When it comes to grocery shopping I have friends who clip coupons, browse every store mailer and split their shopping between several different stores in order to get the best price. I also have friends who don't care about price and head to the store with the sole intention of getting what food they want to eat without taking price, sales or coupons into consideration. I have done it both ways, saved 90% on a pile of crap food that took me four different stores to acquire and headed to the closest store to get exactly what I wanted regardless of price.
I'm happy to report I now fall somewhere in the middle, and by supplementing my shopping at warehouse stores I'm now able to shop once a week to fill in the cracks with fresh fruits, vegetables and meats that have an expiration date.
During my experimental
couponing phase I found that rarely can one get fresh fruits, vegetables
and meats with coupons. Even dairy is hard to get for next to nothing
so I ended up buying an awful lot of chips, not because that was what we
ate, but because I could get 10 bags for $0.47. I certainly don't have a
problem stocking up on a few non perishable essentials and emergency
rations during a sale, but I certainly don't clear the shelves. Another
friend and I got into experimental couponing at the same time and we
both realized we just ate worse with those things were in our houses, no
matter how cheap they were. (However we do love using coupons for
household items, THAT'S the way to save money!)
I have four grocery stores within five minutes of my house but when it comes time to get a lot of groceries I actually choose a store that's about 20 minutes away. They have the best selection of fresh produce, much of it organic, as well as the greatest selection of many other items and really good sales. The grocery stores closest to me either have higher food prices when what you're buying isn't on sale or a miserable selection of produce and meats.
Now that I have a house with a pantry and chest freezer I've been able to do some more serious warehouse shopping, stocking up on staples such as condiments, canned goods and baking products for much cheaper than a grocery store. And while buying 10 pounds of chicken all at once for $17 seems a bit overwhelming, considering chicken at the grocery store averages around $2.50 a pound? Those 10 pounds at $1.70 a pound are a great deal if you have the means to freeze and store it.
I feel like I've finally hit my grocery shopping stride, not buying or spending too much and putting real food on the table for my family.
How do you choose where you grocery shop and have you found your grocery shopping stride?
by Kainalu55March 8, 2012 at 2:11 AM
we just shop at the same stores all the time and look for sales in that particular store. i use coupons if i have them, but that's rare.
by Mrs.Pool2BeMarch 8, 2012 at 6:54 AM
I usually shop at Wal-Mart, Kroger and Aldi. I hate shopping with a passion and don't really think I will ever find my shopping stride. Me and shopping of any kind are not a good team.
by gacgbakerMarch 8, 2012 at 9:08 AM
We go to our local store and to Sams- it depends on the week/month how we handle it- but my goal is to go once a month, then small runs (usually husband does this for me) for the fresh stuff and milk.
by elasmimiMarch 8, 2012 at 9:46 AM
If I haven't found it by now, chances are I never will, lol. (I'm almost 65) I shop at three stores. I check the ads each week, and there is one store that has awesome BOGO's. If they are something I use, I go for them, but don't care for their meat or produce. The second is about two miles closer to home, and I do the majority of my shoppng there, because it has everything I need and they have a great fuelperks deal. Last week I saved $1.25 per gallon when I filled my tank, can't beat that. Next I go to Fresh Market for beef and seafood. I make a simple loop about 10 miles roundtrip, so I don't think I'm wasting gas or much time.
by elasmimiMarch 8, 2012 at 9:48 AM
Oh, and I don't really use coupons a lot, because I don't find enough for things I use to make it worthwile. And in summer I buy most of my produce from a nearby farmers market.
by goddess99March 8, 2012 at 9:54 AM
We don't coupon or look at sale fliers. My dh decided where we were going to shop by the grocery store that sold the most international foods. So we shop there every week. It's a mile from our home so it's Very convenient, they have good sales and it's a largest grocery store in town so they pretty much have everything we want.
by bamababe1975March 8, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I chose mine by their regular prices which are less than other stores on most things without gimmicks, although gimmicks like BOGO and 1/2 off sales are great, too.
by LOswald0314March 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM
I shop where it is convenient, and only use coupons for items we need/want.
by LuLuRexMarch 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM
I don't like to spend too much time grocery shopping so I am really efficient when I go. I go to two different stores 5 minutes away from each other. The local grocery store is great for meats and has an awesome rewards program for baby items. The other store has significantly lower prices on almost every item.
by amonkeymomMarch 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM
It depends mainly on what I need. If I need meats or pasta I'll usually shop in bulk at Costco. If I need more fresh foods like produce, breads, etc. I get them from the grocery store. A lot of times I'll forget to add something to my list and end up picking things up last minute from Target.