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Have You Found Your Grocery Shopping Stride?

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When it comes to grocery shopping I have friends who clip coupons, browse every store mailer and split their shopping between several different stores in order to get the best price. I also have friends who don't care about price and head to the store with the sole intention of getting what food they want to eat without taking price, sales or coupons into consideration. I have done it both ways, saved 90% on a pile of crap food that took me four different stores to acquire and headed to the closest store to get exactly what I wanted regardless of price.

I'm happy to report I now fall somewhere in the middle, and by supplementing my shopping at warehouse stores I'm now able to shop once a week to fill in the cracks with fresh fruits, vegetables and meats that have an expiration date.

During my experimental couponing phase I found that rarely can one get fresh fruits, vegetables and meats with coupons. Even dairy is hard to get for next to nothing so I ended up buying an awful lot of chips, not because that was what we ate, but because I could get 10 bags for $0.47. I certainly don't have a problem stocking up on a few non perishable essentials and emergency rations during a sale, but I certainly don't clear the shelves. Another friend and I got into experimental couponing at the same time and we both realized we just ate worse with those things were in our houses, no matter how cheap they were. (However we do love using coupons for household items, THAT'S the way to save money!)

I have four grocery stores within five minutes of my house but when it comes time to get a lot of groceries I actually choose a store that's about 20 minutes away. They have the best selection of fresh produce, much of it organic, as well as the greatest selection of many other items and really good sales. The grocery stores closest to me either have higher food prices when what you're buying isn't on sale or a miserable selection of produce and meats.

Now that I have a house with a pantry and chest freezer I've been able to do some more serious warehouse shopping, stocking up on staples such as condiments, canned goods and baking products for much cheaper than a grocery store. And while buying 10 pounds of chicken all at once for $17 seems a bit overwhelming, considering chicken at the grocery store averages around $2.50 a pound? Those 10 pounds at $1.70 a pound are a great deal if you have the means to freeze and store it.

I feel like I've finally hit my grocery shopping stride, not buying or spending too much and putting real food on the table for my family.

How do you choose where you grocery shop and have you found your grocery shopping stride?

by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I shop at te store that gives me the most for my money. It's not the closest store to my house, but they have the best selection and great prices.
by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I buy alot of the same things (bread, milk, eggs, coffee creamer, cereal, juice) every week, so I know which store has it the cheapest and I go to that store.
I check coupons for the things I know I will need, but I don't buy items just because I have a coupon.

by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Same here. 

Quoting lalasmama2007:

I shop at te store that gives me the most for my money. It's not the closest store to my house, but they have the best selection and great prices.

by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM

It also depends on the time of the year.  In the summer time, I love going to Farmer's Markets for my fruit and produce.  Overall, I probably go to 2 different stores - one regular grocery store, one wholesale store (like BJ's).  Add the farmer's markets in the summer to make 3, but everything is along the same route.

by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 9:35 AM

I get alot of my personal & toiletry items from Target since it's cheaper than grocery stores. 
My stores are starting to add up! lol 

Quoting amonkeymom:

It depends mainly on what I need.  If I need meats or pasta I'll usually shop in bulk at Costco.  If I need more fresh foods like produce, breads, etc. I get them from the grocery store.  A lot of times I'll forget to add something to my list and end up picking things up last minute from Target.

by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I have not been shopping in two weeks, except last night when dh had a craving for hot dogs, which we don't usually eat. Tomorrow I will do my big stock up shopping.

by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

i try to remember prices.. walmart more than likely has the best prices on things.. but when kroger has something on sale my coupon will go further there..  also i rely on my coupon blogs to post great deals on my FB page :)

by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM

 I usually go to the same place each time just because they have the best deals, and when I go, I have list and coupons in hand, and specials in mind so I know what I'm getting and for how much. I'm very efficient in my shopping, lol.

by on Mar. 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM

I choose by location and price. Thankfully we have an Aldis across the street!

by Member on Mar. 12, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I have shopped one chain of grocery stores for years, (and years and years) I always go back to it. Its just what I like.

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