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Wherehouse stores or grocery game?? - Page 2

post #21 of 30
I make all my cleaners- including laundry soap, oxygen bleach (like oxiclean), dish soap, etc. I save a TON of money this way. To get some good starter recipes, this site is fantastic. http://www.recipezaar.com/r/454/pg=1

I shop at a discount grocery chain. I buy my produce at farmer's markets when it's in season. If it's not in season, I don't buy it. I cook almost everything from scratch- including chicken stock from last night's roasted chicken. It's really easy once you start doing it.

If I like a product, I write the company and let them know. Sometimes they send coupons. If I don't like a product, I write the company. They ALWAYS send GREAT coupons. I used two Huggies diapers on dd a few months ago and she had the WORST blowouts- both times! I wrote a letter of complaint via email, and received $25 in manufacturer coupons- one $10, two $5, one $3, and two $1- that were good for any Kimberly Clark product, so I stocked up on Viva paper towels and Cottenelle tp, both of which we love but rarely buy because of cost. It doesn't even cost me a postage stamp because I email the company and include my home address. Also, write companies and ask for freebies. I wrote Pfizer and asked for samples of products for a new mother. They sent me a tube of Desitin, a container of Tucks, a bottle of Lubriderm, a coupon book of more than $10 savings- plus three coupons for free Listerine, Purell hand santitizer, and PediaCare medicine. There are "free sample" sites all over the internet- use them. All samples come with coupons better than you'll find in your local paper.

I don't even bother with warehouses. I've gone a few times with friends, and only once did I find a good deal- on tires. I had a friend buy them for me the next time she was there.

I don't buy toiletries, garbage bags, etc, at the grocery store. Toiletries can be made or purchased from Target, etc. I buy garbage bags in bulk at hardware stores. (They really are cheaper there, at least where I live.)

Average monthly cost for food/personal items for me, DP, and DD- $160.
post #22 of 30
There are only three of us, but we spend about $400 a month on food/grocery store purchases. We do a Sam's club run about every other month. We buy peanut butter which comes packed two together in normal jar sizes, tp, paper towels, dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, bottled water, and a few frozen items. I never buy produce or meat here. There is too much and besides, I buy that at Whole Foods as I prefer the organic. We compare the prices to the regular grocery store when we remember to check. I know we are saving money on the items that are bulk purchases.

I watch the specials at the grocery store and Whole Foods and our Co-op. Today, I purchased coffee filters at Whole Foods. I thought they were expensive, however, when I got to the regular grocery store for something that I buy there, I found out I had actually paid almost a dollar less!

One of my plans this month is to record the prices of things that I normally buy at all the stores I regularly visit. This will help me know if we are getting a good deal when we notice a special.

I use coupons whenever possible. I get Mambo Sprouts coupons online, at the Co-Op and Whole Foods. There are usually a few items in there that we use. I take a book everytime I visit. I leave the coupons I don't use in the lunchroom at work. I clip coupons from the paper, but like another poster, I don't use most of those things. Our check out at the regular grocer prints out coupons. I use those as often as I can. Today I used a coupon for $1 off my entire grocery order. I have another for $3 off my order that I hope to use for the next big trip. This store also is associated with a gas station, so each time I make purchase, I make sure to hand over my shopping card. We got 30 cent off per gallon last time we filled up the big car. My friend had so much off she filled her Honda Pilot for 80 cents per gallon!

Our rule is to buy what we use and use what we buy. I am sure we throw out more than we should, but we are trying to do better by making smaller portions of things instead of preparing meals to feed an army.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st
Try to only go every 4-6 weeks and you will see a dramatic cut in your household budget.
This was in regards to Target. I'm curious what people are buying there that would necessitate frequent trips. We have Target in our area, and we like it, but I think I went to Target 3 times last year: to get a DVD for my husband's birthday, to comparison shop for toddler seats for our son, and to buy a pair of gloves for our son. Why are people shopping at Target weekly?

Namaste!
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Why are people shopping at Target weekly?
I don't go there weekly, but I buy things like vinegar, big boxes of baking soda, washing soda, borax, as well as toothpaste, glycerin, canning jars, etc. I need to go this weekend to get a drying screen for my wool sweaters.
post #25 of 30


Quote:
Personally, I have stopped shopping at larger "discount" stores. I guess I feel the savings that they have for our budget isn't worth the cost of their business practices. But that is just me, I don't condemn people who want to shop there to save money.
I feel really good about shopping at costco. Their starting wage is close to $10/hour, their average wage is around $16/hour, a majority of their employees use their insurance, etc... It is supposed to be a VERY "blue" place to work and I like my $ to go there.

Back On Topic and back to :
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kytheria
I need to go this weekend to get a drying screen for my wool sweaters.
You can try using a pressure-mounted baby gate (or a clean window screen if you have one) placed over the tub.

