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  #1  
December 16th, 2007, 04:39 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 841
I went grocery shopping today and I think the cost was high. This is what I bought:

Meat
Half turkey breast $7.69
Coleman hot dogs $3.59†
4 pork chops $3.56
1 lb. Gr beef x lean $2.77
1 lb. Ground beef $1.87

Deli
˝ lb. Ham $3.29
˝ lb. Turkey $2.82

Produce
5 lb sack potatoes $2.49*
1 bulb garlic $0.30*
1 stalk celery $1.29
1 large green pepper $0.81

2 grape fruit $1.19
1 head ice burg lettuce$0.99
2 lb. Onions $0.99*

Dairy

Premium oj w/calcium$2.50 -on sale
Tropicana grape juice $2.99

2 bags cheese ravioli $5.98
2 bags beef ravioli $5.98

1% organic milk ˝ g $2.99†
1 quart sorbet $2.99†
1 lb butter $1.99*
1 bag frozen okra $1.19
Frozen conctrt juice $1.09
1 bag frzn carrots $0.99*

Grocery

25oz olive oil $5.99*
1 can tuna $1.00
1 quart rice milk $1.34†

1 quart choc rc milk $1.50†


1 small can beans $1.00
4 rolls toilet paper $2.29
1 can juicy juice $2.29
Small box tea bags $1.99*
1 lb brown sugar $1.69*

Brown rice $1.59*
1 bag choc chips $1.39
Knox gelatin $1.39*
Apple sauce $1.19*
Jar mayo $1.19*

Napkins $1.19*
Jar olives $0.99
1 bag pinto beans $0.99*
1 can pineapple rings $0.99

Total: $92.34

*are things which I stocked up on - probably only buy once per month.
†are things that are costly, but necessary.

These are groceries for the week. Seems like I'm going to spend close to $400/month. Is that right for a family of 4? How can I get the price down. I didn't use any coupons because I don't have any. I don't have much luck with coupons.

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  #2  
December 16th, 2007, 05:00 PM
CBMS
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First of all--most people say 100/person/month is right on target. I get by MUCH cheaper than that... because of the way I shop.

Now... the extra lean ground beef. For info on how I feel about that added money, read this: http://www.healthy.hillbillyhousewif...groundbeef.htm I NEVER spend extra money getting the leaner ground meat (I used to get the 93/7 mix until I read that!)

Does your store ever have BOGO sales?? BOGO's are your friend. Your BEST friend, in fact. At the stores here, they pretty much rotate what's on BOGO in a cycle (about every six weeks). I stock up on BOGO items to add to my already present stockpile and keep ahead. If I had to go two, three moths without buying groceries, I'd be just fine. And when I do shop, I get lots for very little because of my BOGOs and coupons being paired up...

examples of some of the BOGO's that usually cycle are: the pork chops, potatoes, lettuce, frozen ravioli (do you SAH? I *love* homemade ravioli, and it's much cheaper; there's also coupons for these every few weeks for 1.50/1), frozen veggies, olive oil, beans, applesauce, mayo, olives, juice, and pineapple. Occasionally, even deli meats go BOGO (also, even though I don't care for WalMart-they do have reasonably priced deli meats).

Do you have a Save a Lot?? They have canned beans for .39 and .49 each, and they have really reasonably priced products aside from that. I usually get produce and such there because of the cost being lower.


Now, if you can start getting those "stock up items" on BOGOs, then you can get away with buying them once every OTHER month instead of once a month. And if you can start getting the meats a lot cheaper (or BOGO even), then you can get two weeks worth and spend only one week's worth of grocery money on it!

And I highly recommend you start getting a paper for the coupons. You can always check what's going to come out at taylortownpreview.com so you can see if it's worth it that week.


OH... something else that I do...

