Here are 9 ways that I use to shop smart, getting the most nutritional value, while trying to save money at the grocery store.
1 – Stock up when stuff is ON SALE. Who wants to pay full price? Not me, so when stuff I use often goes on sale I stock up. For example, I use canned olives. I like Lindsay Olives, but they can be expensive. I have seen them priced at 2.99 or 3.99 a can at different stores. I wait until they are on sale for .99, then I buy 6 or 8 cans. Canned chili is another example, my husband likes canned chili and it can be expensive for Hormel or Dennison’s chili, so I stock up when it is on sale. Many canned, frozen, or packaged stuff like rice or noodles, can last several months, so stocking up when stuff is on sale is a great way to save money. Especially when unforeseen things happen that cause you to put out extra money, your pantry will be full because you stocked up.
2 – Use Coupons to save money. There are still a few coupons that come in the Sunday paper, for those who still read the newspaper. There are lots of digital coupons out there on different web sites and most stores offer coupons too.
3 – Join the savings clubs to receive discounts. It seems like every store has some type of savings or discount club. Basically, they want your info so they can send you advertisements and coupons. So I give them my name and email and they give me discounts, not a bad deal. I shop at Vons, they have a Vonsclub. Free to join and you get lots of savings. Plus, I get additional coupons emailed to me on the stuff I buy a lot with the Just 4 U savings with the Vonsclub. I shop at Bevmo. They offer a huge variety of alcohol, wine, and beer. They have a club, it is free, join, and get discounts. Why pay full price?
4 – Shopping at Big Box Stores is not always the best choice, in my opinion. I am not a big fan of places like Walmart and do not shop there very often. They don’t offer a lot of variety of different items, they are not always the lowest prices, and the quality of stuff is not the greatest. Just because it is cheaper, doesn’t mean it is the best deal.
5 – Don’t limit yourself to one store, shop around. There are certain products at certain stores that I feel is the best product for the best price. I shop at Trader Joe’s because they have stuff I like at a good price. I try to buy natural and organic food whenever possible. For example, ketchup and butter are two items I go to Trader Joe’s for because I love their product and the price is right I shop at Sprouts, it is the only place I can get raw milk. They offer many organic and natural products that I cannot get anywhere else.
6 – Buying Discount Meat is not a bad thing, in my opinion. Meat is perishable, therefore the way it is packaged and stored is very important. Meat usually has a “use by date”, which means it is suggested that you use it by this date. Does that mean that after that date the meat is bad? Not necessarily, nobody knows exactly when a piece of meat is going to go bad, it is a suggested date. Meat that is within one or two days of the “use by date” may be marked down for quicker sale, so you can get a real good deal. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to pay some of these ridiculous prices for meat so buying discounted meat and meat when it goes on sale is the way I save money. I also like to get meat that is vacuum sealed, it can last longer and easy to freeze. The picture above is bacon that I purchased at a discounted price.
7 – Read Labels. Do you know what you are eating? Do you care? I think you should, what you eat affects your health. Processed foods are loaded with chemicals, refined sugar, and refined salt, they may be cheaper, but in the long run will end up costing you more. Take a look around, there are a lot of overweight and sick people because of unhealthy foods. For example, pictured above is the ingredients for Nutella. Sugar is the main ingredient, that means sugar is the most of what it contains, bottom line, it is mostly refined sugar. Next picture is JIF natural peanut butter. Sugar is the 2nd ingredient. Why is sugar there at all? Peanut butter is made of peanuts and oil. Think about it. I believe reading labels will help you make smarter choices when purchasing products.
8 – Check out local farmer’s markets. Depending on where you live they can be seasonal or year round. I am lucky living in Southern CA, they are everywhere here. Shopping at farmer’s market helps the local economy, which is important. You can talk to the people, find out about the stuff they are selling. Everything is fresh and local and usually cheaper than the store. I fully support farmer’s markets.
The dictionary defines common sense as: good sense and sound judgment in practical matters
9 – Use Common Sense, this is most important, I think. Sometimes I think people don’t use their common sense or have been brainwashed into believing exactly what they are told. For example, I personally know several people who pour milk down the drain when it has reached the date stamped on the carton. Is the milk bad? How do you know? Well you could smell it or taste it, that is what common sense tells me, if it smells sour or tastes bad, than down the drain it goes, but if it is OK, why waste it, just because the date says so. I have had milk go bad BEFORE the date stamped on the carton, does that mean I should still drink it?, Duh! This is what I am talking about, common sense. Most dates on food are a suggested use by date.
Use common sense when shopping. Ask questions, read labels, compare products, that is smart shopping.
These are tactics and ways that I use to get the most value for the least amount of money. I just want to share them with you because I want you to get the best value for your money. I am not saying or suggesting that you do these things, only sharing what I do. Thanks for reading.