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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2002, 08:50 PM
ajrsmom's Avatar
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Need advice on saving $$ and time grocery shopping......

I dont know how you ladies do it !!! How do you reduce your grocery bill (first of all) and then how on Earth do you shop many different stores (with kids along for the ride) and NOT take all day to do it ?

I have been trying to cut back....way back but its not happening. Im using loss leaders & coupons but not a price book.....although I only go to 2 major stores so I know just about which items are cheaper at which store. I also shop at Aldis to save $$$. Until recently, we have been pretty big eaters .....that is until I decided to lose weight and then Dh said he would join me. We still eat too much for one family but Im cutting back gradually so that I dont everyone !! I also have a picky husband that limits me to stuff like beans and many vegetables in meals......but I do buy them for me and DS so this adds to the bugdet.

Now for the second question.........How do you do it without taking all day ? Like I said, I have 2 major stores within 10 minutes of my house and Aldi's is about 25 minutes away. I take a list that has coupons already marked beside the items and I thought I was pretty organized but I guess not. I have to take my son with me but most of the time he is pretty good ( Im sure we waste time there too ). Any tips for saving time ?

I getting ready for Spring life !!!! This is the year to organize everything !!! Help me with your ideas, PLEASE !!!
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Old 02-27-2002, 02:05 AM
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I don't know how mych I can help... but here it goes.

Shopping List:

What I did is went to each store I shop at and with paper and pencil in hand I wrote down what was in each isle. Then when I came home I went into WORD and made a shopping List according to the actual store. THis way when I go in I go to that isle and get what I need. No flumping around and getting unnessary items (Unless I feel like it )


Coupons does not always mean cheaper. There can be a brand that is cheaper even when using coupons. Always comparison shop. Looking at the tags price per pound can always give you a heads up.

For example, I needed spices. THe sotre brand of parsley was 1.99 for a 1.75oz container, but the name brand was 2.29 for a 2.25 container. after looking at the price per pound, it was cheaper for me to get the name brand. (this was a bad example but you get the idea).

Big Eaters and Dieting:

When ever you have either, you will spend more... fresh fruits and veggies do add up as well as the meats and dairy. You have to make sure to buy what will be used... how many times do we buy.. say and eggplant. If we don't use that in 2-3 days it starts to get bad and we throw it away... that is no good, so buy what you will use.


We all need to eat so when it comes to food, there are items that you can buy generic (store) brands to save more....

There are other things that can save you money... make your own bread for example.


Shopping with children, depending on the age it can be hard. You either go when you have someone home to watch them or deal. I always go when my dh is home. I get in and out. Now my little one is 8 and she helps move me along which is great. She will tell me, only get what is on your list. If there are things she wants, she makes her own list and shops with me.


Hopefully you were able to get one tiny thing from me.. I don't know if I was much help, but Good Luck!
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Old 02-27-2002, 04:02 AM
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If you look under the Planning Ahead Forum you will find a thread called Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping. There are many good tips there to help you.

Also check out the tips at , under Tips search Groceries and you will find some info there too!
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Old 02-27-2002, 07:47 AM
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Thanks to both of you !!

Shawn, You are so right when you said "How many times do we buy stuff that you end up throwing away" I have done this a lot in the past but Im now making a point to use what I have. If that means they eat salad a lot be it, they can just adjust to it ( theyre getting use to it). We used to be big pasta eaters but Ive cut way back on that ( something that Im very happy about ).

I have seen that coupons dont always mean cheaper items....especially when one of my stores run double coupons to .99 and then raise their prices so high !!

Im learning to just deal with shopping with my son. My DH works midnights so its virtually impossible to go shopping alone unless I want to wait until the weekend to do it ( but I like that time for family time ). Ill stop whining and deal with it !!

I do like the idea of making a list by products in the stores. I think that would cut down on some time.

I have a lot of work ahead of me but by the end of the summer I hope to have a more organized lifestyle for all of us.
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Old 02-27-2002, 07:56 AM
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If you need an example of my word file, I can email it to you. Just ley me know
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Old 02-27-2002, 09:20 PM
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Shawn, I would love to see your example. Ill take all the help I can get because I swear Im the most unorganized person. I wonder how I let things get so out of control ? Then I have to stop and think that last yr was so stressful for my whole family. This yr. is a lot better so far ( hopefully it will stay that way !) and Im determined to get things together.

Im going to start with one room at a time and stay there until its done. I have a feeling the garbage men are going to get to know me real well by then !!

Im already using weekly menus problem is STICKING with them !! Now to get the costs down and shave off some time doing it .....I can do this !! ( Right ? )

You can email it to me at [email protected] Thanks again !!
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Old 07-22-2002, 03:56 PM
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$100 a week grocery bill

There was a $100/week challenge on the frugal living forum. It was a challenge to use $100 week and make it last...groceries, gas etc. I took the challenge. I will have to say it made me take a good hard look at my grocery budget. That is where I overspent weekly! It was no wonder my monthly budget was never on target. My budget was for $100 week and I usually spent over $140. That was $160 overspent each month.
Now I get all the sale papers and plan my meals and stock up on bargains. I orgaNIZE my list according to aisles. I take a calculator with me too. I find myself just strolling the aisles to look for many unadvertised specials too. It's easier to do without my 4 year old. I try to shop when daddy is home or on my lunch hour at work. I have consistently come in under $100 each week and put the extra money away to buy a beautiful baker's rack I have my eye on. I find I like to really hang on to the cash in my wallet and I am getting very stingy with it. Also, paying in cash helps to stay within the allowance. It's too easy to write a check and "borrow" from next week's budget. That was my downfall. I am sure many of us do the "rob Peter to pay Paul" routine.
Now I'm off to check out the Price Book forum, Frugal Meals and Leftovers.
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Old 08-03-2002, 05:10 PM
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Until just the past couple of weeks I pretty much spent what I wanted at the grocery store, but then I quit my job unexpectedly so I suddenly became for cautious of what I was spending.

I am trying my best to really watch what I spend on groceries but it is really hard. One thing that I have done, is to plan what we are going to eat for meals for the next week and then make a list of what is needed for each meal. I mark off what I may already have and then only buy what is left on the list.

It is really hard to buy only what is on the list especially when you see something that you think you really want, but I have just had to discipline my self.

The last three weeks when I have shopped I have only spent half as much as I used to.

I think the key is discipline to buy only what is on your list.
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Old 08-04-2002, 10:02 AM
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It sounds like I pretty much do what everyone else does.
1. Plan Meals for week
2. List all ingredients and food I will need.
3. Check Pantry, and what I have, I then scratch off.
4. Put a C (for coupon) next to item I have coupons for.
5. Make sure I have eaten before going grocery shopping!
6. Off I go.

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Old 08-04-2002, 03:55 PM
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Snack Food

Boy I found out how bad Snack Food can be on your food budget...Chips, pretzels, cookies, etc. So I limited buying them as soon as school was out! What a savings, I make my own cookies, buy tortillas to bake chips for taco salads, and buy pretzels,or popcorn instead of that school will be starting I hope I can limit the snacks they carry for lunches. It was quite a savings on our budget!

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