Saturday, June 9, 2012

Grocery Groove, part 1

When time is of the essence, I try to get as much in from the van as possible each trip, I can definitely relate to this :)
I would have to call myself the "official" grocery shopper of our family so I had to learn how to read sale flyers, navigate the isles of grocery stores and shop for an ever growing family. Along the way I have learned many things through trial and error, especially shopping with little ones in tow. I am going to do a multipart series on how I save a few dollars at the store starting off with the largest money saver of them all...

Plan, Plan, Plan
Before I ever leave for the grocery store I have a grand master plan and this is what works for me.

  • Look at the sale flyers for the three major grocery stores in my tiny town 
  • Compare prices on basics I know the price of from my store of choice to see if I can get a better deal from another place 
  • Write down great sale items
  • Check specific deal blogs that show deals matched with coupons to make it an even better deal http://www.frugallivingnw.com/ is one of the sites that I use to find out the best deals at Fred Meyer 
  • Write down the basic specific items we are out of that I want even if I don't know they are on sale. 
  • Organize my list by type (dried goods, produce, meat, dairy) that way I don't wander all over the store looking for things. 
  • Go through my list and estimate the prices so I have an idea of how much of my budget I will be spending and I also leave a little wiggle room for clearance and forgotten items. 
  • On my list I also have a column that reminds me what items I have a coupon for and what type of coupon it is (such as an e-coupon or a manufacturers coupon)

Fred Meyer Super One
 Price  Grocery Item  Coupons  Price  Grocery Item
 $3.00 Lunch Meat  $4.50 Blueberries x 3
 $1.50 Pop Corn  $3.00 Raspberries x 2
 $2.00 Canned Tomatoes/Beans x 4 in-ad  $1.50 Black Berries
 $4.00 Rtiz and Wheat Thins
 $1.67 Sour Cream
 $1.67 Cottage Cheese
 $3.00 Gold Fish Crackers x 2
 $3.50 Creamer x2 mc
 $2.00 Hand Soap
 $1.00 Bananas
 $6.00 Trail Mix
 $4.00 Granola Bars


 $2.00 Grapes
 $3.00 Lunchables w/ fruit mc
 $3.00 V-8 Smoothie mc
 $4.00 Yogurt c, yoplait
 $2.50 Ice Cream e-c
 $1.00 Popsicle e-c
 $2.00 Raisins e-c
 $2.00 Pretzles
 $2.50 white sugar
 $3.00 pancake mix
 $58.34

The above is a sample of my grocery list from last week. I don't normally type it out but thought it might help keep things organized. In theory it was a cool idea but it took me way too long between breaking up wrestling matches and nursing a tiny baby. Apparently we were running low on snacky things at this point in time.

  • Plan out the path I am going to take through the store (this sounds wild but it really helps me)
  • Grab reusable bags because my grocery store will take off $.05 from my total for every bag I use. Hey a quarter is still a quarter!
  • When I get to the store I also try to park near a cart return because it's so much easier to just roll at cart a few feet when your groceries and kids are all tucked away in the vehicle. 

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