I stopped buying peppers for the most part. I buy one pepper, seed it, sprout half and save half, and then grow my own! It's soooo much cheaper when they start coming. If you get a really good crop, then you can slice and/or dice them and blanch briefly, and then you can freeze them. About half way through the cycle, start some more so you keep them going. Then you have enough to do the freezing and saving, and you've drastically reduced the amount of money spent on them in the process.
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  #3  
December 16th, 2007, 05:04 PM
gctattoo
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I don't think it's something you're doing "wrong" exactly. The average amount per person per month is $100 so you're spending right around that at the moment. But there are ways to definitely bring that total down. Coupons are the biggest thing. You say you don't have much luck with coupons-- in what way? Not finding the ones you need, not finding any coupons in general, not remembering to use them? Just by seeing the items you bought, I see several that would be very likely to have coupons you could use for them. Start off by getting the Sunday paper with the coupon inserts. I suggest getting the paper from the biggest city in your area/state. Your smaller local papers probably won't have the good inserts (Valassis, Smart Source, P&G) . You'd be surprised at just how much you can save with coupons.

Secondly, do you shop the sales at different stores? Settling for something just because you're already at one store isn't the best way to go about it. You should be doing some research with the weekly ads and seeing where to buy what according to the sales. Try to take advantage of BOGO's for things you would've gotten anyway. Even if the individual price at one store is a little higher than at another store, a BOGO more than makes up for it. Plus you've got double the amount of product which saves you from buying it when it's not on sale. And that's how you build a stockpile that'll save you more money in the long run.

What grocery stores do you have available in your area? Do any of them do double or even triple coupons? Will any take competitor's coupons?
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  #4  
December 16th, 2007, 05:18 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
The major things that jump out at me are:

The meats, you shouldn't have to pay more than $2/lb. I'd avoid buying deli meat altogether. You're paying $5-7/lb for those. Buy the meats on sale for less than $2/lb and then cook and slice them yourself.

Frozen foods are completely unnecessary. You pay for the convenience. May be worth it to you, may not. It's not worth it for us.

Juices, those are incredibly expensive. Are they concentrate or bottled? Concentrate is normally cheaper. But, in reality, juices are just empty calories. They don't serve a nutritional purpose.

It also seems that you're doing all your shopping in the same store. That is a common mistake that most people make. If you have more than 1 store near you, then I strongly suggest shopping the sale items at each of them.

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  #5  
December 16th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32,940
I pretty much agree with what everyone else already suggested. If she is working though, the deli meat and some frozen foods are probbly worth it. I know I spend about 45-50 hours a week at work and so some of those things are worth it to me! The other meat and juice prices are what stuck out to me as pretty high.

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  #6  
December 16th, 2007, 09:38 PM
MandiK's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I totally agree with Jess. Deli meat and frozen ravioli jumped out at me first. Oh, and $2.29 for four rolls of TP. Wowza! I understand that sometimes convenience foods rock, and even we buy them, but not if they aren't on crazy sale and coupled with coupons. They're great when I can get them amazingly cheap, but not worth it to me otherwise when I can just as easily use a $1 box of spaghetti noodles (which I think is easier to cook anyway).

And, premium orange or other juices. They're not only highly overpriced, but serve no purpose other than tasting good. I'd spend that money on fresh fruit so you get the taste, the real vitamins, and the fiber all together in one happy serving. I don't buy off season fresh fruit to cut down on our useage of foreign (meaning not Michigan) grown produce if at all possible. No one 100 years ago ate grapes in January, and neither will I. I doubt we'll die of scurvy. (I make one exception to this, and that's oranges at xmas ... a holiday treat for Michigan's poor kids since before time, lol.)
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  #7  
December 17th, 2007, 06:19 AM
Bluebunnygirl1's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 10,133
That total isn't horrible, but yes you could bring it down. Heres what I saw:

Instead of buying bottled juices and juices from the dairy section, go with the frozen concentrate. Its just as good, yes it takes a few minutes to mix it up, but it is quite a bit cheaper. Watch for slaes on the bottled juice that can be combined with coupons and stock up on juice then.

Deli meats...check the ads for all the local stores before you buy, sometimes one will have a special. If there is a good deal, you can stock up and freeze some. There are often coupons for one brand or another of prepackaged deli meat like hillshire farms. So you could try that. We got whole turkeys when they were on specials for thanksgiving and oven roasted them, cut up the meat, put it into freezer bags and froze it. It makes great sandwiches. Also be on the lookout for premium hotdog coupons.

