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How Do You Handle The Cost of Groceries ?



 
 
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JUDYAMK
SparkPoints: (22,235)
Fitness Minutes: (6,534)
Posts: 1,393
4/29/13 12:09 P

In my home town that is easy ( if you are price conscious ) Our home town has a Surplus Outlet that opened a few months ago. Fresh vegetables real cheap a 5 pound bag of Dole potatoes $1.79 the prices are awesome. Plus we have 4 Dollar stores, & an Aldi's. I get all my frozen fruit to add to my yogurt shakes. for $2.49 a bag plus my Fit & Active, yogurt is.$.39 & so is the Greek yogurt.
Judy

Edited by: JUDYAMK at: 4/29/2013 (12:10)


J2740LOU
SparkPoints: (208,277)
Fitness Minutes: (213,752)
Posts: 3,775
4/29/13 12:07 P

I use coupons, I check the ads, I use a local farmer's market that has better prices for fresh fruits and veges 12 months out of the year, I don't impulse buy, I plan meals, I shop with a list, I don't shop when I'm hungry, we shop at Sam's for bulk items we use regularly and are less expensive than shopping locally or with coupons, we don't buy more than we can use reasonably without wasting any, use the freezer, don't eat out more than one or two times per week (It's usually our date night and Sat night that we eat out at our favorite restaurant that has great food, varied menu, good range of prices, and keep within the budget). Take price of gas and convenience into consideration as to where and when we go to shop; in other words, if we're going in a certain direction we try to organize our stops and set priorities as to what we're going to accomplish.

Edited by: J2740LOU at: 4/29/2013 (12:15)


RONNIEHUEY
Posts: 10,003
4/29/13 11:57 A

99 cent store and Dollar tree.Grocery Outlet.Sales.Mark down rack



SHERYLDS
Posts: 11,754
4/29/13 11:49 A

the prices of meat products and the price of fish has actually helped my healthy lifestyle. I can't affort too often. And I definitely can't afford the organic ones.
And as much as I love nuts...they are way too expensive for me...
even peanuts don't go for peanuts these days emoticon .



PATTIJOHNSON
Posts: 2,074
4/29/13 11:39 A

I buy food in bulk at Costco and even share the large quantities with others (splitting the price). I will use coupons only if they apply to something I normally buy. I generally don't drive from store to store because the gas I use often cancels the savings I will make shopping somewhere else.

One of the greatest keys to keeping your grocery bill down is to make a weekly plan of what you will be eating every day. Only shop for items that you will need.



FIRECOM
SparkPoints: (107,673)
Fitness Minutes: (11,796)
Posts: 5,855
4/29/13 10:22 A

JERANDELIS has the plan. We are on a very limited fixed income (SSA) and this is a challenge. I have budgeted $350 per month and so far I am $50 under budget for Jan thru April. Eating out is not in the equation except for an occasional lunch or breakfast. Dinners are too expensive and too large as well.



ELISAJANE57
Posts: 739
4/29/13 10:15 A

I guess I did forget to mention, we try to only eat out once a week or even less. I didn't even out at all this past week. My DH loves eating out though so it's been tougher to break him of this. He's also not on board with me for a healthy lifestyle despite complaining about being overweight. I guess that's another story though. I eat the majority of my meals at home. I don't even enjoy eating out. Even the restaraunts that boast about a healthy menu still manage to sneak so much garbage in their food. The calories are so high that I feel like it undoes my day when I eat out.



ELISAJANE57
Posts: 739
4/29/13 10:11 A

I don't handle it. I have tried so many ways to cut costs and I still feel like a failure after each and every single grocery store trip. I clip coupons and save $10-20. I buy generic and check out sale items. I try to avoid the center aisles unless I have something specific on my list and still end up paying at least $125+ to feed a family of 4. That family is only 2 adults and a 2 and 4 year old. This economy is a joke with the ridiculous prices on food and fuel. I'm so disgusted when I get gas for my car. I wish I could find a solution. My dream would be to do my weekly shopping for around $100 or less.



