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Is it just me, or...(grocery store sales) - Page 3

post #41 of 87
When you first start tracking your grocery spending, it drops consistently, IME. Maybe because you are more aware? After that, you end up with highs and lows. Our average is under $200 a month- for example:

Aug. '09: $136 Groceries, $97 Non Food Consumables, $33 Durable Goods
Sept. '09: $191 G, $0 NFC, $0 DG
Oct. '09: $212 G, $121 NFC, $56 DG

Grocery average $179/mo.

August was low because the garden was going like gangbusters. September was higher because we did a big bake again because it wasn't so hot (we bake about once every six weeks and freeze). October was high all around because of Halloween (Groceries: candy & pumpkins, Durable Goods: costumes). I have a pretty firm budget of $350 household, which includes all three of these categories, though I went $39 over budget this month. But I can live with that since I was $159 under budget last month and $84 under budget the month before that.

We could go somewhat lower on food- we could give up coffee and tea and cocoa and cereal, and decrease our sugar intake. Anything more than that would come at a nutritional cost- crappy factory eggs instead of yummy local free range eggs, margarine or cheaper butter instead of local hormone free butter, lower quality meats. I am unwilling to do any of this stuff, frankly, since would mean sacrificing variety and enjoyment as well.

I think it really varies by where you live. On the plus side, we live in a breadbasket. Fruit, dairy, eggs, meat, lots of fish, and root veggies are all very cheap. It's a low COL area. On the other hand, no stores here take internet coupons. They just don't. Real price wars are unknown, and the nearest warehouse club is 90 miles away, and it's a small, crappy one. The big, good ones are 4 hours away. Our local papers don't have coupons, and because I only would be looking for coupons for things like Qtips, TP, toothbrushes, and water filters, it wouldn't be worth it for me to spend $2 on a Sunday paper and wait for the name brand items to go on sale to save $0.20, when I can buy the store brand any old day for almost as cheap as the name brand + sale+ coupon. We have no CVS, so no XCB. We just got a Walgreens, and while I love the savings on their brand of TP and water filters, I have not yet found any rebates or rewards to get anything (that I would actually use) for free.

(Some disclaimers:

We are a family of 4 full time, 5 part time when DSS is here.

Groceries include some things like vinegar and castor oil that we use for cleaning or personal care products.

Non food consumables include things like oil for the cars, cell phone minutes, mason jar lids pet supplies, plus the usual toilet paper-water filters-toothbrushes trifecta.

Durable goods are clothes, gifts, and household stuff like Gladware, mason jars or a lotion dispenser, because I just started making homemade toothpaste, or automotive tools. Odds and ends, really.

We get WIC and DH eats for free at work.)
post #42 of 87
I agree! We do sometimes get bogo sales on meat but that is about it.

I would really like to get the book Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill because reviewers say its version of frugality doesn't rely on coupons and the recipes are more whole foods oriented.

The author has a blog at owlhaven.net that I read sometimes.

But yeah, we have the same issue over here.

V
post #43 of 87
I find there is a lot of produce on sale where I live.
post #44 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post
I am so surprised at these responses, I almost never pay full retail price on anything.

I find coupons and deals for all of this.

Organic's and lots of staples. I do find all these deals looking thru sales flyer as well as knowing my prices. Flour, yeast, beans, rice, oats, cheese, pasta and butter are all things that have coupons for. Pair them with a sale and pennies on the dollar if not free (I still have at least 8 lbs of challenge european butter in my freezer that I got like 35 pounds for free last winter with coupon and sale).

I will occasionally get coupons for these itmes but mainly have to watch sales for organic milk, baking soda, vinegar, buffalo, beef, chicken, fish and organic yogurt, so my savings percentage is lower, but never pay full retail on these items either. When thye do go on sale, I stock up thou.

I buy a few things in bulk at local Sunflower market. Nutrirtional yeast, brown rice, variety of nuts and dried fruits.

I'm just shocked that so many of you are not having success in this.

Sure, I see a LOT of stuff in the weekly sales flyers that I just won't ever use. But who cares, the stuff I want is going on sale as well, I just have to watch for it.
Say I have no food at home, just moved in.... It's not like I can just go to the store every week for a month and have a fully stocked supply of everything and have it all be half off retail.
I might have to buy honey and pay full price. But then next week that honey goes on sale, 40% off. I buy it, and buy 3-4 months supply. Everything goes on sale, sometimes it's just waiting for it, if it's possible to stock up, then do so.

I rarely find coupons for a ton of produce, but I almost can always find it on sale. Yes, some sale prices are still high, but it's still a discount. I eat more seasonally and meal plan.
No strawberries in December and but lots of apples and oranges, more berries in the summer, etc. I am stocking up on potatoes, onions, and winter squash, these are all on sale right now, and they kept well.

