Grocery Shopping questions

Discussion in 'The Loafing Shed' started by equusteacher, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    We are trying to find ways to cut our budget.

    Is ALDI really that good of savings? How is quality vs cost?

    Do you buy "house brands" / generics from your store of choice?

    Do you use coupons? Are those coupons on stuff you'd normally buy or do you find yourself buying it because you "have a coupon"?

    Do you do large shopping (say a month at a time) or weekly shopping?
    Which do you think saves you $?

    any other good ideas on how to cut down on house hold expenses?
    cheap cleansers?
    Cutting your dryer sheets in half?
     
  2. AmyB

    AmyB New Member

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    I've been buying just the basics. Caputo's or Meijer is great for meat, I do jewel brand stuff for almost eveything else (get a discount from the kid working there) and I started making me own dog food, which is working out great for all involved. I've been trying to avoid convienence food and just go for meat, veges, rice and potatos. No more snack foods etc.
     

  3. alljackedup

    alljackedup New Member

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    Is ALDI really that good of savings? How is quality vs cost?
    You have to be careful with some things. Some are actually a few cents more than, say, walmart. But "as a whole" they have great deals. Hardly any name brands though.

    Do you buy "house brands" / generics from your store of choice?
    if walmart has a house brand for what I need, I almost always use that. Some things though, have to be the brand. ei. Hidden valley ranch dressing etc.

    Do you use coupons? Are those coupons on stuff you'd normally buy or do you find yourself buying it because you "have a coupon"?
    Use coupons sometimes, but find that if I look for coupons, I end up buying things I normally don't need, and then end up spending more $

    Do you do large shopping (say a month at a time) or weekly shopping?
    Well, there are 5 of us (2 teens and a pre-teen included), so we do 1 huge trip every 2 weeks...approx $300.00

    Which do you think saves you $? Shopping every other week, lets me plan for meals, instead of just stopping on the way home, and impulse buying.
     
  4. Rachel

    Rachel New Member

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    I can say 100% that shopping once a week has saved me quite a bit.

    Our situations are similar (just two adults), so I think this could really work for you, ET.

    We have a scheduled time where we plan our meals for the week. With my list in hand, I go to the store and purchase only things on the list--NO deviations at all.

    I have not thrown food away in a year. Not one scrap.
     
  5. Pixin

    Pixin New Member

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    ET, is there a Woodmans grocery store nearby? I found them to be alot better on prices.

    How about buying meat in bulk? There is a great meat market in Dekalb that has some really good deals. I also got a vacuum sealer for Christmas and have been packaging chicken breast, etc. for the freezer. I love that thing! Food will last much longer and not get freezer burn.

    http://www.meatplace.com/ go to the list on the left and click on "No Club Card" for the prices on bulk meat.
     
  6. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    Rachel,
    So you guys sit down plan out an entire weeks meals down to ingredients?
    Make a list containing only those ingredients? Shop only from that list?

    Do you "plan" for desserts? Say cookies/icecream etc?

    Do you count house-hold goods into your grocery budget (ie: laundry soap, toilet paper etc...)?
     
  7. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    There is a woodmans but it's out in Algonquin (aprox 20 miles from home).
    We have a fairly small side by side so "stocking up" on freezer stuff isn't really an option. :-
     
  8. lori

    lori New Member

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    I do not like Aldi's... one is dirty, the other, customer service/lines are often really crappy when I've went. It's very hit and miss in terms of what's there, so I don't shop there but a few times.

    I usually shop at Wal-Mart, definitely buy some of their generics. I probably go once a week. It helps to know prices and kind of have a feel for them. We go to Sam's Club for their cheap lunch food and then will wander to kill time during my lunch hour. So every now and then I'll pick up something that's a savings either in money or in terms of my time.

    We've been regular grocery shopping once every two weeks. I try to keep everything on hand for maybe 7-10 key meals full time, sometimes I'll think of something in the store or remember something we used to eat all the time and remember to buy those ingredients. Sometimes I'll make an after work trip for a particular meal but I'm usually feeling celebratory if it's worth the 5:30 pm grocery store trip.

