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Old 01-22-2017, 02:53 PM   #1
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I went to 3 stores for our groceries

I usually only go to 1 store, but I decided to take a page out of my mom's playbook (she goes to 3 stores). So I got the 3 weekly fliers (Aldi, Giant Eagle, and the local IGA) and planned out what I was going to buy at all 3.

My mom goes to Target, Albertson's and another store. She lives in California.

I probably did save about $30-$40 I'd say. Kind of a pain in the butt, but worth it. I went to Aldi first and got some grass fed hamburger, value pack of hamburger, their little 2 pack of bacon wrapped filets. And a bunch of basics like veggies, tomato sauces, diced tomatoes. Their butter is dirt cheap ($2.50 for a box).

Then I took it all home and put it away and then headed out to the other 2 stores.

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Old 01-22-2017, 06:01 PM   #2
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I've been shopping the store fliers for years. The store I do my main shopping at is eight miles from us, but there is another store between them and me that is famous for really low "Loss Leaders"...and high prices on most everything else. I'll stop there if they have enough to make it worth my while, or I need something that other stores don't carry.

The other store I do shop regularly is about eight miles in the other direction. Since I have to drive the main drag of the neighbor town and traffic is horrid, I need to make it worth my while either with buying a good amount of groceries, or I have to go that way anyway to hit up Penney's, Wal-Mart, or the Adult Beverage store.

There are two Aldis by us, roughly 17 miles south or north. I rarely make a trip to shop just Aldi, but there are Kohl's, Lowe's and Targets by each. If we head north we can also hit up a Trader Joe's. As far as a close store goes, we have a small, 3-chain store at the bottom of our neighborhood. Their prices area a little high, too, but since they're less than a mile away they ARE convenient!

I'll go north, I'll go south, I'll go east or west...but only shop one of those directions in a day. Don't need to run in circles on purpose since it seems like the roads just normally wander all over for no good reasons. 16-plus years up here and I still can't find my way around some days...
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:08 PM   #3
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How much extra for gas?
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:26 PM   #4
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How much extra for gas?
The stores are all within I'd say 3 miles of each other. Though I did add an additional trip because after Aldi's, I went home to put the stuff away. It would've been OK in the car for 30 minutes or so while I went to the other 2 stores.

I think I'll cut it down to 2 stores for the twice month shopping. Hopefully the wife will recover enough to start doing the shopping. :) I'm not a real fan of shopping.
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:29 PM   #5
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Not much, since my car gets around 30 MPG or more with mixed driving, which this is. "Sally" gets roughly 35 highway-only, and 24 mostly city.

Don't forget, I shop ONE store for most things. The other stores are destinations ONLY if it is worth my while or I have multiple stops in that direction. One or two items? Not worth my trouble.
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:32 PM   #6
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Ha!
I too shop 3 store each 1-2 weeks, but not for store coupons but because of the different products carried by each.
Walmart, Trader Joe's and Sprouts
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:00 PM   #7
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I used to be able to shop in 4 or 5 grocery stores, plus a farmer's market, and a BJs or Costco within a few miles.

NJ is the densest state, both in population and intelligence.

But now I have a 3 mile drive in one direction for an Acme (still waiting for rocket skates), or 7 miles to a Snob and Shop (aka Stop and Shop, but it's filled with the the pseudo-rich).

BJs and Costco are 15 to 20 miles away. Almost a destination.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:13 PM   #8
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I shop ( ironically) at meat farms for my produce , and whatever I need to prepare dinner. Ill also hit a few specialty markets ( Indian, Asian, Health/ vegetarian) depending on what I may be making that week. My wife will do another shop ( same week) for the crap she uses ( to make the kids lunch, cleaning supplies, stuff I have no interest or know nothing about). The 2 Grocery stores are within a few miles from the house. The specialty stores are more like 5 - 10 miles but I usually do that monthly.

In the summer, I may go out east and pick my own/ or get from the farmers markets ( whatever I don't grow, or don't grow successfully, myself). These farmers markets can be anywhere from about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour away.

