When I do my grocery shopping, I go alone, I go early, with reusable bags, and a list in hand. I go through and inventory what I already have beforehand, and take note of upcoming events on my calendar so that I have what I need for the week. And that is the ideal. Sometimes I show up at the grocery with several young children and have these strange out of body experiences where the things I put on the conveyor belt are foreign substances, and I am ashamed to admit I bought them, like one time I came home with ten boxes of something called: Lucky Charms….I don’t know what came over me. They were on sale……
Plan the recipes according to what you have going on. A crock pot meal for a crazy day. And a more complicated dish for an easy day…So when you are driving carpool and your husband has a meeting and the basketball practice goes late, and the little people are screaming in the backseat, you know there is something warm and delicious at home, ready to eat! I don’t always manage to make this happen, and for that we have pizza delivery!
A well thought out grocery list is beneficial! It’s no fun pulling out your fry pan only to find out you forgot to buy oil…if you know what I mean! And save your receipts! I love looking back over and deciding which stores have the better prices on certain items:)
Kroger gives fuel points, which is nice especially if you drive a huge van, like I do. I don’t love Kroger because they don’t carry many bulk items, however, I will say they have a decent natural foods section now! SO…..not too bad!
Meijer, I know like the back of my hand, because it’s the closest store to my home. I like it because I can get everything I need there. They have cat food and twizzlers, play doh and greeting cards, sewing supplies and tuna. You want it, they got it, but they are not the cheapest grocery store in my area.
Sams Club, well we all know that Walmart and Sam’s are not run with good business practices that we want to support. They don’t pay a living wage to their employees, and much of what they sell is fabricated overseas, but if you have a sick crew, or are otherwise pressed for time, their “Click and Pull” system is great. You can order all your food online, and then go pick it up. My only caution about this is, make sure you have all your stuff before you ring up. I have left freezer items before because I didn’t check…..
Costco: never been. But, I hear it’s pretty great. Are any of you regulars? Why do you love it? I would like to hear your feedback. I do know that the company is sound and pays well, and generally treats employees well.
If you really feel motivated to save money: shop here. ALDI’s has the best prices in town. They have much of the same food that you find at Meijer or Kroger, it is just packaged differently. You can’t get EVERYTHING here, but they have nice things, and the money you save is truly worth it. Remember your quarter so you can get a cart, and bring bags, or you will have to pay for them. ALDI is a German company, and they have excellent meat and dairy products. Just for your information: ALDI owns Trader Joe’s!
BULK ORDERS! There are many places you can buy in bulk and save beyond the big box stores, which don’t always give the very best deals.
Randazzo Produce is a family run produce market that will deliver with an order over 100$. It isn’t the highest quality produce on the face of the earth, but it is generally edible and so cheap it is worth purchasing even if you have to toss a few. Some friends and I have been ordering from them for sometime. It has been really nice to get those veggies and not feel like I have to regulate how many apples the kids eat! Go AHEAD, children, have another banana, as if I haven’t fed you today already FIVE TIMES!!
I order Country Life about once a month. I get nuts, seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, honey, syrup, noodles, flour, oats and dried fruit from them. They have fair prices for excellent natural foods. They are a Michigan Company, and always have delivered with a smile! I love their date treats!
Visit your Farmers Market! My mom took us, almost every Saturday to our local Farmers Market. I can still remember the smell of the cinnamon sugar donuts! It’s a great way to eat fresh, and teach your kids about food, and where it comes from! At our local market we can get locally raised meats, wonderful vegetables, and lots of other cool homemade stuff….
On that note. If you can, plant some seeds with your kids this spring, and see what comes up! It’s very exciting for them to see those tiny seeds become red ripe delicious tomatoes! Even if you just plant a couple things, it’s a wonderful learning experience. You may even have to convince your children that you are not getting a booth at the Farmers Market just because we had some success with our garden! HA HA!
There are a lot of ways you can save money, but what it really comes down to is: pay now or pay later…. Eat well, and feel well…..Or not! Investing the time and energy into doing meal planning is satisfying, and your family will be impressed with your preparedness.
I dare you to try ALDI. Let me know what you think!!