Meal planning helps a lot too.

I can easily feed our family of 2-5 (varied by day) for $200 a month without processed junk being consumed.

I do occasionally buy coupons on eBay and then wait for a sale to stock up.
Here are some auctions on eBay right now for organic coupons:
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=org...+goupon&_rdc=1




Best of luck to you all
I think much of the point of the thread is that things are different in different places, such as Canada. Very.
post #45 of 87
I shop at the discount grocery stores (no frills, price chopper, food basics) and find some decent sales on some things. Two of these stores are right across the street from each other so I don't mind doing both.
Here's my meal plan for this week - things I have listed are on sale - obviously I will supplement with things from my pantry and some other items on my list but most of this week's meals are based on the flyer:

to make roast vegetable soup dinner (w salad and bread):
carrots
potatoes
onions
apples
cream

to make lasagna:
ricotta cheese
jarred pasta sauce
ground chicken
frozen spinach
moz cheese

to make a dinner
frozen salmon for orange roasted salmon
potatoes
beets, oranges and feta (for a roast beet, orange and feta salad)

to make a pasta dinner
scallops,
linguine,
zuchini (I'll add red peppers, snow peas and something else)

to make a meatloaf dinner:
ground chicken
roasted potatoes, carrots, beets, onions

to make a dinner
spaghetti squash
feta

to make breakfast/lunches:
bagels (w avacado, tomato and sprouts)
english muffins (for egg mcmuffins w eggs and cheese)
fruit salad (apples, mango, clementines, pomegranate, grapes and some peaches I canned this summer)

to make hummus and pitas to go with home made tomato soup I canned this summer:
canned chick peas
pita

to make beans and rice for lunch
kidney beans
onions
cheese
spices
(I'll add tomatoes and rice)

fruit and veggies:
avacados
mangoes
clementines
pomegrante
red grapes
apples
onions
carrots
potatoes
beets
squash

pantry items:
cheese (I'll get a few and grate/freeze some)
wheat germ
spices
canned chick peas and kidney beans
tooth paste
pasta

hth
Karen
post #46 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I shop at the discount grocery stores (no frills, price chopper, food basics) and find some decent sales on some things.
For what it's worth, Food Basics is generally no cheaper than Metro (its name brand store), but No Frills is usually cheaper than the Loblaws stores.
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
For what it's worth, Food Basics is generally no cheaper than Metro (its name brand store), but No Frills is usually cheaper than the Loblaws stores.
I find a large difference in prices between food basics and metro in my city. Metro is crazy expensive for a lot of things but that might be because it is close to the university and one of the wealthier areas of town. I do find the quality of the produce at food basics varies a lot between the two stores in my city.
post #48 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I find a large difference in prices between food basics and metro in my city. Metro is crazy expensive for a lot of things but that might be because it is close to the university and one of the wealthier areas of town. I do find the quality of the produce at food basics varies a lot between the two stores in my city.

Well that's what I do for a living (track prices of various items in various stores across Canada), and I stand by what I said. Individual stores may vary, however.
post #49 of 87
Yeah I find Metro and Sobeys really expensive, though they have some good sales. I find the prices pretty decent at Loblaws. I can't stand the produce at No Frills or Food Basics generally.
post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Yeah I find Metro and Sobeys really expensive, though they have some good sales. I find the prices pretty decent at Loblaws. I can't stand the produce at No Frills or Food Basics generally.

So it's not just me! I've never understood how No Frills produce can be so awful, yet Fortinos is good. Same company, same city, presumably same trucks.
post #51 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Well that's what I do for a living (track prices of various items in various stores across Canada), and I stand by what I said. Individual stores may vary, however.
That's cool. From my experience I know I couldn't afford to feed my family if I had to shop at the Metro in my city for all my groceries.