Other meats...shop around, catch the good deals and stock up.

The olive oil you can get cheaper at Aldi's if you have one around. I use canola oil for most of my cooking and olive oil only when it really matters.


Here are things I think you got a pretty decent deal on: lettuce, onions, carrots, brown sugar, choc chips, mayo, pineapple rings.



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  #8  
December 17th, 2007, 06:28 AM
CBMS
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Posts: n/a
The brown sugar, actually, I'd missed the first read through... I get brown sugar for regular price of 1.09 at Save a Lot, and that's for the big bag of it (2 lb.). Or I get the boxes (1 lb.) when they go on sale for BOGO or similarly priced. They are usually .89/box, but if I catch the BOGO and have coupons, I get them much cheaper (I have seven boxes right now that came out to .20 or so each).
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  #9  
December 17th, 2007, 06:17 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 841
Thanks for all the responses. Sorry I couldn't get back on - I rarely have the time (maybe a couple of hours per week) to get online.

I haven't heard of BOGOs on grocery stores. I'll have to ask. I know them from department stores. So they have BOGOs on meat, too? Packaged pork chops and such?

I bought one price juice (the $2.99/bottle), a juicy juice ($2/can), a condensed ($1/can). My experiment. The $2.99 DOES taste better than the Juicy Juice, but I can live with the lesser quality taste. As soon as that's gone, I'll see how the condensed tastes. I know juice isn't the healthiest thing, but the kids like it.

Coupons - I don't use them because it seems like they're mostly processed food and junk food. That's why I haven't had much luck with them. On this list, what items might there be coupons for?


Cold cuts - I get what's on sale and that's what we have for the week. I didn't know cooked turkey froze so well. That's a good idea. I love turkey sandwiches. I do need cold cuts because I'm on the road a lot and don't want to eat fast food/don't want to spend the money on restaurant food.

We're trying to get our daughter off of ravioli. I'm going to start to make gluten-free ones. I just have to find a pasta machine real cheap. It's just too hard to do with a rolling pin. I'm going to be making a lot of them, so I'm going to need a machine. Can't be used - no way to get rid of the gluten contamination - has to be new. Where do I get a cheap one?

Frozen foods are expensive - do you mean frozen vegetables? I buy the store brand of frozen broccoli, string beans, cut okra, spinach, etc. Yup, it's convenient because it's already washed and chopped. Isn't fresh expensive, though?

I go to THE CHEAPEST grocery store in town. The two other biggies are very expensive. Even Walmart is more expensive pretty much.

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  #10  
December 17th, 2007, 06:33 PM
gctattoo
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The things on the list that you should definitely be able to find coupons for are:

any and all of the juice
choc chips
Knox gelatin
Apple sauce
mayo
Napkins
olives
olive oil
tuna
toilet paper
tea bags
brown sugar

You can possibly find coupons for the deli meat, hot dogs, organic milk too but they are more rare.

I agree with a previous poster that $2.29 for 4 rolls of toilet paper is really expensive. Lots of people on here can find tp for less than 50 cents per roll.

As for the juice, did you know that the generic and the name brand are the same juice? DH worked in juice plants most of his life and he knows all the secrets about the juice. After they would get done running the more expensive brand, such as Tropicana, they would switch over to the generic brand without changing the juice. You're just paying extra for the name.

BOGO's are the staple of any good grocery store. They are called the loss leaders. That means they don't mind giving one away because they are counting on getting you to spend more money on other items since you're already there. They lure you in with the good deals so that you'll stay for the not so good ones. But that doesn't work on everyone. Find your best deals. Then get in and get out. That's the cheap way to shop.



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  #11  
December 17th, 2007, 06:47 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 841
Yes, the juice thing is true. It's true for so many other things, too. There are only two manufacturers of aspirin in the country, for example. All of the various aspirins are actually made by one of the two companies.