    DW would never go for it but back when it was just my daughter and I we were mostly vegetarian cause neither of us were all that enthused about meat. I do like a really good meal focused on meat every once in awhile but the day to day stuff I make, I usually like the sides better anyway. I think that was a lot cheaper way to go.
     
  9. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    When Hubby and I were first married we did EXACTLY that!

    We would put desserts on the list.

    House-hold goods can get you further from you budget if you don't plan for them. They can add up real quick if you don't keep an eye on it. If something is getting low - put it on the "needed soon list" and watch for deals, then snag them up!
     
  10. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    We have always done huge s hopping trips, loading up on tons of stuff (both food and house hold) allat once.
    BUT: we tend to foget stuff we need or run out of shomething we thought we had enough of.
    It makes us have to run out for "a few things" all too often and that always ads up more.

    I'm thinking we need to revamp how we shop/plan to get a better handle on our expenses.

    Thanks guys!
     
  11. horselessnolonger

    horselessnolonger New Member

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    I shop about once a month and always at the Wal Mart around the corner. Its just me and the dog now so I tend to just stock up on non-perishables and call it a month. I am not a big meat eater so mostly I just have a package of chicken breasts in the freezer for dinner guests. I buy all frozen fruits and veggies - because I got so tired of throwing stuff out that goes bad after a few days. I spend alot of time in the frozen section and in the pasta/rice sections. I know its not healthy but lately I have become a cereal for dinner person.

    Including dog supplies and other house hold items (cleaning supplies, shampoo, etc..) I normally spend right around $100 a month.
     
  12. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    I spend $100 just on the dogs alone LOL! ;D
     
  13. Morganfan608

    Morganfan608 New Member

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    I like Aldi for some things (their version of Rice Krispies and Cherios SUCK, their frozen pizzas are good). Like AJU said, you need to watch....everything there is not a 'deal'. The 2 near us are very clean and freshly remodeled. I like super Wally world and Jewel for some things as well. I LOVE Woodman's! Good prices, great produce and nice meat dept.

    I am on of those annoying people who has stacks of coupons @ the checkout. I only buy what I need and I ALWAYS shop (and stick to) my list. I shop every 2 wks, spend $500-$600 per mo. for a family of 5 (2 of the 5 are 18 yo boys w/tapeworms) including cleaning supplies/laundry soap, shampoo, deoderants ect.
     
  14. cherokee

    cherokee New Member

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    We go twice a month but hope to get it down to once a month. I like to visit two
    diffrent bent and dent stores we have in our area. I stock up on canned goods
    shampoos and conditioners. Sometimes I can catch it just right and get ripped bags of
    dog and kitty food that have been taped really cheap. I have been lucky and numerouse
    times have found the on the go crystal light for only .75 a box. I can find sugar free
    candy and gum on a regular basis cheap.

    What I need that I can't find I usually will go to either save alot or walmart.

    For meat we eat a lot of pork as every year in the fall hubby's uncle gives us a whole hog
    we just pay for processing. I have my hams quartered then the quarters cut in half.
    I have alot of chicken and fish in the fridge with a few pounds of ground beef.

    Hubby usually only has to pick up a gallon of milk and bread. We get our eggs
    from our neighbor. I have cut way back on chips and snack stuff and have
    started dehydrating fruits and veggies.

    I make sugar free jello for a snack for hubby. For house hold I go to the dollar tree store
    as they sometimes have name brand cleaners but I mostly buy the brand called the Works.
    I generally get tp, paper towel, and paper plates there.

    I also take any change that I have left and put it in a can at the end of the month
    I cash in the change and put it in savings.
     
  15. horselessnolonger

    horselessnolonger New Member

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    He weighs 5 lbs. so a bag of food lasts about 3 months. I spend about $10 a month on his treats.

