Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Grocery Strategies

I wanted to make a post on how we best utilize the money James earns for our household purposes. The first list is for items we buys at Sam's Club. I have come to rely moreso on Sam's items than I do for Aldi. I am so thankful for this store!

HE detergent: I buy the big jugs of detergent for our HE washer. It's simple and a no brainer for saving.

Chopped Ham: It's sold in a 10# block and comes out to about $1.20 per pound. It's wonderful fried as a sandwich meat. You can add it to mac and cheese. It's good as an accompaniment to mac and cheese or pinto beans. We go through about five pounds a month.

Canned Nacho Cheese Sauce: This is wonderful for a quick lunch or even a supper "meal" in a pinch. All of our family enjoys having these nachos. This is sold in a #10 sized can.

Nacho Chips: We buy the big box at Sam's and besides convienance, these are at a great price.

shredded cheese: If ever, their prices are rarely beat. We use their mozzerella and cheddar a lot.

Sliced american cheese: This is very convienant and at a good price as well

Frozen Sister Shubert's yeast rolls: These are so yummy and you get 30 sandwich sized yeast rolls for a little over $5.

Premade biscuits in the pastries section: These aren't exactly homemade but the next best thing. A local camp meeting that we attend use these with sausage gravy. They are quite tasty that way and so I serve these with my own gravy. Now when I make homemade bisuits, it is to make yummy cheese biscuits.

Butter, milk, sour cream.... it seems that dairy products are at unbeatable deals here!

Frozen mixed fruit and strawberries.

orange juice

6# bags of pasta: These are so convienant and at comparable prices to that of stores.

Pancake Mix (Krusteaz): This stuff is quite good and economical since you just add water.

Animal crackers: I buy these large canisters quite often. They are a good cheaper sweet snack, but low in fat.

Toothpaste and mouthwash: We like Crest ProHealth and their toothpaste is at a great deal!

Miralax: wonderfully discounted. Nuff' said.

Shampoo and conditioner: I buy the big bottles here.

Meats: Their meats can be at great and use common sense as usual. They have quick sale meats often as well. One time we hit the store at closing. Two fellows working in the back asked if we wanted rotisourrie chickens at a buy one get two free deal. They said they couldn't leave till they were sold. So we did them a favor. :D

Spices: This section can be quite addictive. I love to use spices a lot and so try out new ones sometimes. This section also has canisters of instant gravies as well.
The cost is amazingly low.

Yeast: it's also in the spice section and the prices can't be beat. Freeze and the yeast lasts practically forever.

Well, these are a few of the things we regularly buy from Sam's. In between this place, a few items from Aldi and keeping an eye on sales items, this is how we supply our household needs.

At Aldi my main items I buy are: flour tortillas, soups, pop biscuits, mexican cheeses(melting and crumbling cheese) and jelly.

Food Lion is my usual place to pick up diapers, pullups and their brand of disposable sleep pants.

I buy all beef and pork at under $2.00/lb. and all chicken under $1/lb.

Produce is mostly bought at our local produce stand. In addition we have our own garden and I buy bag salads on clearance.

I usually buy our toilet paper at Sam's but will buy it at killer deals elsewhere.
I buy paper towels on sale as needed. We use paper towels sparingly.

We are about to get in a new batch of hens in about a week or two. They should start laying this fall. We currently have only two lonely hens and the rooster. But thankfully we've come across some great egg deals since Easter.

For our family, I buy Dollar Tree toothbrushes. We keep a big supply on hand for those times when one is lost...which is very often. You can buy a canister of 8 at the Dollar Tree for a dollar. Love it!

So far buying like this is what works best for our family. I am constantly tweaking new ways to save money. In today's times everything helps!

I used to do the drugstore deals but many times things backfired and I lost money. Oh and also with being obsessive on catching the best scenarios drove me nuts. Forget it, I am a mom of seven and I homeschool. I don't have time for games. If I want to play a game I'll pull out some checkers and play with the children. ;D

Please share your grocery saving tricks as well! I am all ears.


Blessedmom said...

I recently tried to do the CVS deals, but like you it was making me crazy trying to keep up with all the coupons, and making sure I'm getting the best deals. I still cut coupons but only what we already use or what we can buy for cheaper than the store brand. For us saving is cooking from scratch and watching sales, and with 4 kids and homeschooling, I don't have time, so I'm learning a lot about homemade shortcuts and making ahead meals and snacks. We don't have a Sam's nearby, but I was hoping to go check them out and see if they're worth the trip. It sounds like they are. Thanks for sharing!


Rosemary said...

I haven't even attempted the CVS deals either. I figured it would be way too time consuming for me and I'd end up with too much "stuff" that would be wasted.

We used to shop at BJ's Wholesale club but they closed down not too long ago. I haven't been into a Sam's club since they first came around in my area- many years ago. It sounds like they have changed and have a lot more grocery items. I remember when we went to check Sam's out, it was mostly computer, outdoors, and a lot of miscellaneous "stuff". We may just have to check them out again since you can find such wonderful things there!

I'm struggling with getting our grocery bill down too. We have to eat as much organic as possible so grocery buying is a challenge for sure. For the most part, we shop at Ingles and Whole Foods Market. I've recently started paying attention to the bottom shelves at Whole Foods and finding some good deals on things like baking powder and palm oil. One day I actually had to go to Walmart, Dollar General, and Ingles, all in the same day. I did manage to save a lot by hitting Walmart first. They had some organic produce on sale that was much less expensive than the other two stores. I've also found that the Dollar General's baby shampoo is comparable to the Johnson's brand. DG's aluminum foil is also as good as Reynolds. If you have to buy canned green beans, Dollar General usually had the Hanover brand cheaper than Ingles- same goes for graham crackers. I have realized that on Monday mornings and Saturday afternoons, my local Ingles supermarket puts all of their bananas on sale in huge bags for $1.49 because they have to get rid of them to make room for the new shipment.

My husband teases me in saying that shopping at a whole bunch of different stores isn't saving money, it's wasting gas. I think that sometimes a little drive to save a lot of money is worth it!

Sorry to write a book here! Bottom line is, I'm going to check out Sam's again- thanks!

dayz in and dayz out... said...

I'm in the Pacific Northwest. We have no CVS but we do have Costco, Walmart and Winco. I love them all. I have a set list of items I buy, meats, cheese, pasta, toiletries and such. I have a flexible menu with those items. It changes with the seasons and what is fresh or easy to make.
I buy in bulk as much as I can. I will only use a coupon if it's something I'm already buying.
I cook from scratch as much a possible...I don't make nooldes and such. We enjoy homemade breads but in the heat (no air-conditioning here)I just buy bread.
You are wise the way you shop. I gleen from you when you post. Thank you for that!
One thing, I'm sure you do it, I NEVER shop without a list! I write it as I empty items and as I find needs. If it's not on the list and I see it at the store, I put it on the back of my list and when I get home, put it on the next list.
This saves me alot of money.
I also try only to use cash. My girls will have a contest to guess what the bill will be. They carry paper and a pencil with them and tally. If one isn't paying attention then they may miss an item. It's fun and helps me stay on track!
Blessings to you,

Martha A. said...

Amen to not dealing with the drugstore games! Either I am dumb or I can't figure out why i want to do all that work for hair dye I will never use or 100 tubes of toothpaste!!
We have costco where I get some of the same deals you named, but mostly I shop at Smiths which is like Kroger. They will discount stuff too which saves me alot and have good sales! i buy some bulk things in bags from either Azure Standard (a health food coop) or other places for wheat, oats etc.