Annually, as mentioned in another thread, Ill shop at the Shoprite, for the can can sale, and pick up all the canned goods I can ( usually too much). And that store is about 10 miles too.
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Old 01-22-2017, 11:07 PM   #9
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The stores I go to are Albertson's, Safeway, Grocery Outlet, Ralph's Red Apple, QFC, Trader Joe's, Fred Meyer's, Winco, Central Market, and sometimes the Walmart superstore.

Except for Walmart and Central Market, all these stores are in a circle of about 14 miles around. I go to the Walmart and Central Market (pricy) if I need something special and I'm in the area - they're about 17 miles north of me.

I pick up tuna, butter, and cream cheese at Trader Joe's, plus some odds and ends I might need.

Now Safeway has bought out Albertson's and the QFC near me has closed. If there's something really good at the other QFC, I'll go 7 miles the other way and stop at the Albertson's on the way home, skipping Safeway.

Otherwise, Safeway and Albertson's are on rotation with each other and I always end up going to Winco because they have such good prices. Ralph's is right up the street from Winco and has some really good meat specials sometimes.

Grocery Outlet will sometimes have bacon and other meats on special (on special is the only way I can afford them).

Fred Meyer's is such a large store (like a Target that has groceries), that it's a pain to park and find anything because they have a large grocery area. Their week to week sales are also not in sync with the other stores which turn over on Wednesday, but occasionally that have some good deal there that I'll get.

The Dollar Store is where I get things like dish soap, hand soap, napkins, etc. I do buy toilet paper, freezer bags, and paper towels at Winco, though, because I get a better deal for more quality.

On Tuesday night I will write up a list of what I'm out of and what I need. Then I go online and check out each of the stores and see what their sales are. Anything I can't find on sale I get at Winco.

We also have a Costco in the immediate area and a Saar's. Saar's has some really, really good meat sales, but you have to buy 10lbs at a time and the only thing I buy 10 lbs of is hamburger and I buy that at Winco. The Costco membership price is a little too high for me and it's the same as with Saar's - I just don't have a place to store large item purchases beyond what I already buy.

And in summer, I try to go to the Farmer's Market once a week, but they're pretty pricy.

Shopping like this can sometimes take me 2 to 5 hours, but recently, I've taken to doing the shopping in two days instead of just one. Otherwise I'm wiped out when I get home.

I should mention that I pretty much buy for the month when I shop, so I only do this once per month unless I need something like fresh vegetables. This month, for instance, I'm going to make taco salads, so I'll need to get lettuce. If I had bought that when I was shopping, it would have gone bad by now. Otherwise I toss onions in the fridge and buy as much frozen fruit as I can.

And if you ask if it's worth it, I'd say yes, it sure is. I used to run out of food a week before the end of the month. Food stamps don't get put on until the 4th. Since I started following the sales and cooking my own food instead of buying pre-cooked, my food shopping day has been pushed further and further into the month. This January, for instance, I didn't shop until the 13th. And I doubt I will be shopping before the 15th of February, too. Plus, I can look at my receipts and see how much I've saved. Sometimes I've walked in and spent $30 on food that's on sale and saved $35.

The only problem is, I have a feeling that when I am off food stamps, I will probably never be able to go into just one grocery store and buy what I need without feeling guilty about not checking out all the other stores and buying food on sale. It just gets to be a habit.

