Monday, August 3, 2009

Grocery Shopping

I do my grocery shopping in what I call three tiers. I shop typically at 3-4 different stores. Save-A-Lot, Aldi, Kroger and Meijer.

I first shop for the sale meats at the beginning of the month, I stop at Kroger and check for great deals on their 'Managers Specials' which is meat that needs to be sold that day or the next. Sometimes there is nothing but often times I find really good deals. One time I got two New York Strip steaks for $1.75, often times I find a flat flank type steak that is large enough to feed two of us for a normal dinner of steak and something with it or three of us for steak fajitas and walk out paying less than $4 for the steak. Next I go to Save-A-Lot and find the good deals on meats there. I stock my freezer usually for a few weeks to a month.

Next, I come home and I separate and put things away.

Within a week or so I check out the sales ads for Kroger and Meijer. I plan out meals based on the meat I have in the freezer and what is on sale and where. Usually one or the other store has better deals it varies. I plan out my shopping trip to one or the other store, I omit anything that I can get at Aldi's for cheaper based on the sales there.

By the third week we are running out of things that we get at Aldi's and it is time for the meals for items I need there. I again check Meijer and Kroger's sales ads just in case and decide Aldi's, Meijer, or Kroger and shop accordingly.

With this plan I end up spending somewhere between $40-$70/week not bad for someone that hasn't used coupons and is feeding 3 people breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My next goal is to incorporate coupons. I hope to have a stock of staples we use most often by getting them as cheap as possible through sales AND coupons. With any luck I can take it a step further but for now to learn how to do this right I'll do it with our staples.

Since our local farmers markets are open finally I shop there too and get produce really cheap, there is a great one on my way home from work so it takes barely anytime to stop in every week or two.

Recently, I stuck to a fairly strict budget sort of like an envelope system. I didn't trust myself totally with an envelope system so I purchased a prepaid credit card and loaded my grocery money on there. If I had a true emergency that I had to redo my grocery budget I could but I kept it strictly for food, not even other things such as toiletries. It worked out really well and I think I'm ready to go to an envelope system now it really helped keep me in control knowing for a fact there was only so much there before it was gone. I may even make and document a grocery shopping diary.... who knows

I have to admit I'm not the best at following a list but I have been trying, making lists and remembering them is also an issue I'm working on.

Photo by: Amy.Arch


  1. Keri, you should be proud of yourself; I shop at one store weekly, don't check the flyers and rarely, if ever, have coupons. Boy, do I need to improve my shopping skills and you have shown me how much better I could do!

  2. Immer its really easy if you plan right to shop at one store per week and get what you need from those stores.

    If I had to hit all those stores at one time I'd probably not be doing it.