So, you can get tuna for less than a dollar? Oh, if I'd had a coupon? I could've gotten the tea bags cheaper? They're the store brand. There's cheaper? I'll check that website to see if there'll be any good coupons. It just wasn't worth the $1.50 that I spent the other Sunday.
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  #12  
December 17th, 2007, 06:54 PM
CBMS
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Quote:
Yes, the juice thing is true. It's true for so many other things, too. There are only two manufacturers of aspirin in the country, for example. All of the various aspirins are actually made by one of the two companies.

So, you can get tuna for less than a dollar? Oh, if I'd had a coupon? I could've gotten the tea bags cheaper? They're the store brand. There's cheaper? I'll check that website to see if there'll be any good coupons. It just wasn't worth the $1.50 that I spent the other Sunday.[/b]

Do you have Target? I know Tuna is cheaper there. We were getting it for 9 and 12 cents a can a while back because they had a .50 target coupon for it. That puts it a .59 and .62, depending on the location (regional differences in prices). Tea bags here are currently on BOGO for 1.99, and I have a .75/2 coupon, so I could get two 100-pack tea bags for 1.24. You definitely need to see if there's a grocery there that has BOGOs.

Sometimes even Walgreen's or CVS will have a deal that'll make your tea, peanut butter, and mayonnaise cheaper.
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  #13  
December 17th, 2007, 06:57 PM
gctattoo
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Yes, tuna can be way less than a dollar with a good sale and/or coupon. I was getting Starkist tuna packets for almost free or even getting paid to take it home with coupons I had a few months ago. It was better than free until they increased the price, but then it was still a steal.

It's also possible to get name brand tea bags for cheaper than generic with the right sale/coupon. There have been BOGO's for Lipton & Luzianne tea at the two grocery stores here within the past few months. A BOGO beats the generic price anyday.
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  #14  
December 17th, 2007, 07:18 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Those expensive grocery stores have the BEST sales! They have to in order to get people thru the door. They key is to make a list based on the sales ads, go to the store and ONLY buy the super duper good deals, then leave. Do this for each store, and then anything that you need, but couldn't get on sale, go to the cheapest grocery store and buy all of those extras.
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  #15  
December 18th, 2007, 05:01 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 841
It sounds like saving on groceries pretty much revolves around BOGOs. I'll see if anyone does that. If not, I'm kinda screwed. Well, not screwed, I just won't be able to save as much as you all do. I do have a Target. I've never food-shopped there. I'll have to check that out.
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  #16  
December 18th, 2007, 05:49 AM
CBMS
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Quote:
It sounds like saving on groceries pretty much revolves around BOGOs. I'll see if anyone does that. If not, I'm kinda screwed. Well, not screwed, I just won't be able to save as much as you all do. I do have a Target. I've never food-shopped there. I'll have to check that out.[/b]

Target can be a FAB place for groceries because of their coupons on their site. They usually have a sale of those items right around the same time, too, making the savings even better. I had a pretty long stretch there where I got lots of food at Target for very little OOP.
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  #17  
December 18th, 2007, 08:09 AM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Quote:
It sounds like saving on groceries pretty much revolves around BOGOs. I'll see if anyone does that. If not, I'm kinda screwed. Well, not screwed, I just won't be able to save as much as you all do. I do have a Target. I've never food-shopped there. I'll have to check that out.[/b]
Honestly, BOGOs are rare around here. I actually think that shopping loss leaders at all of the different stores in your area is much more key than BOGOS. If you have an Albertsons near you, they have AWESOME instant savings-type deals (buy 10 participating products, save $xx instantly, etc).

I still save around 60-70% without using bogos.
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  #18  
December 18th, 2007, 08:17 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32,940
I think FL survives on BOGOs! We have some, but usually Meijer just has #/$ which end up being close to 50% off.
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  #19  
December 18th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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to jess, I very rarely get bogo's, just shopping loss leaders is what puts me over the top
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  #20  
March 6th, 2009, 04:46 PM
redcashew's Avatar Regular
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6
Looks like a very frugal list to me. The only thing there that's a top-dollar item is the raviolis.

... and I LOVE raviolis!
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