Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Terrific Tuesday: the basics, shopping

It's New Years Eve.  Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday.

The second step on groceries on the cheap is shopping.  We have already talked about the prep for shopping.  A little time on the front end, saves gas and money  on the back end.

First, don't overlook stores other than the chain stores when grocery shopping. Me go to two chain stores weekly most of the time.  Sometimes, we only need a few things and the bargains just aren't there.  There are some weeks now when we don't have to shop at all.  There are warehouse stores like Costco, SAMs club, and Winco.  Winco does not need a membership.  I didn't see a lot of bargains the last time I was there.  There are overstock stores like grocery outlet and big lots.  They have a limited amount of food buy what they do have can be at good prices.  You need to always check pull dates.  But, it has been my experience that checking pull dates everywhere is a good thing. Don't overlook the drug stores.  I have got really good buys at rite ado with up rewards and coupons. And I just got really good buys at Bartells.

Groceries in the cheap doesn't leave you much room for ready mades and mixes or kits with a few exceptions.  There are some things that are either cheaper than scratch, or are just too time consuming to warrant making the from scratch.  Other things are just as easy to make from scratch than they are from a box.  I get cake mixes for free or almost free.  We don't use a lot of them, but I do make chocolate decadence and lemon pound cake occasionally.

The basic mantra of groceries on the cheap is never to pay full price.  Stocking is a way to never be stuck having to have something and paying full price or more than full price, heaven forbid.  !?! lol
Paying full price is wasting money.

This isnt about hoarding, nor is it extreme couponing.  Taking a moderate approach to these ideas can be very beneficial to your pocketbook. There is something about not running out of food before your in out of month that gives one a sense of security.

There is a whole blog on ways the retailers try to get you to spend more money.  70 percent of all purchases on a grocery store are impulse buys.  Don't fall into their traps.  Bring your list, the ad, your coupon book.  Get in the store and get your food and get out.  The more time you spend in a store, the more money you will spend.  The more people you take with you, the more money you will spend.  If you have small children, leave them with someone if at all possible.  It's hard to deal with the I have to go to the bathrooms and the trying to get out of the cart and fall on our heads and concentrate on what is a good buy and what you have a coupon for.  It's just not efficient.  If I have to take our grandchild, I also take gramps and he pushes the cart with the car attached to it while I shop. I usually get on and out in about 15 minutes or less when I can concentrate on what I am doing. M

We go to the bread outlet about once every 6-8 weeks. The savings are remarkable and we generally get something for free.  If I'm not going to use it, I dry ot and make breadcrumbs.  Never pay good money for somebody else's dry bread.  The  same goes for stuffing or breadcrumbs.

When buying bagged fruit or veggies, weigh a few bags.  They have to fove you the weight on the package, but some have more weight than others.m the same goes for lettuce priced per head.

Buying the fruits and veggies that are in season affords you better prices and better tasting produce.  Tomatoes were on sale thos week.  It's late December.  They looked horrible.  Better then to use frozen vegetables and the fresh fruit in season instead.  My mother used to make apple and celery salad with walnuts.  Canned pears with blue cheese and walnuts os good too.

Grocery outlet has a large variety of cheeses, some cheap, some not.

The important thing to remember is that no one store has the best prices  on everything.  By going to a variety of stores, you can reap the best of what is offered.

We go to two chain stores a week.  I plan our trips to use the least amount of gas.  When I have errands in the next town, we hit the alternative stores.  Costco is on a need basis, since we generally buy meds and necessary paper products.  Once every six weeks or so we make a trip two towns away to the bread outlet and Winco sometimes.  I group errands together so I don't waste gas going to several stores.  I probably spend less than the person that gets one days worth of food at a time.

This basic post is something I do monthly.  I do it off the top of my head.  Please feel free to read other posts.   Some are better than others, and I remember different things.

I learned a lot from my mother who grew  up during the depression.  I also have read everything I could find on the subject for years and adopted anything that passed my logic test.

I started this blog when it was brought to my attention that people were running out of food before they ran out of month on snap.  It is totally doable to eat well on full SNAP. It does take some effort.
Years ago, I found myself a single parent with little money and almost never any child support.  Rent took almost 1/2 my pay, and daycare took the other 1/2.  I set out to learn anyplace I could how to stretch a buck.  I started writing this on the hopes I could make someone in the same boat rode the storm a little easier.

I have found that many people that read this blog are not on snap.  They read ot to be more efficient on the kitchen , for a new recipe, or to see where on Seattle the best buys are.  What ever the reason, I'm  glad you are reading!

Thanks for stopping by

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