Monday, September 07, 2009

Virtual Classroom: Grocery Shopping 103

part 3 in a series. Wanna start at the beginning? Check out Grocery Shopping 101 and Grocery Shopping 102.

Let's do it! Are you ready to save some money at the grocery store? OK, let's get down to the nitty gritty. I use 4 basic steps to cutting my grocery bill:
  1. Know your prices
  2. Combine coupons with sales
  3. (stockpile)
  4. Plan meals according to what's on sale
The first step, Know your prices, is the very, very most important part of getting a good deal at the grocery store. Stores are so gosh darn good at advertising and enticing us buyers that it seems they can make any price seem like a good deal. But just because it seems like a deal doesn't mean it is. That's why I come armed with my handy dandy--price list!

My price list is a compilation of sales that I have watched over the course of months and years, the best prices on the products and items that I purchase the most. Most of the list is in my head (which isn't much help to you) making it easy and quick to know if sale items are really a good deal. But since I don't have a memory like a steel trap nor perfect recall of the thousands of items in a grocery store I do keep a written record too (very helpful for you). A portion of that record is on my Grocery Price Index--check it out but don't forget to come back and finish reading this post. . . . .

. . . oh good, you made it back!

So this is how I use my price list: we eat a LOT of cold cereal around here and I know, because I've been purchasing--ugh, I mean tracking it for so long I know that I should never have to pay more than 10 cents an ounce for cereal-->never! So if I'm looking at the ads or walking down the aisle of the grocery store and spot a 9 oz box of cereal on "sale" for $2.50 . . . . . I know it is a bunch of bull-ogna! 9 oz of cereal should never cost me more than 90 cents!

Another example of how I use my price list: I see in the ads that yogurt is on "sale" for 50 cents per 6 oz cup but I also see on my price index that yogurt goes on sale for 5 cents an ounce regularly. The "sale" price is nearly double what a real sale price on yogurt should be. Unless I have a coupon to bring that price down I won't be buying that yogurt. However, if I do have a coupon I will be buying as much of that sale price yogurt as I can.

See how a price list can help you? You probably already have a few prices memorized already. Do you know how much your favorite goody costs? How about your hubby's favorite cut of meat? Your child's favorite school lunch snack? Write these prices down. Feel free to use my list as a guide. It may have things you don't need and may be missing other things you use regularly, that is why it is so important to have your own price index: it's the stuff you need and use at the prices you are willing to pay! Hooray!!

In Grocery Shopping 104 we will explore step 2, the exciting world of combining sales with coupons!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for always sharing all of your vast knowledge with the rest of us. I just re-looked at your price index thing. I noticed that it was last updated in January often do you update those prices? I know that food prices do flux during the year....but is it worth updating quarterly or just the once a year? Thanks again. You were missed at Church yesterday.


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