Grocery Shopping 101

My first attempt at grocery shopping, ended in disaster. I was 16 and I was shopping to make lunch for my uncle and his crew. In 1958 there were not many fast food places. It was Saturday and the hardware store was wall to wall people, all day. So I went to the super market to get ingredients for lunch. I had a list, but saw some other items that would be good. It didn’t occur to me, that I might not have enough money. I just put the items on the conveyer and waited for the total. When she gave me the amount, I turned beet red, I didn’t have enough money and It took me a few seconds to figure out what to do next. I should take off some of those items that I didn’t need. It felt like an hour, but it was only minutes. This was the only time in my life that I didn’t have enough for my purchase. Because, I became pro active and paid attention. Using my list, I am adding up the items in my head. Remember my grocery listGrocery List larger, when you download it, you can edit and print it. I do mine on 4″X 6″ cards, print on both sides and with glue I make them into a pad. I have a list,WP_20160429_14_01_13_Pro I know what everything costs and I watch the register, making sure that it rings the right price. Not only do I have a list, but I shop for items I want and most of them are on sale. I don’t wait until I’m out, when it goes on sale, is when I’m buying.
I spend 1/2 hour every week checking what’s on sale. There are many ways to know the sales; every store has a flyer or a website, the ads are in the newspaper(most ads run Wednesday – Tuesday), many of the ads come in a flyer in the mail. My new favorite way to check the ads is an app called Flipp, right now the app is giving me 92 flyers in my area. It gives me all the flyers, not just groceries. I look at the stores that work for me and plan where I’m going to shop. Confession time, I like to shop, but I break it down into small trips. I understand that most people don’t enjoy shopping. WalMart is one store that does price matching and they usually will have the ads, so that you can get the best price at their store. It is your responsibility to have the ads for price matching and to ask for price matching! I always put all the price match items together at the end of my order.
Most grocery stores have some form of membership program. To get the best savings, you have to be a member (each card requires you give them information). The stores give you something that looks like a credit card, once you give your information, you can just enter your phone number and get your savings. One of my most memorable trips gave me super savings; I bought 4 pounds of Challenge Butter and a large Yuban Coffee for just $11.95. Not on sale, the price could be more than $22.00.WP_20160304_15_21_13_Pro (2)WP_20160304_15_21_59_Pro (2) Don’t worry none of my recipes call for 4 pounds of butter, it freezes well. Get it on sale and use it when you want! Repeat, buy the items when they are on sale, not when you need them.
How does this help you? Sirloin steaks can run as much as $11.99 a pound. When on sale, it can be as low as $3.99 per pound. Do the math, that can be $8.00 difference per pound! I buy it on sale and wrap them separately and put them in the freezer. One of the best things you can do is keep a freezer chart and make sure to update it. I’m sure this sounds like a lot of work, but very quickly, you’ll get the process. Make it a game and spend your savings on something special(just once). You will see just how “worth it” it can be.
Let’s talk about coffee, the K cups have become very popular. Consider the waste and the cost.(not good for the environment)WP_20160415_18_26_46_ProGrocery stores give some price information, the red tag tells you how much per ounce. The K cup is about a 1/3 of an ounce. Again do the math, they are about 61 cents per cup. Buying the large canister, gives you at least 30 ounces at 25 cents per ounce, or 8 cents per cup?????? At my house I fill the paper filters, stack them and store them in a canister. I make 6 cups at a time, for 3 large cups.101_0178101_0179101_0182I can reduce waste, by using reusable filters and using the paper filters over again. I make up my filters, on a day when I have extra time. This really works for the days when I have little time. There are reusable filters for K cups as well. Time is the factor. Do you have more time or money and which is most important?
One last thought, there are deals everywhere. I often shop at 99cent stores. Sometimes the items are on sale and sometimes just for sale. KNOW your prices and know the difference!
Lot’s more to share. Patty’s Homemade Fried Chicken & gravy are next. Please comment and tell me what you want.
Remember to Be Nice, Be Kind and Be of Service to others!

Pat G