Discussion Forums - Money Saving Tips Money Saving Tips

Topic: Ways to save at the Grocery Store

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Squeeze George till he screams
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 14
Back To Top

As a former single-mom, this was one of the toughest places to cut back for me.  I now feed a ravenous family of 3+4 dogs + 9 cats for about $100 a week.  These are some of the things I use.

*Dont be afraid to use coupons ONLY FOR THINGS YOU ALREADY USE.  Saving 35 cents off that new hair gel that makes your head itch and gets thrown in the trash doesnt save you any money.  I keep them in my wallet in exp date order so if I just run in the store quick I dont have to worry about the coupon wallet being at home.

*Try making a price booklet.  I took a small notebook and labeled each page A,B,C etc and wrote down most of the items I buy every week.  Milk, eggs, butter, chicken, hamburger, etc.  Write down which store has the best price per unit, and try to keep an eye on which store has most of the best prices.  Dont try to do this all at once or you will drive yourself crazy.  Start with jotting down the price of 3 things each time you go to the store.  After a while it will start to be clear who has the better prices and just how much those prices vary between stores.  If an item has too many variables (one store sells per lb, the next per qt,) dont spend too much time trying to figure it out, saving 3 pennies on laundry detergent isnt worth a 2 hour headache. (Learned from experience)

*Cook as much as possible from scratch.  Yes, I know it takes extra time, but it is so much healthier and less expensive.  Remember you pay dearly for convenience.  If you arent ready to start baking your own bread and cooking your own jelly, try cutting out a couple of junk food items.  Theyre not necessary and if the kids want cookies and cakes, have them bake with you once or twice a month.  That way you save money and your teeth.

*If at all possible, try to shop at road-side stands or local farmers markets.  They have far less overhead and the veggies are usually much fresher.

*Try growing a couple items at home.  Lots of fruits and veggies grow very well in pots if you dont have a backyard.  One or 2 tomato plants will keep you in tomatoes for the better part of summer.  Cranberries, bush blueberries, strawberries, all do well in pots, just remember to water them and give them a little plant food every once in a while.

*Read some books from the Great Depression.  Its amazing the creativity grandma had trying to feed large families with no money.


Good Luck All

Subject: More ideas
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 14
Back To Top

Dont fear the left-overs.  None of us wants to come home after working all day and cook.  Try using a slow-cooker.  Ive used it for meatballs in spaghetti sauce, slow-roasting a chuck roast w/root veggies, slow-cooking a pork roast, it also makes great soups.  Make a double batch of something that can be changed up a little from one day to the next (meatball sandwiches mon, spaghetti and meatballs on tues, and throw a little sausage in the extra sauce on day 3 and finish it all up with sausage sandwiches). 


Get Creative!!

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 2/3/15 1:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 26
Back To Top

HI! I just joined this site, and this is my first post.  :)

For those of you that are using the "pay for info" coupon matching site,...try this one...  hotcouponworld.com

It is FREE...has MUCH MUCH more to offer, everyone is super nice, and you can even SWAP coupons! I have been using it for 1 1/2 years. It is AMAZING what you will find you can get  for free. LOL.  Also, you can trade for coupons that  are hard to find (not in the sunday paper).


Hope that helps someone!

Subject: save on spices
Date Posted: 1/11/2009 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2005
Posts: 12
Back To Top

In addition to the earlier tip about buying spices at ethnic markets, check your local health food store. Many sell spices IN BULK containers. You take what you need and put it in your own jar. You will be surprised at how cheap this is.(Even better I suppose would be to call in advance and see if the store sells spices in bulk)


See my frugality blog: frugalscholar.blogspot.com



Date Posted: 1/11/2009 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

i went to market yesterday and didnt give shaw grocery key to end so it was nice to see what i saved and what equal i felt like i won lottery.

Date Posted: 1/12/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

i was cvs to get heating pad and they had cranberry sauce .17 cents i got two.

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,075
Back To Top

We are fortunate to have two different discount grocery stores near us.  They don't have every item that is in a regular grocery store but enough to make the trip worthwhile.  We go there before going to the regular grocery store to see what we can save. There are some really great prices, the items aren't outdated and the majority of the items are name brands. And it's a great place to stock up on things we use all the time when the price is right and the budget allows..

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
Back To Top

I try to hit the Everythings $1 Store about once a month. Often I find name brand items that I would have spent 2-3 times as much for elsewhere. (Suave, Ragu) I also pick up name brand coloring books (Strawberry Shortcake, Disney, Care Bears)  to add to my gift giving box.  Their off brand everyday spices and window cleaner work great too. It's worth checking out every now and then.

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

yeah i use cleaner and just use 5 oz and rest is water and take about 3 week  to use.

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

check receipti bought some meat manager sale and i look and they didnt charge me right price and i stuck at home with cold so i havent had chance to go back to store.

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2005
Posts: 3,449
Back To Top

Carol, some stores will give you the item at no cost , if you are charged the wrong price.

I was at the store and I had some oranges to check out. When the cashier scanned them, it came up as a watermelon and it was $10.00. The manager gave me $10.00 back in cash and the oranges were free.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 777
Back To Top

Thanks for all of the great tips!

Date Posted: 2/9/2009 3:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2005
Posts: 219
Back To Top

I'm glad to hear that managers at stores are accomodating.  I would never think to ask them to discount something; I have been overcharged and gotten items free but that's about it.

Date Posted: 2/9/2009 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 2,166
Back To Top

I am fairly new at using coupons -- I thought I had better get into pratice for when they finally send us a child to adopt! When we go to one income instead of two things will be a little tighter than they are now!

