Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grocery Shopping Basics-heading to the store

I thought I would spend a few days sharing how I go about planning a menu and shopping at the grocery store. There is a rhyme and a reason; usually based on cost and efficiency. So, today here are a couple tips on when and how I shop.
1. I shop on the same day each week.
I know that I save money by doing this because I get everything I need for a week of meals in one trip. For some reason when I go to the store for one or two items I am much more likely to come home with two or three extra items that I didn't need. So, one trip keeps me focused. Also, this way I am prepared to cook each meal on my menu and I don't have to panic at 4pm in the afternoon about what's for dinner.
2. I always shop in the morning.
The store is less crowded and freshly stocked. I am able to get in and out fairly quickly. Plus, since I am pushing the extra-long car cart with Jack down below I can count on less people to maneuver around in the aisles!
3. Know where the sale sections are.
My grocery store has a great bakery clearance section. This is where I get all of our Italian of French bread/rolls to eat with our meals. Our favorite is the Private Selection Potato Rosemary bread ( normally $3.99, on clearance for .99 cents) Also, it is a great place to find treats like trays of cinnamon rolls, danishes, and boxes of muffins. I don't ever spend over $1 for anything. I freeze the bread and pull it out as needed for dinner. The sweet treats freeze as well and are great for a special Sunday breakfast before church.
The Manager's Special in the meat department has great deals as well. As I have mention before I always look here for steak. As long as I freeze it when I get home it doesn't matter that the "sell by" date is tomorrow.
My store also has a random clearance section in the back. I don't always check this out, but occasionally I will find something worth getting.

*This is one of the only times that I veer from my pre-made shopping list. I try not to get carried away in these sections, but if there is a really good deal I can't pass it up. Some of my best finds have been Wesson Vegetable oil for 49 cents (I bought 6 bottles, fried chicken anyone?) and Crest toothpaste for 69 cents (I bought 9 tubes!).

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