Grocery Savings

Until we really compared costs at Aldi last week, I thought I did a decent job of keeping my grocery costs down. One great advantage to having a nicely stocked pantry is that I can replenish when things are on sale.  This past week Target had Del Monte vegetables for .45/can.  Had I needed to replenish my canned goods, and had I needed other things from Joplin, I would have gone to Joplin and stocked up on canned goods.  I figure it takes about $12 in gas for me to make a round trip to Joplin so I always have to take that into account.  I keep a “Joplin list” which includes anything we might need from a larger grocery store, Lowe’s, Target, Hobby Lobby, clothes, etc. and always make sure the savings are worth the trip.  But, last week, I didn’t need to stock up on canned vegetables so I didn’t go.

Since we had to be in Pittsburg to get the iPod adapter thing installed, the trip there was basically “free”.

Shopping with Vince can get expensive.  Cookies!  Why does he buy cookies when I make homemade cookies? And Silly Putty . . because it was on sale and because it glows in the dark!  🙂

At Dillon’s, my bill was $235.67 and my savings was $65.67 (23%).  Of the 76 items purchased, only 7 of them were not on sale (milk, buttermilk, eggnog, cilantro, dried apricots, dried cherries and a bag of ciabatta rolls for my dressing).

I’ve been thinking about changes I want to make . . not necessarily New Year’s Resolutions type changes but everyday lifetime type changes.  If I can give up Dr. Pepper, I can do anything!  I’m not saying we’re cutting back on groceries because cooking is a hobby for me.  Eating great meals is something we enjoy.  I don’t mind paying more for quality products.  We’re not on a strict budget but I want to be a smarter shopper.  The trip to Aldi last week was an eye opener for me.  The one thing I refuse to do is buy something just because it’s on sale or because there’s a coupon.  But, using coupons can really save a lot if you’re buying things you know you will use and things you would buy anyway.

A blog reader sent me these coupon/savings sights

Southern Savers

Hot Coupon World

Totally Target

I Heart Saving Money

Are you happy with what you’re spending on groceries?  Do you see areas where you could save?  Will you put forth the effort to save some grocery $$?  What are some of the ways you think you can save on groceries?

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I buy quite a bit at Aldi’s… BUT…no canned corn..especially the cream corn…bad news..luckily we don’t eat a lot of corn.. I LOVE their Brenner tea bags. Much better tasting than Lipton.. You do have to look at prices though.. Sometimes it’s cheaper at the grocery store (which here is ONLY Walmart as I refuse to go to the local Krogers (I’ve gotten bad meat there twice)…

  2. 2

    vlynn says

    This year I started making my own laundry detergent and I love it. We are on a well and it seemed like the whites just never stayed “white white”. I make a big batch of it so I never run out. It’s much more economical than store bought and works great. I’ve seen recipes for dishwasher detergent on the internet but I’ve never tried making it.

  3. 3

    Elaine says

    Several years back when I was seeing a nutritionalist, she said to shop in a grocery store only on the aisles around the inside walls of the store for edible groceries, so at the store we shop at, that would be fruit and veggies, meat, eggs, milk, yogart. No pop, no breads, no chips, no candy. I pretty much still do that, but ocassionaly drift to the inner aisles. Sure does pop into my head when I shop however!

  4. 5

    Liz says

    I’ve started thinking about what I am stocking up on and the costs. I’ve been reading a column in my local paper about using coupons, so I have started looking more at the flyers. I am lucky since I have three grocery stores near me, so it is easier to catch good sales. What is surprising is looking at the CVS amd Walgreen flyers for deals, since they also have good sales.

    I always write my shopping and travel lists out. In the summer, when it is so hot, you have to be sure that the last stop is the grocery store, so the stuff doesn’t melt by the time you get home!

  5. 6

    says

    I have been subscribing to a coupon tracking service for about 7 months now. It only costs me about $1.25/week and I get our local Sunday paper ($2/week) for coupons. I only buy what we will actually eat- no sodas, highly processed, nutritionless products. I also have a well stocked pantry with lots of whole grains and two freezers (one upright, one small chest freezer)stocked.
    The service has helped me with using coupons when the things I want are at the lowest price on sale and tells me exactly which ad and date the coupons are from to use with the sale price. All I do is file my Sunday coupons in folders by date. It takes me less than 30 minutes to make my list and pull out the coupons. I then print my list and I’m good to go!
    I’m now spending maybe $100/month in groceries (including cleaners, etc) and stocking up my pantry! I don’t have to buy groceries unless the price is on sale for what I’m willing to pay!
    We use our leftovers more effectively now and use powdered milk for any cooking/baking

  6. 8

    says

    Your comment about New Year’s resolutions made me smile. Aren’t New Year’s Resolutions supposed to be about making “everyday lifetime type changes?”

    I think the biggest savings I make at the grocery store have less to do with buying what’s on sale and are more about avoiding processed packaged foods (like Vince’s cookies) as much as possible. Although I started on this path as a means of eating healthier, I noticed I also ended up spending less–kind of win-win.

  7. 9

    Sally H says

    We grow as much of our food as is reasonably possible (reasonably as in we have the land, but not the tractor or equipment to grow grain.) That includes keeping goats for milk (and making most of the dairy products we eat), growing a big garden, growing chickens and turkeys (which I process at a friend’s processing set-up), cows, sheep, and pigs. The larger animals we take to be processed at a local butcher. I know EXACTLY what I am putting in my body when it comes to meat, and I try to know as much about the rest of our diet as well. That means that Hidden-Valley-Ranch-in-a-canister that you said you found at the grocery store wouldn’t come home with me, no matter what it cost. There are just so many hidden ingredients in today’s processed foods, and as I learn more about them, the less I want them in me. So, yes I’m interested in saving money, but it is not often you find coupons for things I do bring home from the store.

    I know, I know, you don’t eat your chickens. IMO a big mistake. It is very important to me that my birds live healthy happy lives, outside, on grass, with plenty of non-GMO food. Then they die as quickly and painlessly as I can orchestrate, and become wholesome food for me and mine. You have never tasted chicken stock until you’ve had some made from an older hen. It is amazing!