Grocery shopping is something that must be done, but would be better done efficiently and as infrequently as we can manage. This month I’ll be sharing some of the strategies I’ve found most helpful in my 12 years of intentionally improving my food-management skills.
Yesterday: Coupon Organization
Grocery Shopping Tip: Shop at 2-3 grocery stores
It is very tempting, especially if you get the pack of grocery ads every Wednesday and Sunday or if you try to do coupon-magic, to try to stop at all the stores where you can get that week’s “best deals.”
However, your town probably has one grocery store that simply has the best prices. In our town, WinCo’s normal prices are most of the other store’s sale prices. Every once in awhile it might be possible to get something off the master list at one of the other stores for 20-50-cents less, but is that worth the looking, the gas, the stop, and the time? I don’t think so. I shop at Costco, WinCo, and sometimes Yoke’s. Yoke’s is expensive like a Safeway, but more local and nicer, and their produce and meat is nicer than WinCo’s, and if I watch their weekly ad (online), I can get pretty good deals there. So that is the one extra store I watch and might make an extra trip to. Plus, they have a good wine selection at good prices, with a discount if you buy 6, so it’s where we buy most of our wine. When they have their one-day sales (Fresh Fridays, once or twice a month), they usually have meat and produce cheaper than I could get at WinCo (and better), so that’s when we go.
I could definitely make do without the Yoke’s stop and still not pay that much more overall. It would be cheaper to shop at only Costco and WinCo and eat less meat (or fruit). But, we like our meat and produce.
Try limiting your regular stops to 2-3 stores and don’t even bother looking at the ads or coupons for other places. See if it doesn’t reduce your feeling of “oughts” and still not significantly impact your grocery bill.
Just resign yourself to shopping at the discount grocer, even if you have to bag your own groceries.
Mystie Winckler began menu planning at 11 years old when her mom delegated one dinner a week to her. Marrying at 19, she’s had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling her family, meal planning often requires brain power that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is her solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too!