I_HEART_MY_FAM
Posts: 1,809
4/29/13 9:44 A

I also want to mention I am not paying extra for gas, I am in a great location all the stores are near one another. Costco is a favorite too. I live less then five miles from every store listed. Most are with 1.5 to 3 miles.



MKMMARTY
Posts: 1,254
4/29/13 9:43 A

complain and whine to my wife - but keep eating -- same as the price of fuel for the car



I_HEART_MY_FAM
Posts: 1,809
4/29/13 9:41 A

We have the choice to shop where we want, and people have the choice to charge what they want. I hope it forever stays that way, how else will I know I am getting a great deal? ;)Coupons are not just for processed foods.... I pay less at Winco and Food Maxx, but I get less service, they do not bag my stuff, but that is okay with me, they also are not well put together as the other stores as far as appearance, you pay for every little thing when it comes to marketing. Location is a factor too.



I shop at many stores I want the savings always! I shop at Grocery Outlet, Winco, Foodco. Food Maxx, Savemart has best price on Organic Milk for my grandson and has great mark downs so shop there selectively. I love 99 cent stores, not so much dollar tree anymore, but I still go there, I can't miss a great deal and one is on the way home. I use coupons but never for processed foods, as I also do not buy processed foods. I use them for condiments, all kinds of soaps, cheese, butter etc.



WORDWOMAN7
SparkPoints: (8,466)
Fitness Minutes: (1,750)
Posts: 148
4/29/13 9:40 A

We're buying less meat and stretching it further to keep the portion sizes correct. My husband is planting a garden, and we have some good Farmer's Markets in the area (although those can be more expensive than the grocery stores, but we like supporting farmers and we know that the food is locally sourced and very likely has fewer chemicals on them). Beyond that, we are shying away from processed foods other than cans of beans, tomatoes, etc. I'm also taking advantage of sales on produce that is in season; that helps.

I haven't really tracked how much we're spending on food since we've started sparking, but for now I'm viewing this as an investment in our health and new lifestyle. We're also hardly EVER eating out these days and rarely drinking alcohol (keeping it to one glass of wine when we do), so that's saving a lot. I will start tracking the cost of groceries in a bit, but for now we're focusing on eating well, exercising, and losing weight. That's plenty!



AMARANTHA120S
Posts: 474
4/29/13 9:31 A

Factoring the cost of gas, it is least expensive for me to shop only in a few places in areas I frequent anyway. I have few needs and basically just buy the same things over and over again and know how much I can spend.



JIMTHEATHEIST
Posts: 378
4/29/13 9:29 A

We use a lot of coupons, buy in bulk and pre portions most things out.



FITGLAMGIRL
Posts: 2,036
4/29/13 9:25 A

We only shop at 2 stores to get the best pricing. We don't buy processed foods, so we don't coupon clip. We do shop farmers markets when they are open. We like to shop the markdown meats and freeze them if we don't use the same day. We can find good deals on organic products this way both in meats and dairy.

It would be nice to find coupons for meats, veggies, and fruits.



JAVAJENN
SparkPoints: (8,282)
Fitness Minutes: (2,214)
Posts: 365
4/29/13 8:49 A

Buy the meat that is on sale.
If hamburger is priced well, I buy extra divide it into 1 lb. freezer bags.
Same with chicken. Chicken thighs are cheaper that breasts.
I have meatless meals at least once a week.
Check out other stores circulars to compare prices.
Make a menu before shopping and stick to my list.



DIDS70
Posts: 5,070
4/29/13 8:47 A

Mostly during the summer I buy from the local farmers market. The prices are reasonable and at least i know the stuff is local and I don't have to pay for transport.
You may also want to look into CSA's. It may be some money up front, but for the entire summer/fall growing season, you get fresh fruit and veggies every week.

I don't buy processed foods either so couponing is a waste of my time unless i go for toliet paper or cleaning supplies.



