Smart Shopping

Along with eating healthier and losing weight, I’m also on a kick to reduce my grocery bills and save money. I used to think buying in bulk and doing one big shopping trip a month was the way to go, but the more I read online I see smaller trips can work, especially when you take advantage of weekly sales and coupons.

I’ve read so many stories about how people go to the grocery store and buy 200$ worth of groceries for 10$. Sound’s fantastic right? Well dig a little deeper and it’s not as fantastic as it seems, or at least not as realistic as it should be. If you look sometimes at what they buy, they will buy 10 of the same items that happen to be on sale and it will be an odd assortment of things like laundry detergent, frozen chicken and a bag of oranges. Not your “normal” shopping trip. Sometimes you just HAVE to get something that’s not on sale and you don’t have a coupon, like a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and other staple items. However this is not to say that you can’t use their tips to save a good amount of money, just don’t expect every single item in your cart to cost 15 cents.. not everything you need will be on sale every week, but when it is you can stock up.

I went to Harris Teeter this morning to pick up a few things that I had coupons for (they are doing triple coupons up to 99 cents this week) and a good sale on some chicken. For the first time I saved more than I spent, and I did get one item for free and some for darn near free.

Here’s the good deals I got on this trip.

Packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts (healthy but expensive at 4.99 a pound) were on sale for buy 1 get 2 free. Craziness.

For three packs the regular price would have been $26.89 (5.39 lbs at $4.99 a pound)
I paid $8.95 (5.39 lbs at $1.66.lb) Savings = $17.94

Two packs of Kraft Sharp Cheese (8 oz blocks) – Regular price 3.19 each or $6.38
They were on sale buy one get one free so I paid 3.19 for both, and had a $1 off 2 packs coupon for a total of 2.19 for 2 8oz blocks or 1.08 each. Savings = $4.19

Oscar Mayer Bacon – Reg Price 5.49. On sale for 2/8$ (or 4.00 for one). Plus a 75 cent off coupon that tripled to 2.25. I paid 1.75. Savings = $3.74

McCormick Paprika for my Mac and Cheese, same thing the block cheese was for. Regular price 2.19. I had a .75 off coupon that tripled to 2.25 = FREE. (In reality the coupon only multiplied to 1.44 to make up the 2.19, so it was still free, but it didn’t take off the extra 6 cents. Some people post that you can get 2$ off an item that costs 1$ and it will take a dollar off your total bill, this doesn’t seem to be the case at Harris Teeter. Will have to check this at other stores.)

I also got some nature valley granola bars, boxes of hamburger helper, macaroni noodles and bounce dryer sheets that I used triple coupons or were on sale. But the chicken, the free cheese, the free paprika and the bacon are where I saved the big money.

Total spent: $25.03
Total saved: $36.28

Saved 59.17%

Not too shabby.

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.

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