Smart Shopping

28 Feb

There are many strategies to lowering your grocery bill. I’ll share mine with you. For my husband, me and my 2 year old girl we’ve been spending about $300 a month on groceries. This month I was able to decrease it to about $255, and I wanna see if I can keep that up. This does NOT include nonfood items like shampoo, paper towels, detergent, etc… It also does not include eating out, which this month was over $100 (I know, that wasn’t very frugal!).

So here’s how I do it:

  • Generic brands – Almost everything I buy is the cheap store brand. A few items I have decided I like name brand, like sour cream. It doesn’t seem to get smelling weird as fast as the generic sour cream. But for the most part I buy the cheapest.
  • Sales– You can plan your meals around what’s on sale that week and/or stock up (as long as it won’t go bad before you get a chance to eat it). For example, my husband likes Tabasco sauce and I have made a personal goal to not ever buy it at full price, as it goes on sale every now and then and I can stock up on it.
  • Buy in season and grown locally – this mostly applies to fruits and vegetables. For example living here in West Texas I almost never buy berries, as they’re expensive from being shipped here. So instead we eat a lot of cantaloupe which grows great out here and is therefore cheap.
  • Cook with cheap ingredients – This can vary, but usually some cheap foods are: pastas, rice, beans, potatoes, etc…
  • Warehouse stores – I have a Sam’s Club membership and recently did a rough calculation of how much we save buying certain items there and was pleasantly surprised to see that in cheese alone we easily cover our $40 a year membership (plus some).
  • Make a price list – This idea I got from “The Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn (highly recommend). Keep track of the unit prices of items you buy often and see which stores are cheapest and when sales really are a good value. This has been really handy for buying things at Sam’s. A lot of things are cheaper there, but not everything.
  • Coupons – Okay, so actually I almost never use coupons for 2 reasons:
  1. They’re usually for name brands, and as I mentioned before I usually buy generic.
  2. They’re usually for items I don’t buy, like pre-made frozen meals.

But on t he occasion that I find a coupon for something that I usually buy and in a brand I usually buy it in, I’ll use it. The other day I printed off a coupon from the Tabasco website and saved 50 cents.

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2 Responses to “Smart Shopping”

  1. sharon brown February 28, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Nice going Katy….I agree with the coupon thing and I have an Aldis store in Sayre and a Dollar General in Nichols. I also buy in bulk and divide it up….I realize this is difficult if you don’t have a freezer other than the refrigerator. I do live alone and I usually can fit everything into the freezer. I have not used my upright freezer in a long time. I am saving electric by not using it….(Of course, it is really old and maybe a newer one would be more effecient) AND, I know you don’t have a lot of room to stock up on bulk! Keep your post going I love it~!!!!!

    • purposelyfrugal February 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

      I shopped at Aldi when we lived in Wisconsin, but sadly they don’t have one here. =(

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