Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tightwad Tips Tuesday

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work. ~Robert Orben

Maria Zannini mentioned something in the comments of my post last week about how to shop wisely and get the best prices on food and sundries.

Use a notebook.

I have three grocery stores, two warehouse stores, a WalMart and a Target that I use for my shopping. I have a notebook and a calculator in my purse (for those times when the "cost per..." is different for every brand -- why do they do that? If it's a "cost per gallon" for one, why is it a "cost per each" for a second, and a "cost per quart" for the third? Drives me batty... anyway...) and I am constantly checking prices. This was especially important lately when all the stores boosted prices because of gasoline cost (but did they go back down? Uh.. no. And there is a news story on why here.) because all the "usual" prices went way up.

It's simple to make a notebook. Find a little notepad, make headers at the top with each store, and a sidebar with your products and columns to write prices -- it's important to write the "cost per whatever" because manufacturers are known to decrease the size of a package slightly (anyone look at Breyer's ice cream lately, or your tuna cans?) and keep the price the same. You might want to write the prices in pencil since they are fluid.

I don't advocate hitting six stores in a day to shop, though, unless they're very close to each other. I also keep a list in my storage with what I want on hand, and what I've used to show what I need to buy when I'm at the place where whatever I need is cheapest.

The biggest way to save money is to be an informed consumer. Never make assumptions that WalMart is the cheapest on everything, for instance. Maybe it is, most times. But what about when the usually very expensive grocery store has loss leaders on sale? Do your research. It adds up. I used Rinaldi pasta sauce as an example on my post last week (since I never have enough tomatoes in my garden to make my own sauce). Hunts sauce is nearly always $1 a can, but I don't like the taste... so I wait. I love Rinaldi, but it's usually almost $3 a jar! Every few months or so, though, the store near me puts it on sale 10/$1. They have a limit of ten per visit ... but they're close to me, so I'll go back a few times during the week. Or, I'll go to another store in the chain that's near where Dakota goes to obedience. It's worth it to me. I saved $20 on ten jars of sauce!

So... keep your notes, be organized, know what you have on hand and what you need and always watch the grocery store sales. You'll save hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars a year!


And a picture of the cat helping us decorate the Christmas tree (just because):


Allie Boniface said...

What is it with cats and cardboard boxes?? Mine does exactly the same thing...

keri mikulski :) said...

Cute pic. ;)

Dru said...

Thanks for the tips.

I find it funny to see the cat stand by the box, look in at, walk around the box, look around at the humans and then enter the box and circle around until they find that perfect spot and sit and watch us watch them.

Too funny!

Sarita Leone said...

Love the cat in the box! Too cute.

So...you're saying you don't want me to send any snow your way, huh?


groovyoldlady said...

I hate going to several different stores, but I do. And it does save money.

I don't have a cat.

I want a cat.

This diet has robbed me of my brain.

End of story.

groovyoldlady said...

I hate going to several different stores, but I do. And it does save money.

I don't have a cat.

I want a cat.

This diet has robbed me of my brain.

End of story.

groovyoldlady said...


Ceri Hebert said...

I generally stick to two different stores, WalMart being one of them. For me it's just not feasible to go to multiple grocery stores since the closest is 20 minutes away. Walmart is twice as far so I only go there when I'm in the area, but I try to combine trips. Not that gas costs an arm and a leg anymore.

Cute kitty. Looks like mine.

Brandy said...

We do the multiple store thing. Sams' Club, Wal-Mart, Bi-Lo (southern grocery store) and even Bloom. I don't keep a notebook. I know it'll sound crazy, but I keep all that in my head. Another way to save? Make out a menu before going grocery shopping. I do it because we shop for 2 weeks at a time.
Thanks for the tips!

And your kitty is so cute! Cats and their boxes. *G*

Have a wonderful day!

Melissa said...

Love the kitty in the box!

I clip coupons and watch prices like crazy. My hubby called me today and asked where I was. I said Walgreens. He said why? I said they had a bunch of stuff on sale for 39 cents. They limited everything to three, but I got stuff we like so it was worth the trip! A notebook is a good idea. I'll have to consider that.

Amy said...

My cats love any place they're NOT supposed to be.

Guess yours does, too.

I like your strategy, but I'm way too lazy for that, so I use thegrocerygame.com and only buy blue or green items. I managed to cut nearly $400 from my monthly grocery bill. Totally worth the ten bucks a month.