Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Where and How I Do My Grocery Shopping

by heather

Recently a friend asked me where I do my grocery shopping, so here’s the breakdown. (Note many of these tips are only helpful for locals, but many of the tips apply across the board.)

  1. I check out Pinching Your Pennies and their printable shopping lists. I never print their lists, but I look at them for good deals on things I may want to purchase and the corresponding coupons are listed there for me.
  2. Make a menu plan. I base my meals on what I already have, what’s on sale and whatever my experiment of the week is.
  3. Make a list. I usually write mine on a bill pay envelope and put all of my coupons inside. Sticking to a list will save you money.
  4. Most often I shop at Smith’s. Their gasoline is cheaper than any place that’s near me and I get more discounts on it for shopping there.They offer rewards for shopping (essentially 1% back, plus a few bonuses, and no you don’t have to sign up for a credit card to get these) and are always very good about taking coupons. They also have coupons that you can load onto your grocery card online that stack with other manufacturer’s coupons. They often have some great sales and I find their produce is usually better.Often I can find lots of specialty items here that I can’t find elsewhere. I go here at least weekly.
  5. Toiletries are almost always cheaper at Walmart. Plus Walmart price matches. If there’s a amazing deal at another store, but I don’t want to go there for just one item I take the ad to Walmart and get it with my other stuff. Walmart is generally the best place to get movies and toys. I almost always get my yogurt at Walmart because it’s so much cheaper there. The produce is generally disappointing. I don’t like to buy my milk here because their skim milk tastes funny to me. Again weekly trips.
  6. Costco is where I go for cheese. They have a fantastic selection at the best prices. They also have great prices on organic produce (as long as you are buying fairly large quantities.) They have fresh Einstein bagels 12 for $5 and since there isn’t an Einstein’s in the vicinity and I love bagels…Other things I consistently buy here: laundry detergent, dishwasher pellets, dried fruit, string cheese, Canadian bacon, sourdough bread (their rosemary loaves are sooo yummy), grapefruit juice, seasonal and party foods and Cheesecake Factory Lemoncello Cheesecakes. (My Costco membership is worth the last item alone.) When I do go, I also grab milk. They also have good deals on best-selling books, movies and great deals on toys around Christmas. It’s the cheapest place I’ve found to buy ink cartridges or have them refilled. Drawbacks: membership required, it’s out of the way, they don’t accept manufacturer’s coupons and I ALWAYS spend more than I intended because I always find something I “need” that wasn’t on my list. I go here about monthly.
  7. Albertson’s occasionally has some great deals worth going for. However, overall there prices are generally higher. I have also discovered that the Albertson’s on Bluff Street in St George has the nicest staff I have ever encountered. Really, they treat me like family, I feel like I want to have them over for dinner. (Such a contrast, when I’ve been to Albertson’s at other places, everyone seems so grumpy.) The staff are always helpful to point out great deals, offers samples and give my kids free chocolate chip cookies. Plus I never have to wait long in line there. I usually shop here monthly.
  8. Target has the best bang for your buck on diapers. Their store brand is the same price (or less) than Walmart and they are much better quality. Sometimes they have other great deals. I like their dollar aisle for things like Easter basket and stocking stuffers. I come here for diapers and special occasions.
  9. Walgreens often has some great deals if you match your coupons with register rewards. Plus they sometimes have some amazing deals on photo printing, and if you order it online you get a Upromise kickback. I probably go here ten times a year.
  10. I go to Lin’s for their case lot sales and sometimes their produce. So I only shop here occasionally.
  11. I have recently discovered Rite-Aid. Not some place I would go on a regular basis, but a few weeks ago I got a couple jumbo packs of Huggies diapers for a little more than $2 each. Now that is savings that is worth going out of the way for. The problem is that when they do have amazing deals like that they sell out fast. I tried once before for some great deal and there weren’t any left. And when I snagged my diapers I got the last two packages. I shop here rarely.

Hopefully that’s helpful. Anyone else have any great tips?

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