I don't find many deals at our BJ's (like Sams or Costco). Mostly it's huge boxes of national brands at the same (or slightly below) prices as the grocery store. I hear new moms talking about buying their diapers there, but even that isn't a bargain if they compare unit prices. Ours has a gas station too, and it's a bit cheaper, but far enough out of my way that I don't go there often. I find better deals at Wal-mart (ugh!) than our warehouse stores.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
This was in regards to Target. I'm curious what people are buying there that would necessitate frequent trips. We have Target in our area, and we like it, but I think I went to Target 3 times last year: to get a DVD for my husband's birthday, to comparison shop for toddler seats for our son, and to buy a pair of gloves for our son. Why are people shopping at Target weekly?

Namaste!
The targets in my area have more than just baby gear, Dvds, and gloves. Some of them have grocery stores attached to them and huge frozen food sections. Most of the food there is processed, ready to eat variety so we don't get much in that dept except for an occasional trick or treat thing, valentines etc. They also have a pharmacy (the pharmist in ours is wonderful), tolietrees, otc remedies, plus anything else you could think of to decorate your home, bridal registry etc. I have seen people in line in front of me spend $500 a visit! One person was having a dinner party- she bought dishware, linens etc plus her basic toiletrees she needed day to day. So if its all under one roof and there its easy to see how people can get target crazy. Thats why I suggested stretching out time between visits or go in there in a hurry so you do not get caught up in that.
post #28 of 30
I have been thinking about the whole warehouse vs grocery store, especially since I dropped almost $200 at Costco last night. We don't have a Sam's Club here, thankfully.
I share a membership at Costco with my brother, so we have a signifigant savings there. My Costco carries a lot of healthy/organic foods for decent prices. For the same price as shreddies, I can get organic cereals at Costco

I think the biggest benefit is convenience, really. I hate to say it, but it's true. I buy my staples there. For instance, when the grocery stores have a gigantic loss-leader sale on flour (usually twice per year), and it will cost $4.50 for 10kg. Any day of the year, i can run up to Costco and buy a 20kg bag for $9.18. It just isn't worth it to me to stockpile so that I can save 18 cents every 2 months, you know? Also, natural and organic peanut butters are 1/2 the price of the grocery stores, etc
So for me it is worth it, but I stick to the list and avoid the giant delicious muffins, useless home decor junk, sporting goods, discount books etc etc and just buy food and such.

We don't get a lot of coupons here, but I do shop the loss leaders at the grocery store. We buy fresh produce every week and plan meals around what is on sale. I believe most months we spend an average of $300 on food.
post #29 of 30
Hi all,
I am new to this section of MDC. Have always been fairly concious of sales at the grocery store and try to use what we have (have a long way to go in this department...) and can do GREAT with coupons when using on a sale item!

I have saved a lot by reducing my number of trips to Target and Costco to when I REALLY need to go. Yes, I can buy Windex cheaper at Target than at my local grocery store but if that is all I need, I save the gas money and the time (AND the expense that it will cost because once in Target I'll end up with a turtleneck for dd2 and ponytail holders for dd1 and the new Usher cd with that song I like off the radio and that cute Valentine decoration and....) I do go when I have a big list then try to stick to that.

Was in Costco last night and if anyone was watching me, they'd have been laughing. I put SO many things in my cart, only to take them out and put them back - binders and page protectors for my dd1's school stuff (I swear I still have some from the last time I bought at Costco but I need to dig through the front hall closet to find them), a box of greeting cards (GREAT deal - really! - but I just stocked up on cards not long ago and there are always a good 1/3 of the cards that I don't like so is it really necessary to buy it now? No.), Easter dresses for the girls (again, great prices and they love to wear dresses but they have some and Grammy just mailed some she sewed so again just not necessary. I don't browse the videos or cds or books or kitchen items - will just end up picking up stuff I don't need! IF you stick to what you need and know what is a good price (Coke at our Costco is never a good deal - on sale at Safeway beats it every time) then I think Costco is a good deal. We make our money back on film and developing alone!
post #30 of 30
I think you can do well either way (grocery vs. Costco), but you have to think about what you are buying. I split my purchases and do think I save money. But I am careful that what I buy at Costco I can store well and really is a money saver. For me, the items that make sense at Costco are DH's beer, some meat, some produce, juice, paper products, most cleaning products, dog food, baking staples, eggs, coffee, and diapers. All stuff that I can store easily, that I know I will use before they go bad, and stuff I would buy anyway. And the last of those is really key -- if you are tempted into extra stuff, whether by store display, sample, or "because I have a coupon", you will always end up spending more than you needed to. The other thing that is important is to figure out whether a more expensive product is worth it because of better performance. Sometimes the bargain brands really aren't because you use more or don't eat it because it isn't as good. One of the reasons I like Costco is because their "house brand" stuff for many items is better than other brands and thus worth it, even if there isn't a dollar savings. I think it all boils down to being aware of all the factors. Or, to play off of the forum name, "mindful shopping".
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