Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Shop Around

Welcome back!

I hope you all are enjoying Thrifty Thursdays.  I'm loving discussing something I'm passionate about--saving money! 

Today I want to talk about another way to save on your grocery shopping--shopping around.  There are different degrees of this and it's up to you how much you want to do.

When I'm planning my meals for the week, I go online and get the sales insert for the three stores that I typically consider for grocery shopping--Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Meijer.  I've done shopping at Walmart before, but typically assume the prices will be good there and don't shop according to the sale--gasp!  I then look at the produce and meat sales and see if there's anything that jumps off the page.  If there aren't any fantastic deals, I'll default to Kroger because it's close and easy to get into and out of.  If there are great deals at one of the stores, though, a decision must be made.  Is it worth going to that store just to get that one thing?  Or if I'm going to go to, for instance, Giant Eagle for chicken breast, should I just plan my whole shopping trip there?  Honestly, it depends on the week which one I choose.  If it's a busy Sunday (and which ones aren't these days??) and I just want to make a quick trip, I'll go do all the shopping at one store.  If I have an evening that I will have extra time, I'll go do the rest of my shopping at one store, then get the chicken at Giant Eagle.

I have friends, though, that will always shop at 2-4 stores per week.  No matter how much money I want/need to save, I just don't have the time for it most weeks (but I can't say I've never done it!).  It's totally a personal decision.  You can save a lot of money by shopping at different stores--it's a balance of opporunity costs (the loss of time) and financial costs.  (Wow, I did learn something in Econ 200!)

All that said, be flexible about what store you do your grocery (and, really, any!) shopping at.  Shop the sales and be prepared to go to the store that has the best sales for that week.

Next week: Coupon Match-ups (it's much easier than you think!)

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