DELRIO1
Posts: 5,286
4/29/13 8:36 A

grit and bear it



BLUENOSE63
SparkPoints: (101,509)
Fitness Minutes: (76,885)
Posts: 2,953
4/29/13 7:39 A

As the DH does all the grocery shopping and cooking (envious sigh from readers), he has a route that he travels every Saturday based on the flyers. Healthy good food is an area we don't skimp on or go without and in exchange we don't go out to eat very often...maybe once every 6 months......My DH is a fantastic cook, cooks healthy and enjoys eating and cooking for others! He does watch the sale flyers for things like ribs and steak as we eat organic and buy our meat at a place like Whole Foods, here in Canada it is Farm Boy



FENWAYGIRL18
Posts: 5,854
4/29/13 6:47 A

we go to the base and I try to bring as many coupons as possible but they are tougher to find now since that extreme coupon show. Put it this way we don't eat steak a lot either hahaha



KKKAREN
SparkPoints: (212,062)
Fitness Minutes: (87,276)
Posts: 11,598
4/29/13 6:38 A

I have really noticed the rise in prices lately. I go to more than one store and have learned the prices in each one, follow the ad circulars and go for the bogos whenever I can.



MAMACRAFTY1
Posts: 772
4/28/13 9:20 P

I run a food bank. emoticon emoticon emoticon



SIMPLYME160
SparkPoints: (1,834)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 143
4/28/13 8:39 P

I will use coupons unless the store brand is less expensive than the cost of the name brand including coupon, watch for sales, often reduced produce or bakery items can be frozen, check weekly ads, be careful on some buy one get one free, often it is not really a sale since the price of the item can be raised nearly double, A local store today has meat for bogo, but the price is about $5 a lb which makes both packages $2.50 lb-on sale at another store for $1.99 lb! Compare!



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
4/28/13 8:32 P

SHERYL, yup, once you start paying attention you notice what the sale cycles are, and that makes it a lot easier!



CHERYLHURT
SparkPoints: (122,548)
Fitness Minutes: (72,847)
Posts: 21,892
4/28/13 8:29 P

We shop very carefully and plan meals for the whole week.



EWL978
Posts: 2,021
4/28/13 8:02 P

I live alone and therefore, I don't shop bulk....BUT if something that I use is on sale "buy one, get one free", I usually get 4, depending on whether or not I will be able to use that much within, say, a year. I also read their entire sales promo weekly to see what's on special before getting to the store. That, and buying only quantity I can use that week on produce and meats.




KKLENNERT809
Posts: 7,495
4/28/13 7:51 P

I shop smartly--look for sales and try to stay away from processed foods and keep to organic or fresh foods



SHERYLDS
Posts: 11,754
4/28/13 7:43 P

the major supermarket with the best prices in my area NY/NJ is Shoprite and about 3 or 4 times a year they have a CAN CAN sale where the price of many staple canned goods are about 30% less than their normal competitive pricing. But more and more, I realize that if I wait 3 weeks, then that super low price on chicken ( for instance) comes back....so I only stock up for 3 weeks worth. I think the same holds true with most of their items. So if it's a non-perishable or something I can freeze, then I buy enough to last me until the next sale time.



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
4/28/13 7:28 P

I buy in bulk when the prices are lowest. Like, about every 4 weeks my store puts chicken breasts on sale for 1.99/lb. So I buy anywhere from 2-4 packages (each package has 5 breasts) and portion out and freeze. I do the same for things like the fiber bars I like to eat. They were on sale last week for 2.49, and then it turned out they had coupons on the box where you get another dollar off if you buy two. So, I bought 4 boxes, so it worked out to $2 each... their regular price is close to $4. And, I'm set for 4 weeks with those. Since the sale cycles vary, I usually have to spend money on stocking up on one thing each week, so my total bill doesn't go too high even with buying large quantities of one thing.

I do also have a Costco membership, and I stock up on beef there, I like their beef better than the supermarket and the price is about the same. They also have stuff like a giant jar of pesto for not very much, when a tiny container at the grocery store is almost $5. They have good produce too, I buy my organic fuji apples there for less than a dollar a pound.

