Friday, May 14, 2010

Spin Cycle--Cutting costs's economize this week for the Spin Cycle!  Check out Sprite's Keeper for more ways to save.
small cycle

Our best place to economize is the grocery store.  We have three choices in our town--Safeway(The expensive option), Walmart(the cheap option, but not great quality) and Albertson's (the affordable, quality option).  Guess where we go.

About three years ago we decided that we needed to get a handle on what we were spending at the store.  I did most of the grocery shopping, but with only the needed items on the list, I added what sounded good while I was at the store, which led to lots of unneeded extras and more money spent on food than was necessary.  We started to look for coupons and watch the adds and see what we could do to cut back on expenses. 

The coupon thing does not work well for us--I'm horrible at remembering to use them and often the coupons we get are for things we wouldn't use anyway.  I know getting coupons is easier now that there are downloadable coupons but I still don't tend to remember to use them when we are checking out unless they are the ones that are in the ads. 

I have found that by watching the ads and shopping the store brands we can keep the grocery bill to around $50-$60 a week.  We don't have to by meat or frozen veggies at the store--we get them from a club thing--so that saves us and Nick hunts and we eat the game he kills.  I grew up on it and I like eating it so that also helps too.  I tried the Grocery Game web site (I'm not recommending or anything, this did not work for us and it costs but it does work for lots for people) and it helped but I found that by watching the ads I can save us money and we can stock up on the things we use most often like canned beans, canned tomatoes, and soups and things like that.  Lots of products go an sale about every three months and if you stock up when they are on sale you can have them on hand until the next time they go on sale.  Like I said, the savings add up after a while.  It also helps the pocketbook that we like the Albertson's brand on beans and tomatoes and pasta and things like that.

I have learned to take a detailed list with me to Walmart and Kmart(our discount options in town).  If I don't I forget what I need and end up with lots of impulse buys.  I have self limited my trips to these stores to two or three time a month.  I simply can't got in these store without buying something so I just don't go in unless I have a list and needed items.

Which leads me to the most important thing I take with me to the store.  The all important list.  The list starts as a pad of paper with a magnet that is stuck to the refrigerator in our kitchen.  I can add things we run out of and then before we go to the store we look over the ads and look for the things that are on good discounts and also for the things we need for the following week to cook the rather tentative meals we plan.

And lastly shop with purpose, don't wander aimlessly.  I find more stuff we "need" if I just wander the store but have no real purpose when I am in Walmart or the grocery store.  If I go in looking for the things on the list I do better than if I go into the store and just sort of roam the aisles.

So that is how we grocery shop and it has been saving us money.  Oh, one last thing--we shop together. We do much better if we are both there to watch what the other puts in the cart.  I am less tempted by the sale stuff that sounds good and Nick buys the things we need, not just some of the stuff--"But honey I only spent $30 at the store!"  And only came home with a quarter of the things we needed.  Yeah that saves money all right.


  1. I am HORRIBLE at the grocery store... especially if it is WalMart! Since #3 was born we have done better... hubby goes to Winco late late late one night each week after work. I just give him a few items. He hates shopping so he just gets what is on the list & in & out he is. This saves me numerous trips to the store & so I just go once every month & 1/2 or so for all the big stuff.

  2. I have definitely learned to shop differently since being married. Every Penny counts in this economy! I too use a list, which helps a lot so does the meal planning I do. It takes a lot of guessing out of what to fix. It also helps to have a well stocked pantry!

  3. Yes, the list! I stick to it every time and never deviate since that has gotten me into trouble before. No more wandering down the toy aisle! You're linked!

  4. You are so right about the power of the list! I am a terrible impulse shopper - though it's usually on stuff for the kids.

    With that being said, I'm about to head off to pick up my daughter from daycare. Where there is a book fair. And a book. She wants. Sigh.

  5. I absolutely hate when my hubs comes to the store with me because he is the one that starts grabbing stuff we dont need!


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