Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A New way to shop

Now that Albertson's doesn't accept competitor coupons I have to find a new way to shop. As I've been preparing for this new way to shop I've decided that there are two goals that are really important to me as far as grocery shopping is concerned
  • Budget must be maintained-I need to keep my monthly grocery budget to $250. This means I may have to visit different stores than I used to or be more creative about purchasing and stockpiling
  • Time limits must be maintained-I don't have time to run all over town after the best prices. I have 30-45 minutes a week to browse ads, clip coupons and make my shopping list and I have about an hour a week to do the grocery shopping. I have too many other things going on to sacrifice my time to grocery shopping.
So how to get the biggest bang for your grocery buck in the least amount of time? Stick to the basics. The basics are
  1. Read the ads. Check all the local grocery ads. Familiarize yourself with them. Do they have any coupons this week? Do they have any special pricing when you buy a certain quantity? Do they have any ongoing promotions?
  2. Compare Prices. Are the advertised prices at or near best prices in your grocery price index? Are these prices worth stocking up on?
  3. Match sales with coupons. Do you have coupons for the sale items? Could you get coupons online? Could you trade coupons with a friend?
After reading the ads, comparing prices with your grocery price index and matching the sales with coupons you've got it should be pretty obvious which store you will need to shop. The one where you can get the most stuff for the best price! One week it may be Albertsons, the next it could be Fred Meyers or wherever else those great prices lead you. Occassionally you may be stuck going to more than one store--that is ok. Try to combine it with other shopping or errands in the same area thus saving you gas and time.

I hope the next few weeks aren't too frustrating as I get used to not shopping exclusively at Albertsons. Hopefully we'll all find some great deals and find ourselves pleasantly surprised by our resourcefulness in tough times. Remember to stick to your goals (budget and time) and stick to the basics (Read ads, compare prices, match coupons). Happy Shopping!
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If you liked the post you may like these ones too Grocery Price Index, Meal Math

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