  I know there are a lot of people who are coupon happy and that is fine if it works for you.  It's too much stress for me to keep up with coupons.  If I run across one in the store or get store coupons in the mail I make good use of them if it is something I usually buy.  Remember when using a coupon that if its not something you usually use or won't use you really aren't saving money.

I also usually only shop in one store.  It's too confusing to make it to several stores and probably doesn't save much money by the time you spend the gas on shopping.  I shop at Kroger regularly.  Occasionally I shop at Target instead, they have a few things that Kroger doesn't have and sometimes a better price, but not always (currently, Target's cheese costs $2 more for the same 2# block that Kroger has).  I go to my local health food store for certain foods that I can't get elsewhere about once every 2-3 months.  I also use Amazon's subscribe and save program for some things in bulk.  I have to watch the prices, but somethings I get for good deals.   Jeff buys our milk on his way home from work most of the time, which is a big help for me.  I don't shop at Sam's Club very often.  They have a few things that are a pretty good deal, but when I've priced items I can usually get them cheaper at the regular store when they are on sale. 

I realize that shopping can be a different experience for everyone and there are many different situations.

Do you have any shopping tips to share about what works for you?

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  1. Great tips, Suanna. Having a list, having a plan really does help, doesn't it? I have a Master List for grocery shopping, which coincides with the aisles at the 2 stores I shop at. So helpful - gets me through quickly, and I'm less likely to forget important items.
    Enjoying this Food Cost series you are doing!

    1. Thanks. I've used a master list in the past, but our needs changed and I haven't made a new one.

  2. Really good tips! Saving money on shopping is very important to us and you've done a great job of covering the important tips.


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