Winning Grocery Saving Tips

by Katy on November 15, 2009 · 2 comments


Thank you to everyone who entered to win one of the two $50 Safeway gift cards.Congratulations to Karyn V and “M” whose tips were randomly chosen as winners.

Truly though, all the tips were incredible and very inspiring and I would highly recommend reading the 97 original entries.

Here are a few of my favorites:

My trick is to try to do as much shopping as possible at ethnic grocery stores. There are both Mexican and Asian stores in my area. When I shop there I usually get twice as much food for the money! It helps to be willing to try new things too.

My tip takes is a few steps that allow me to maintain my weekly shopping budget. I always check the pantry, check the store ad along with my coupon matchups and meal plan before heading out to the store. I find that a few extra minutes planning save me big $ at the store. I always walk in with my list and coupon matches in hand. I also keep a running total of the items I place in my cart so that I know if there is any room left in the bidget for stocking up on any unadvertised sales/ markdowns that we come across.

This may sound like alot of work, but it only takes about a half-hour per week:

1. When the Safeway/Vons sale ad shows up in my mailbox on Tuesday, I circle the items I need for the week in bold, sharpee pen.

2. Then I go to the website and check the Coupon Database for the products that I’ve circled. I also check for any extra products I need that weren’t in the ad.

3. The website tells me which Sunday paper the coupon is found in. I go to my coupon files (right next to my computer) and cut out the coupons I need. (All coupons stay in the whole sheet and are filed according to Sunday date; when people give me coupons I just add them into the correct file.)

4. Make a specific list and paper clip the coupons to the list. My list is good for the whole week (I menu plan).

5. Go shopping and manage to save a ton: the store has discounted the items for the week, plus I use coupons on top of that! (Sometimes I even get free stuff!)

I always shop from the bulk bins when they are available. You can get huge savings on pasta, beans and cereal and only buy as much as you need. Also, although it is a small savings, bring your own bags for 5 cents off apiece at many stores.

Try the generic. If you don’t like it, try the next cheapest brand up, until you find your ’sweet spot’. The cheapest isn’t always the best for you, but the name brand you’re used to isn’t always the best price for you.

Agree with many of the answers we use a combination of tricks:

buy our beef in large sizes and have the butcher cut them for us (not only does it take me back to growing up in rural Lancaster County PA but we have a better “feeling” for the beef) We also get the pasture / non-feedlot beef.

shop on a full stomach and shop only the aisles you need.

Don’t be afraid to stop and compare products — proud of my daughter who lines them up and compares on a shelf. She usually ends up lecturing some unwary customers. She started doing this in college and hasn’t stopped.

Make everything you can from scratch, not only do you control the ingredients but there are plenty of recipes and shortcuts to find to make your own “mixes” and they’ll taste so much better.

And really, if you don’t know how to cook, invest in a good cooking class or get a friend who does to give you some tips. It will save you so much over the long run plus make you healthier. And it can be a fun family project.

My favorite grocery money saving tip is to avoid grocery store shopping whenever possible. I buy the majority of my family’s food from a grocery co-op, farm-direct, dairy-direct, and from the farmer’s market. Staying out of the grocery store aisles with their multitude of temptations solely designed to make me slow down and spend more money saves me a lot!

When I’ve had to seriously economize, I would keep track of the prices (per ounce) of the items I regularly use in alphabetical order, peruse the advertising circulars very carefully to see which (if any) were on sale, stock up when they were, and basically feed my family on the bargains. Now with the internet it is easier to find recipes based upon ingredients you have on hand.

I always make sure I’m not the least bit hungry when I go to the grocery store. I also always have a list that I have made after I go through what I have at home. I also don’t shop the whole store, just the aisles where there are items that I need on my list.

I am a coupon lover. I really love the $10 off a $50 purchase coupon from Safeway, the coupons that you can load to your Safeway card online, and of course the double your manufacturer coupon that comes in the Safeway add each week. I also really like the rewards program at Fred Meyer. They send out great coupons to reward members. I have also found that making a shopping list before you go is key!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn H November 15, 2009 at 6:28 am

The new blog is pretty!


admin November 15, 2009 at 10:21 am


Thanks. I have much to do with it before I officially “go live.”

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


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