Sheesh - nothing like writing a book here.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:27 AM   #10
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All the stores I go to is in a row , so first I ask my neighbor for help and then we drive the scenic route in and then we go through the stores and drive home on freeway. Sometimes we stop and take a walk in the forest on the way there, it is really nice.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:57 AM   #11
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I shop for food almost every day...the two main stores in my home town are close..One is better for produce prices. The other is an independent and as much as I like to support them, their prices can be a bit crazy. I drive by both of them to and from work so it isn't a big inconvenience..I dip in every couple of days to pick up stuff for the deli...gf drops me off and hits a nearby coffee shop to get her morning fix for the 15 minute drive to work, then comes back to get me. Early morning is a great time to shop because there is hardly anybody in the store...
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:35 AM   #12
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How much extra for gas?
We normally shop at two stores Penn Dutch and Publix. Some times we also shop at Winn Dixie (mostly the liquor store). They are all within a couple miles of each other and from home. Winn Dixie has a "Rewards Card" that not only gets you a discount on selected items but also gives points for gas at Shell stations. Last time I filled up, the regular unleaded price was $2.47 and I paid $1.97 using the rewards points.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:10 AM   #13
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I do sale flyer and on line couponing. Also Publix has senior day on Wednesday, day the new sales flyer comes out. Additional 5% off for +60 crowd.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:27 PM   #14
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The reason I go to multiple supermarkets is because one supermarket won't stock what the other one does, damnit. I think they do that on purpose.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:54 AM   #15
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Not much, since my car gets around 30 MPG or more with mixed driving, which this is. "Sally" gets roughly 35 highway-only, and 24 mostly city.

Don't forget, I shop ONE store for most things. The other stores are destinations ONLY if it is worth my while or I have multiple stops in that direction. One or two items? Not worth my trouble.
That's about what I get in my 2011 Ford Focus sedan. It's the absolute lowest trim model you can get -- has manual windows and mirrors. But it has AC, automatic tranny, and an iPod hookup.

It gets around 25 in town driving. I was averaging 41 MPG on interstate 80 when I drove out to visit my relatives in California. I was doing a steady 65mph. It only used 120 gallons there and back or about $250 in gas.

I guess cars are part of home economics. :)
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:59 AM   #16
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We normally shop at two stores Penn Dutch and Publix. Some times we also shop at Winn Dixie (mostly the liquor store). They are all within a couple miles of each other and from home. Winn Dixie has a "Rewards Card" that not only gets you a discount on selected items but also gives points for gas at Shell stations. Last time I filled up, the regular unleaded price was $2.47 and I paid $1.97 using the rewards points.
The chain of grocery stores here, Giant Eagle, has a fuel perks promotion. We get about one free tank of gas per month. Each time you buy something, it adds up. It's currently up to $3 per gallon on our account, so the next tank will be totally free.

Wife gets her medications at the Giant Eagle, so it adds up. Also, Giant Eagle has its own gas stations where you get the free gas at. Some people bring like 4 5 gallon jugs with them to fill up, since they give you the discount on up to 35 gallons I think.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:48 AM   #17
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One little tip with Aldi, always try to hit them the Tuesday morning after a three day weekend. They usually have great deals on marked down meat, baked goods, etc...
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Old 01-24-2017, 12:40 PM   #18
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We shop at one supermarket for most of our needs. Costco once in a while for meats and other stuff. SO will dash into other stores to pick up odds and ends as they are needed.
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:16 AM   #19
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rodentraiser:
I'm also on what you would call foodstamps, socialwelfare. We dont have foodstamps because it doesnt promote budgeting, learning how to handle money and is seen a derogatory. No one should be able to know you are on social welfare here, so no one can judge or put you down because you are poor. That is the theory at least. So we get paid a sum of money around national pay day that is 25 or 27. And you get to try to live as any one else. And yes there is budgeting courses you can go to.

Anyway, you have learned how to live well on food stamps, there is no shame doing the same system when you have money, because then you can save money for the future.

Knowledge is power and this type of knowledge is great even as rich.

I am just sitting down going through all the stores flyers and my pantry seeing what I need and where I can get it. I'm doing my monthly shopping on Saturday.
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:58 PM   #20
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We usually do three stores too. Walmart, a local chain store, and the store closest to DH's work. Sadly, that one is closing. The owner died, and his wife didn't want it anymore. Even sadder, it serves the south end, which is mostly low income and has many people with limited transportation. Now they'll have to spend more for gas, as the next closest store is at least 8 miles away. I'm really hoping another local chain opens up another grocery store there.
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