One of the ways I keep my grocery budget under control is shopping at more than one store. I know, I hear you thinking "I don't have time to run around to 15 different stores, I have kids and a million things to do." I hear you, I really do. I'm not telling you to go to 15 different stores, but maybe one or two. Think about your grocery shopping now. Are there stores that are within 10 to 20 minutes of the store you shop at right now? If you check out the sale ads for each store and compare prices, you might be able to get a sweet deal by traveling the extra 10 minutes.
I'm lucky to have two stores within five minutes of each other - a Save-A-Lot and a Giant. That's it. Any other store is at least a 45 minute drive from me.But even with just these two stores, I can save a lot. Right now, Giant has chicken breasts on sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free, which equals out to about $2.50 a pound. Save-A-Lot has chicken breast on sale for $1.38 a pound. That's a savings of $1.12 a pound. Since the chicken is sold in packs of about 5 pounds, the extra traveling to a different store would save me $5.60. And that is only if I bought 1 pack. While Giant is great for when I want to stock up using coupons, Save-A-Lot has great prices on produce. Bananas are [right now] $0.29 a pound. At Giant, they're $0.59 a pound.
There is a lot of reasons for me to shop at different stores. And even though there might be a small drive between your stores, I bet there will be a savings for you if you're willing to look for it. So this next week, I challenge you to find another store you can shop at. Take a notebook into the "new" store with you and jot down some prices on things you would normally buy. You are making a price book.
What is a price book you ask? A price book is a list of products you buy with the price of the item from several stores listed. Sales are not always the best deals. This is what your price book is for! What you need to do is write down the item, and the price, plus the price per oz. The price per unit is the most important information. You need to know if the 16 or the 24 ounce is the better deal. If you have coupons, usually it is cheaper to buy the smaller item. If you don't have any coupons, it is usually cheaper to buy the bigger product.
As time goes on, you'll be able to realize what a good price is without your price book. So that when you see a great deal on something your family uses a lot, you'll be able to stock up!
Next week, we'll be talking about stocking up using coupons to help you stock up!
Do you keep a price book? Do you shop at more than one store?