So, it has been one week since I posted some tips for saving money at the grocery store.
How has it gone this week?
I’ve noticed a few things I can do better.
First, I need to sit down each week and make a loooong list of items I need before I even get to the store. I used to do this: Plan out dinners, clip the coupons, find the best deals, and then head to the store. Lately, though, I have little time, and so instead I take a few days and figure out what we will need for those few days. The problem? I then have to stop at the store two to three times a week. And as we know, we don’t only get what we need when we stop ; we also toss in some extras, like that bag of chocolate chip cookies that are on sale and look so yummy good! If I had the list in advance I wouldn’t do this; hence, I would save some bucks.
I need to keep a running list. When I run out of something, I put it on the list so I can get it the next time I’m at the store. In fact, I need to put it on BEFORE I run out of it, because this is what has been happening: I run out of trash bags; I need them desparately; I have two kids in tow and don’t feel like running into the grocery store so I pick them up while at the drugstore filling a prescription and pay twice the price. I’m going to get better about this. More organized. Really!
I got an email from someone playing along with our grocery game and this is what she asked : Do you find that you do better by shopping at the grocery store or by stopping at places like the 99 cent store for items, where they are supposedly cheaper?
Answer: Depends, but honestly, I don’t have luck at those dollar stores. I’ll tell you why. First, once I priced them against some of the other stores i shop and I found that while it may only be a dollar, there may be half the amount of items. Secondly, what I have found in the dollar stores (not all of them, and not with all products), but I have found that oftentimes the things they make on their own, like trash bags, are not as good as the regular brands. Not even as good as the generics I can purchase at Ralphs. They may be cheaper, but if the darn thing breaks everytime I take out the trash, it’s just not worth it.
I think, when trying to save money at the grocery store, you have to figure out what it is that you can scrimp on (for instance, I don’t mind buying store brand paper towels) and what you can’t (but hate the feel of store brand toilet paper!)