Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Some tips for grocery shopping

I have been reading a book called "House Works" by Cynthia Townley Ewer. It is about organizing and cleaning and managing your home. I enjoy books like that as they help to get me motivated. I check those sort of books out at the library (I love my library!!). Any way in it she has a great list of tips for grocery shopping which I will share with you. (The list is hers- the comments are mine)
  1. Never shop hungry. This is a very good idea as being hungry can make those expensive snack items or deli food look oh so yummy. I have to admit that I don't always manage to go at the perfect time when I am not hungry, but I try. If you are going to be out at a time when you will get hungry (and if you have kids along, who are almost always hungry) take a snack along for the way (like a banana, etc)
  2. Shop less, save more. The more often you go to the store, the more often you have the temptation to buy extra things. I like to keep extra things on hand so that I don't have to make last minute trips to the store. We also keep a running grocery list so that we will know what to buy when we do go.
  3. Shop at home first. When you are planning your menu, check what is in your cupboards and plan around that. It saves money to use what you have (which hopefully you bought on sale or got from your garden) rather than let it get old in your cupboards.
  4. Make a list, and live by it. Lists are very important for good grocery shopping. It is hard to remember everything you do or don't need otherwise. I am not always the best at the "living by it" however as I will check out clearanced items and sales.
  5. Time trips for best savings. This is something I haven't tried but she says that you can figure out which days the meat and produce managers mark down the soon-to-expire items and get up to 50% off.
  6. Be fickle and shop around. It is silly to be loyal to just one store. Check the advertisements for each store and get the best prices over all.
  7. Love those brand names? Get over it! This is something that I have never had to deal with my own prejudices on as I grew up eating store brands. It is something that amazes me how people will pay twice the price for the very same thing, it was quite likely produced at the very same place. I know once when eating canned green beans and we found a stem in them (store brand ones) my husband wondered if that was the price we paid for not buying name brand. Well shortly after we were camping with some relatives and ate some name brand green beans and I found a stem in them, so I don't think it makes much difference.
  8. Do the math on unit pricing. The biggest container isn't necessarily the best price. Figure out the the price per unit to find the best deal. Many store have that already done for you.
  9. Shop with the season. This really applies to fruits and vegetables. They are much cheaper and taste much better when you buy them in the right season.
  10. Buy in bulk. Often you can save a lot of money this way. I like to buy from co-ops and we also buy from a grain elevator. However, be sure to not buy more than you can use. If you only use half and the rest goes to waste that doesn't save you money. You might consider finding somebody to buy with you and then split it.
  11. Love those "loss leaders". These are sales that are offered at below cost just to lure people into the store. I pay close attention to these and if something is offered that we use, I go in and stock up enough to last us(hopefully) until the next time they run that sale (as long as it is an item that stores well). We have a full pantry and freezer because I get a lot when there is a good sale.
  12. Chose unprocessed. Fresh is nearly always cheaper then a convenience food. You can make a lot of cakes from scratch for the price of a few cake mixes. (The same goes for any other kind of mixes). This is even more true with soup. Making soup from scratch is an incredibly cheap way to eat but canned soup is not. Also you get the added benefit of having much healthier meals.

These ideas have all been useful to me (I have used most of them for a long time) and I hope they are to you. Check out Cynthia's Website for a lot more info on keeping your home organized. She has a lot of charts, calenders and things like that available for printing as well.

1 comment:

Mrs. Elliott said...

Great tips and tricks for grocery shopping!

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