    PS....before you say anything..........shut up BUC!!
     
  16. poodlelover

    poodlelover Moderator

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    Just got back from the grocery store and saw your thread.

    I shop at the local store in town - it is comparable or better than Pick 'N Save which is about 8 miles away. I have taken to making a list from the weekly flyer and what I don't have on hand. They mark down meat and other perishables that are going out of code and I always look for those and put them in the freezer. I generally get my household stuff there too since I detest WalMart and that's where I tend to buy crap I do not need. I generally grocery shop once a week on Thursdays because they have additional one day specials on Thursdays. Weekly bill is between $30 and $40. Unless I have an absolute grocery emergency I do not go to the store again during the week. This does not inlcude bags of dog/cat food but does generally include dog treats.
     
  17. horsecrazier

    horsecrazier Senior Member

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    Have been an Aldi's customer for 22 years! They have much more variety then they had 20 years ago. Huge savings on the items we buy regularly. Some things are a tiny bit higher than something that may be on sale at another store, but their prices are always the same. Store is always clean.
     
  18. Rachel

    Rachel New Member

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    We will discuss what the "breakfast of the week" will be, and purchase a box of oatmeal, or cereal, or bagels.... what not, and eat that until it's gone.
    Then, lunch of the week and all the needed supplies (bread, lunchmeat, salad veggies, condiments)
    Then snack of the week (chips, cheez its, string cheese, yogurt)
    Then dinners...We pick out exact recipes that I will make, then we check the cabinets/fridge/freezer, and shop for what is missing.

    I have a sweet tooth, and I really needed to curb it. I stopped buying all "convenience sweets", save the occasional bag of M&M's. Instead, I have ingredients with a long shelf life to bake/make things I really enjoy---but it HAS to be from scratch, so there is a real effort involved. It also works out to be MUCH cheaper per serving.

    Seriously consider getting the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. You can divide the recipe and enjoy a few made-to-order warm cookies after dinners.

    It can get VERY involved. My "kryptonite" is eggs. We like them, but rarely ate a dozen before they expired.
    I will go out of my way to buy a half-dozen, or choose dishes that require eggs so that I do not have waste.

    Of course the system is not perfect. Sometimes Sundays become a mish-mash of leftovers, but it's kind of like tapas! LOL!

    As far as the household cleaners/soap/detergents....I buy lots when it's on sale. It does not expire, so strike while the iron is hot on that stuff. I buy as much as I can store at the time. Hell, I bought palmolive ONCE last year, and have not run out yet---it was 3 full sized bottles for a dollar, so I bought 3, Charlie got 3, and I went back the next day for 3 more.

    I AVOID all of the big-box stores like Costco and Sams like the plague. WTF are we going to do with 16lbs of pretzels?

    You may or may not notice a savings with this plan, but I really did. Mega-planning for shopping trips is worth it for me. Eliminating food waste is also very awesome.

     
  19. lori

    lori New Member

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    Regarding cleaning products... It was late, I wanted to clean, I had NO scrubbing bubbles or 409 type products. (Granted, I am not the most ambitious house cleaner.) I googled for alternate cleaning products and read an article that said baking soda and lemon juice cleaned everything. I was like, "BULLSHIT!" and so I tried it on my white ceramic kitchen sink. The thing is scratched up and gets grime in the scratches and looks like crap except for 5 minutes after I clean it. Well, sure as shit it worked. I tried it on bathtub soap scum and it worked there, too. Plain white vinegar is supposed to be the other thing that cleans everything.

    In fact, I think this was the site I stumbled across: http://housekeeping.about.com/od/environment/a/vinbaklemons.htm

    Anyway... generally I buy store brands of most cleaning supplies... Not the biggest dent in my budget. (Heh, heh, as I sweep my horse habit under the rug.)
     
  20. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    You all are awesome!

    This is the exact fule I needed to convince the man that it does pay to plan and do alternate styles of shopping!

    WOOT!