Just a head's up for you coupon-ladies that shop at Stop & Shop ---- If you go to the soda aisle this week, they have these BIG tear off coupon sheets stuck to some advertising! They have 6-8 different coupons for snacky-type things on them, and you can rip off as many sheets as you want and save them for later! The expiration is for some time in (March?) I think, so you have a while left to use them or trade them!

My total at the store was for $101.xx and with my coupons I got the total down to $88! Not bad, considering I bought meat, shampoo, and TONS of fruits to make fruit salad.

Date Posted: 2/9/2009 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
Back To Top

"I got Goya beans, the same exact ones 2 aisles over, 2/$1.00 when they were .89 each in the other aisle!"

How is this possible? How can they key in the bar code with 2 different prices? The scanner at the register won't know if you got it in aisle 2 or aisle 4.

Date Posted: 2/9/2009 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
Back To Top

When I'm prepping vegetables for cooking I'll often dice or slice a few more than I need and put them in the freezer.  Then I've got "convenience" diced onion, celery, etc., without the $$ of buying the pre-cut stuff in the grocery store.  This is also a great way to keep from wasting excess produce.  You can do the same with the heels of bread loaves -- toss them in the freezer and then when you need bread crumbs, thaw one and put it in a food processor.  I also save the crumbs from bags of pretzles, potato chips, or cornflakes to use in breading chicken for baking or in topping a casserole.  Often I'll meal plan around what kind of scraps I've got on hand.

Sue C. (sues) - ,
Date Posted: 2/9/2009 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 707
Back To Top

Char, I think she meant the same kind of beans, not the same exact brand.

I agree with Kristen above...although I take it more to an extreme. I buy a large bag of onions from Costco and chop them (beyond recognition, because that's how I like them) in my food processor. I scoop out either a 1/2 cup or 1 cup measures into freezer bags, Then toss them in the freezer. Don't forget the box of baking soda, LOL. I might slice or quarter a couple for recipes that call for something besides diced. Then label them .

Someone (on pg. 1) mentioned making extra waffles...I do that with pancakes. First, I divide up the batter, then make some plain, some with chocolate chips and some with frozen blueberries. (You could make some with banana or chopped apple with cinnamon. I've never frozen those, so I don't know if they freeze well.) Stack 2 or 3 and freeze them in labeled bags.

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 349
Back To Top

When I want to save money, I send a list with my husband and let him go. He sticks to the list ! ;-)

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 12:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 1,545
Back To Top

I have found that if I wait, Meijer will have 10 for $10 and the 11th is free on hamburger helper.  They have also had Betty Crocker Instant Potatoes and they do Mix and Match for $10.00. 

Here is a recipe stretcher.  Make Hamburger Helper Chili Mac as the recipe states but add 1 more cup of elbow macaroni and 1 can of cut up stewed tomatos - any of the flavors and you can feed one or two more people.


Date Posted: 2/11/2009 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
Back To Top

"Make Hamburger Helper Chili Mac as the recipe states but add 1 more cup of elbow macaroni and 1 can of cut up stewed tomatos - any of the flavors and you can feed one or two more people."

Wendeline I do the same thing with the box potatoes and rice too.

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 86
Back To Top

Stick all leftover bread & buns in the freezer. The day before you want to make stuffing lay them all out to dry. A mixture of different breads is delicious. When dry, break into bite size pieces.Cook lots of onion & celery in butter. Toss vegetables on bread. Add salt & pepper and plenty of sage. Mix with your hands. Sprinkle with chicken broth & mix lightly. You want it moist but not soaked. Bake. (325-50, til krispy on the outside. You can probably find exact time & temp in a cookbook). Yummy, mama cooked food cheap!  As mentioned earlier you can make crumbs from the rest of the dried bread. I do mine in a ziplock bag. Just run over it with the rolling pin a few times.


Date Posted: 2/11/2009 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
Back To Top

Have your supermarket delivery your groceries rather than going to the supermarket and picking them up yourself:

  • with coupons the additional delivery charge is usually very small,
  • you save the expense and time of going to the supermarket,
  • you are better able to find sale items and to find the lowest priced items which more than offsetts the delivery charge


Last Edited on: 2/11/09 8:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: double swiping
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 2:33 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 67
Back To Top

One of the biggest ways I've reduced my food bill is simply checking my receipt before I walk away from the cashier. Awhile ago I noticed that items were appearing twice on my receipt. After this happened more than once, usually on larger ticket items such as milk and fish, and in more than one store I began counting the items in my carriage before I went through the check out.  The amount on items swiped appears on the bottom of the receipt. If the numbers do not match. I stop then and there and get it fixed. The average mistake was about $3 and happened regularly in more than one chain. While I think this is an honest mistake caused by harried cashiers under a lot of pressure and poor scanners; why should I pay for it.

The other thing I've done, is started asking the cashier not to start checking me out until I am at the screen and can watch that the items are scanning correctly. Many items, and not just sale items,  are simply in the computer incorrectly. If you think this is small change, today on just 15 items I caught $2.75 in computer errors, and a double scanned loaf of bread. That is about $5 on $25 grocery bill.

Date Posted: 4/26/2009 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

i like to have meat for lunch and dinner work on eat bean one meal a week . but i was in market other day and they had round steak for 1.95 and butcher special 1.00 so it was .95 it was within day and i bought two and make one today it was so good . and diet so i will have other tommorow. i was in market other day and they had more and i did it. i stock up on rice and potatoes today so i have base for meals. i also go disability food bank and have been eat so many vegetable i ran out so ibought some today 4 package for 7.99 match up at marekt . they had meat last week 4 different kind for 19.99 i did. so i got 2 pound carrot, 16 oz fresh spinash , 5 pound potato , 10 oz bella mushroom. because im diet and try to be good.