I find the "perishable" produce at no frills to be not so great - things like greens, broccoli, soft fruits etc. We actually get most of that kind of stuff at the farmer's market. I do find that hardier veggies like carrots, squash, beets, potatoes, onions, even bananas and oranges etc to be okay. The selection/variety isn't great though. The food basics near my house has decent produce (selection and quality) especially if you shop earlier in the day. It also stocks way more "ethnic" produce and a better selection in general.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Yeah I find Metro and Sobeys really expensive, though they have some good sales. I find the prices pretty decent at Loblaws. I can't stand the produce at No Frills or Food Basics generally.
I find the produce to be good at No Frills, but not very good at Food Basics. Food Basics also hardly ever has the bigger sizes, like 10lbs of potatoes, 10lbs of onions. I think it varies by individual store though.
post #53 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Yeah I find Metro and Sobeys really expensive, though they have some good sales. I find the prices pretty decent at Loblaws. I can't stand the produce at No Frills or Food Basics generally.
And out west here, Sobey's is generally the cheapest, with Superstore/Loblaws being only slightly better than Safeway. But we have no discount grocery stores.
post #54 of 87
All we have are Sobeys and Superstore and some little locally owned stores. I find I have to wade through the sales and there isn't always good stuff but usually there are some good buys. Most of what we buy doesn't go on sale in flyers but I will find in-store half off. I get all my organic greens at Superstore half off, I get local milk at the gas station (they now sell 2x2L for $6.49, a steal compared to the grocery stores where it's $7+, or $12 for organic, which doesn't taste good to us anymore and is from Ontario), I get most of our meat from one of the little grocery stores which always has meat sales and AFAIK it's all local and they process it there, produce comes from there or the fruit and veg stand unless it's on sale. I have bought all our other staples on sale, often by being in the right place at the right time (just this week I was able to get stevia, xantham gum and a ton of organic spices for half off at Superstore). I'm gluten free so it makes it tricky but I have bought the kids their whole grain pasta at about 75 cents a box by saving coupons then buying when it's on sale. I buy the sauce they like cases at a time when it's on sale (I bought 3 cases of 24 last time, should last about a year and is BB 2012). I get my eggs at Shoppers Drug Mart (they are conventional but local food miles-wise). I buy meat when it's marked down. I shop like a fiend to get the best buys or we therwise wouldn't have a quality diet. It's not all organic but you sometimes just can't afford it, especally on a min. wage part time workers earnings (it's funny as DH works at Sobeys but we can hardly afford to shop there).
post #55 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde View Post
I have bought all our other staples on sale, often by being in the right place at the right time (just this week I was able to get stevia, xantham gum and a ton of organic spices for half off at Superstore).
I find this funny because our Superstore (I am in a city of 10,000 with a Superstore that was built 10% smaller than the ones in a bigger city, so they say) does not carry "exotic" stuff like that. If I want stevia I go to the health food store, same with my yoghurt starter. We do have almond butter though! Like others said all we have is Sobey's, Safeway, and Superstore. I pretty much always shop at Superstore though. I am wanting to price toiletries, and household goods at Walmart, BUT the nearest Walmart is 45 min away so any savings probably would be negated by gas cost...so Superstore it is. We maybe to to the "big city" once a month, so I will check it out next time I go.

Now that I think of it, I do notice staples on sale sometimes like flour and chocolate chips at Christmas for baking, but Superstore greatly limits it's sales...for example only being able to buy 2 bags or something at the sale price. Sheesh...you can't win .
post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasciate View Post
And out west here, Sobey's is generally the cheapest, with Superstore/Loblaws being only slightly better than Safeway. But we have no discount grocery stores.
I always wondered how Sobeys could be all across Canada when they seem so expensive, but maybe they are cheaper there, especially if there are no discount grocery stores.

We don't have Safeway here.

I forgot about Price Chopper (Sobeys discount store.) Of the 3 big discount grocery stores, I find they have the best produce, but they are inconveniently located for me.
post #57 of 87
We only have a Sobeys in town to shop at and they hardly ever have anything on sale that we buy. I cook mostly from scrath though. Sometimes an Amy's burrito or pizza is on sale we will buy a few and keep them around for a quick dinner sometimes.

Ground beef was just on sale for $3/lb but the farm I buy mine from is only $2.75/lb so that's no deal.

I buy in bulk organic from my local Health Food Store grains in 10kg/22lb bags and dry beans in 5kg/11lbs bags. It saves loads of money. The local farm sells 50lb bags of potatos for $15.
post #58 of 87
Totally, totally, totally. Same things for coupons.
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post

Ground beef was just on sale for $3/lb but the farm I buy mine from is only $2.75/lb so that's no deal.
See that is so expensive and that is the sale price! The store where I buy lean ground beef has it regular 1.99/lb. They had a sale a while ago for 99c/lb, but the line was over an hour long.
post #60 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I always wondered how Sobeys could be all across Canada when they seem so expensive, but maybe they are cheaper there, especially if there are no discount grocery stores.
We don't have sobeys here in QC anymore. They're all now called IGA or IGA Extra. They don't have a discount version of the store. They sometimes have good front page sales, this week it was boxes of apples, including dh's favourite gala, for $3.99. My local IGA often has unadvertised sales as well. No Sobeys/IGA discount store here.

Loblaws/Fortino/Superstore has Maxi as their discount store. It's slightly more expensive than NoFrills. Metro has SuperC as their discount store, and it's definitely cheaper than Metro.

All of these except Super C are within 3 miles/5km of my house. Super C is maybe 4 miles.

Prices seem to be regional though. Around here, pork is frequently on sale cheap, dairy is more expensive. Most supermarkets advertise carrying local produce and local products to some degree or another and in season, they're cheap.
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