Friday, March 04, 2011

Abuelita Hultberg's tips and tricks for grocery shopping and saving money...

because the money you save can be spent on beer and video games later.  Uh, I mean, donating to orphans and reducing your carbon footprint.

I joke but while shopping at the grocery store today and post-shopping I was looking at my grocery bill (not because I'm a Stepford Wife - I needed something to read in the can).  I managed to save, off the top, almost $14 just by purchasing items on special.  I'm not talking about buying the spooky generic stuff that is simply labelled, "Food" or "Drink" but solid name brand deals.  I also wasn't shopping at Walmart (not for socio-political reasons I just can't get there).  My total was $79 for thirty-nine items (roughly $2.02 per item), my two most expensive items were a rack of ribs for $11 (not on sale) and crawfish meat (on sale $6.99).  Minus those two items my average item cost drops to $1.65.  I bought ten boxes of Zatarain's for a buck a piece (on special) because, well I like them - it's a quick easy dinner that goes well with a can of beans (or servings of beans if you have batch made and in the freezer).  I bought cat litter and a few non-regular items for less than ten bucks.

$79 bucks may seem like a lot to plunk down at one time but consider that I now have two weeks of solid meals, home-cooked versus, on average $10-$20 a day on meals eaten out.  So $79 v $140-$280.  I know I'm bad at math but that seems like a shit-ton of savings to me.

So here are three crucial tips to make your money go farther and your life easier:

  1. Yes, get the saver card at your local grocery store.  No, it won't make you old - it'll make you have more money.
  2. Get an account online for your grocery store.  Not only will they send you coupons, flyers, alerts on specials but with spooooky tracking of your purchases the company will give you more coupons and deals on items you actually use or purchase on a regular basis.
  3. Finally, it's become more common for supermarket chains to offer the ability to build and save shopping lists on-line.  Don't fool yourself into thinking your gonna use the "What to buy!" sticky thing on your fridge door.  You're not - and if you say you do either you're a liar or need to come to terms with the entropy of everyday life.  Having a saved grocery list amended with click and add coupons and specials quick and easy to print makes life so much easier.  This helps for those moments when you're in the store slack-jawed going, "I dunno what I need.  Oh look cookies!"  Then you get home and you realized you had milk on your list.  
Also, if you hate going to the grocery store - try going during off hours.  Sure sure, you work 9-5 blah blah blah.  If you're not a church-goer - hit the grocery store on a Sunday morning.  If you are a church-goer hit the grocery store Saturday evening when the heathens are getting sinful.

Coming soon Abuelita Hultberg's cleaning tips for you dirty birdies.

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