- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
Saving money tips and how I save money on groceries
We all want to know how to save money. since groceries are one of those things we all have to buy regularly we want to know how to save on groceries.This hub is about how I save money on groceries. Many readers have ways of their own that I may not have used and these things do change over the years.
There are various reasons to keep your cupboards well stocked. One is to be prepared in case of emergencies such as storms. Another is that it helps you save money.
In a book I read many years ago the author said when she was poor she would buy some extra canned good with any left over money. She saw it as a form of saving. I think it is a good idea. If you keep stocked up you usually don’t need to make so many trips to the store and you can take advantage of sale prices because you can pass things by if they are high priced. At times when you might be short of money and overwhelmed with bills to pay you will, at least, have something to eat. If possible, try to buy things only when they are on sale.
Stores usually advertise certain items at low prices, which they do not make much money on. These are called loss leaders. They do it in order to get you into the store and buy other stuff. I try as much as I can to stick to the specials. I used to alternate my shopping between different stores in order to take advantage of the sales. Some people will go from store to store to just buy the specials. I have not tended to do that but in some situations it might be worthwhile.
I have found t in grocery stores certain items will be cheaper at one store than another but other items higher. I used to have a fairly good idea of the price of the items we usually use but it seems that prices have gone up in recent years to the point that I have trouble keeping track of common items like milk and coffee.
Kinds of Stores
Oddly I have found a good place to buy bread and milk is at Kwik Trip filling stations. They sell milk in plastic pouches that you put into pitchers that they give you free. They have a variety of breads, sourdough, wheat, rye and others often cheaper some other stores.
Bakery Outlet stores are a great place often to get good bread cheaper. These stores may be directly connected to a commercial bakery and sell the excess –generally referred to as day old-from there own production. Others buy up the left over bread from the various stores and outlets and sell it at a discount.
Aldi’s is a chain of discount grocery stores that largely sell its own store brands. Their prices are lower than the traditional grocery stores. There are some things that they don’t have. For example, my shopping list had “tuna salad” mix on it. Aldi’s didn’t have it. Coffee is one item cheaper there than at other stores. You will definitely save money if you do at least part of your shopping at Aldi’s.
I do a lot of our shopping at Walmart, since next to Aldi’s they have the cheapest prices.
We live in a fairly small city so we do not have the option of some other stores.
A lot of people like Cub Foods. I have never found them that entire good price wise unless you are a name brand shopper. It is irrelevant since we do not have one her.e
There are various places that buy damaged freight and other goods and sell in stores that I cal surplus stores. It may be groceries, clothing or almost anything. When I grew up after the Second World War all sorts of places opened up selling surplus military stuff. They are fun to browse, even if you didn’t buy anything.
I bought some oatmeal at one of these store for $1.44. Aldi’s price is $1.99, which is still cheaper than most places.
Where I used to live the grocery stores would usually have a basket of “reduced price” items in a basket. Some might be dented cans or torn labels. I used to buy anything I could use in these.
I was hesitant to buy damaged containers at first. I contacted the Agricultural Extension Service to ask about it. I talked t o a “food scientist” who told me thing to watch for, such as bloated cans, leaks etc. I was living in the state of Minnesota at the time and he told me that the state had very strict inspection standards so there wouldn’t be much problem at a legitimate outlet. If you are interested in buying such canned goods I would suggest contacting your own state agricultural Extension Office for advice.
Thrift shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army and St. Vincent DePaul society are places to find second hand and bargain merchandise.
The various stores called “Dollar” stores can also be a place with lower prices on some food and other items.
I remember once driving in Iowa and checking out an Amish store. They had a lot of homegrown and canned things as I recall. They also had oatmeal to buy in bulk. I have also bought from Amish selling by the roadside.
One view on couponing
When I grew up people depended on name brands. Various people would swear by a particular name brand and others would swear by some other brand. I do think that back then there may have been reason to trust certain brands because companies took a certain pride in their products. I am not sure that exists anymore. I will probably buy a name brand if I can get it as cheap as something else.
Whatever the case, I do not shop for name brands. I have found that most generics and store brands are pretty reliable. Like anything, experience is the final arbitrator. When I come on a strange brand I often buy a small amount to try it out. If it is ok than I will buy more.
I think people often buy name brands as some sort of status thing. My suggestion is that if such things concern you to buy a few of the name brand products to serve to guests and fall back on the other stuff for day-to-day use.
I am not big on store coupons. They used to be worthwhile but with inflation the saving becomes somewhat minor. Use them if you got them but I have almost always found an alternate product cheaper and saves me more. They are useful if you want to try out a new product, however.
I have heard about extreme Couponing and it might be worthwhile. From what I have seen it does take time, effort and organization.
If you are in an agricultural area you may find that farmers often sell fruit and vegetables from a truck in a parking lot or on the roadside. Usually they are fairly cheap prices and toward the end of the day you might get some real bargains because they just want to get rid of it and go home. If you can get together with friends or neighbors it might pay to buy some produce in quantity. Often I see potatoes at roadside stands offering 50 lbs for a few dollars. We could never use that many potatoes so we don’t buy them, but if you can share, it is worthwhile.
Sometimes farms will put up a sign by the road that they have apples, potatoes or some other produce for sale. Usually they are quite reasonable. Lately I have run across things like rhubarb and potatoes at garage sales.
Pick your own
Apples strawberries and some other produce are sometimes available at farms and orchards that offer this option at the early part of the season. I have picked apples. It can be a fun family activity and they sell them cheaper than the ones they pick themselves. It is good way o combine recreations and thrift shopping.
- What is quality?
It all boils down to: the right tool for the job is the motto. In this case tool means almost anything you might use for a purpose from cars to shoes clothes, car tools, cooking utensils. Dont buy things just because they look nice or because you nei
- Hard Times Hungry
Are todays times harder than during previous recessions and or depressions? If you are one of those out of work it probably doesnt matter too much. For you its hard times, whether it is for others or not. During the 1970s I found myself out of wo