Then when I meal plan I do it based on what I have in my "stockpile" in my freezer and pantry. For fresh foods, I look at what's on sale, and I base my side dish veggies around that. So like this week, green beans were on sale for $1/lb. I bought 2 pounds, and that will be more than enough to cover me for a veggie stir fry with dinner tonight, 3 lunches of the same veggie stir fry, and another dinner where I'm going to saute them. Also, by doing the meal planning, I only buy what I need for the week so I have very little waste.

I went to the store today and I only spent $34 and that covered me for the entire coming week through Friday.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 4/28/2013 (19:33)


KMMAKI
SparkPoints: (80,371)
Fitness Minutes: (92,770)
Posts: 2,099
4/28/13 6:45 P

I use coupons, look for sales, buy very few processed foods and shop with a shopping list.



TRYINGHARD54
Posts: 3,174
4/28/13 6:38 P

buy less ?? going to have a bigger garden...



MISSYGEEN
SparkPoints: (23,788)
Fitness Minutes: (20,296)
Posts: 1,793
4/28/13 6:36 P

I buy a lot of ground turkey because I can make so many things with it. My freezer staples are chicken, fish and ground turkey and then I plan around that. Also I buy a lot of frozen vegetables to be sure that I have veggies when money is really low and I can't do the fresh produce.

I go to Aldi's when cash is low and Trader Joe's when I want a whole food experience without the whole Foods Budget. Only to find out that both stores are essentially owned by the same people. That makes me wonder if I bought into the ambiance of the store while some foods may be the same with a different label.



LOUNMOUN
Posts: 1,264
4/28/13 6:32 P

I plan our meals in advance and we stick to our grocery list when shopping.
We try not to go to the store for just 1 or 2 items.
I buy store brands.
I use what we already have on hand before buying more.
I try to reduce waste.
I try to have soup once per week.
I try to plan more meatless meals.



ONELILPEANUT1
Posts: 228
4/28/13 6:24 P

I try to buy things when they are on sale and I occasionally will use a couple coupons however I still leave the store complaining about how expensive the bill is.

Darn high cost's of living these days... :(

It also does nit help when you have a family of 5 to feed, and school snacks kill a budget!



GETRESULTSMDMEE
Posts: 1,344
4/28/13 6:05 P

Buy on sale thank God for new aldi stores opening in Houston area!



SHERYLDS
Posts: 11,754
4/28/13 5:59 P

WOW KENDILYNN...consider yourself lucky...coupons for real food?????
the only coupons I see these days are for processed foods and over priced cleaning products.



ANGHARAD3
Posts: 966
4/28/13 5:56 P

Coupons, Walmart, and meal planning in advance help a lot. I also use tips in AllYou magazine.



KENDILYNN
SparkPoints: (9,962)
Fitness Minutes: (13,133)
Posts: 660
4/28/13 5:53 P

My local chain grocery store sends out coupons once a month tailored to your purchasing habits, which often include coupons for specific produce (i.e. $.50 off carrots) or produce in general (i.e. $2 off produce purchase of $5 or more). Funny story: before realizing this, a girlfriend got her coupons and was so excited and called to ask me if she could have my Oreo, potato chip and soda coupons, since she knew I didn't buy that stuff. I told her I got my coupons too, but they were for carrots, greek yogurt and whole grain bread. We obviously shop in different aisles!



DANYLEIN
SparkPoints: (25,496)
Fitness Minutes: (21,777)
Posts: 359
4/28/13 4:21 P

- Buy what's in season
- Shop the sales ad
- Shop Aldi - they have awesome prices! and great quality



SHERYLDS
Posts: 11,754
4/28/13 3:12 P

LADYCJIM thanks for pointing out AllYou.com

I checkout their price list app and it was very interesting
checks thru the circulars to find the lowest prices in your area
www.allyou.com/static/weekly-circulars/>

good to know...
however ... it only compares what is in the circular....
sometimes you can get better deals thru the store's own brands which aren't posted.
but
it is a great way to look for deals



LOSTLIME
SparkPoints: (74,331)
Fitness Minutes: (21,430)
Posts: 19,221
4/28/13 3:02 P

I buy only what I need. I use coupons and look for the specials.



QUEEN3510VA
Posts: 439
4/28/13 2:54 P

only buy what's needed and make sure not to waste



TEIGH45
SparkPoints: (3,382)
Fitness Minutes: (1,984)
Posts: 31
4/28/13 2:50 P

I cut back where I can: clipping coupons and I started a garden of veggies and I'm going to start growing herbs as well. I also have an apple and peach tree, all this will aid in keeping my grocery bill low.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,853
4/28/13 2:36 P

shipping can be a big factor in cost. another thing could be the popularity of the item. in other words, if it is a new item that the store isn't getting in quantity, they will pay more for the item, particularly if compared with a store that does buy the item in bulk and receives a discount for doing so.

i don't know if you shop at target, but the do regularly have coupons for produce and such. i have $1 off any fresh veg, $1 off any fresh fruit, and $1 off chicken and beef at the moment. if you check their website regularly they will put them on there as well [though they seem to go really fast].



GRAMCRACKER46
SparkPoints: (27,956)
Fitness Minutes: (14,379)
Posts: 1,143
4/28/13 1:31 P

LADYCJM - I briefly checked out that web site (allyou.com) and will definitely visit it often. Thanks.

GRIZ1GIRL - can you do some gardening where you live?

SHERYLDS we are of like minds. I rarely find a coupon to use anymore unless it's for toilet paper or toothpaste. :)

One savings I use that hasn't been mentioned yet is BOGO...buy one and get one free. Yes, they are often processed foods, but I find them in produce and meats too. We shop mostly at Publix and even Walgreens.



MAXINOVA
SparkPoints: (27,046)
Fitness Minutes: (15,034)
Posts: 870
4/28/13 1:29 P

I shop at multiple stores. I use coupons. I try and save whenever I can.




LADYCJM
SparkPoints: (30,581)
Fitness Minutes: (26,059)
Posts: 1,698
4/28/13 1:20 P

I use a great web site called ALL YOU.
You can enter your grocery list, select your stores and it will find the lowest prices. You can also get coupons from the site.

You can also print your list with the best place to buy!

Edited by: LADYCJM at: 4/28/2013 (15:54)


2BDYNAMIC
Posts: 8,904
4/28/13 12:40 P

Know the standard prices of an item ........ for instance I buy a lot of garbanzo beans (in can) as I make hummus routinely ..............
One whole food store charges $1.29 while a more thrifty store costs only .79 ..... (when I find them on sale, I stock up) ..........




GRIZ1GIRL
SparkPoints: (127,022)
Fitness Minutes: (157,793)
Posts: 2,241
4/28/13 12:39 P

I live in a small town in a land-locked state, where everything has to be shipped in via train or semi-truck....so our groceries tend to be expensive. We don't have a lot of competition for groceries--just two small grocery stores & a Walmart Supercenter. :)

Nobody does double-coupon days, so those ideas are out for me. I mostly shop Walmart, and just try to get the best bargains I can--most of my cupboards are full of generic store brands or sale items!

Some things I buy regardless of price--fresh fruits & veggies that I eat every week are a must.



SHERYLDS
Posts: 11,754
4/28/13 12:31 P

I notice a huge discrepancy in the cost of food not only from state to state,
but from store to store.

How can there be a 30% difference in prices for the exact same item?
Not to mention a 50 difference per pound in the same fresh fruits between stores.
I go to the chain with the lower prices...and supply and demand...the lower priced store has more turnover...fresher dates....better quality for my dollar. So the little extra mileage (of 4 miles for me) adds up in much bigger savings.

And I don't buy processed foods...so I don't use coupons...I wish I could find some for whole foods (as in unprocessed). But I do buy what is on sale in season for the best buys and I have learned to try store brands and 90% of the time, I am pleasantly surprised.

What's your shopping strategy?



 
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