Do you realize that you typically purchase the same 20 items for your family over and over again each week?
The milk, the meat, the Kraft Singles.
And yes, those items do go on sale, which saves you money every so often. But that doesn’t alert you to stock up to have it on hand longer, it just means you’re happy because you saved a little money that week.
Plus, sales can vary. Some weeks it’s 20% discount, other weeks a 25% off and sometimes you’ll even see your item on sale for Buy One Get One (meaning 50% Off).
We are creatures of habit. We reach for the same brand products because we are used to buying…. the ones we’ve always purchased before.
Eventually, a sale will pop on our radar challenging the thought that we could try the competing brand to save some money.
But we go right back to the same old, same old, almost immediately the next time we buy. In order to save some money, today I am NOT going to ask you to change your normal buying habits, but instead, change where you buy those things you already love.
For example, I love Kraft American Cheese Singles (we call it “gooey” cheese at my house) and I usually buy it when it’s 2/$4 at my local grocery store. Well, when it’s not on sale 2/$6 then it costs $4 each package. As I was shopping at other stores in our area I noticed that the everyday price of Kraft Singles are around $3.75. But the generic american cheese “singles” are only around $2.
Are you guessing what I’m going to say? If you just track the prices of some of your favorite items, then you can make an informed buying decision that’s best for your family.
You can decide if you want to stock up when it’s on sale. Or buy the item at a different store. Or buy a competing (or generic) item instead.
Now, back to the 20 items you buy regularly. If you took those 20 staples and wrote down what you pay for them each time you buy them (or if you are excited, next time you are at the store, write down how much their regular price is and then start documenting their sale prices), you will see a sale cycle develop and that will help you determine what the best SALE price is at your fave store.
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But to take it even one step further… go look for those 20 items sale prices at another retailer.
Pretty soon you will discover where it is cheapest to stock up on several key items in your budget:
Where is the best place to buy your milk?
Where is the best place to buy your meat?
Where is the best place to purchase your Kraft Singles? Or Peanut Butter?
On average, people shop 4-8 times per month. Instead of buying all your groceries at one single store, break it up and shop at the best store for each category.
For me, I found the best prices for meat were at Spouts. Aldi for dairy (which includes Kraft Singles). And I realized that I can strategically buy my toilet paper from Amazon without needing to hunt down a sale at the Drug Stores using coupons.
Once you download the Price Book pdf worksheet. Just fill in the prices from your favorite store of the 20 or so staple items you purchase regularly (such as bread, milk, eggs) and then over the weeks ahead, as you shop at another store, fill in the prices for that store. I’ve included space for you to compare three stores.
You might be surprised to find that without using ANY coupons, you might be spending more just because of when you buy items (you are buying them when you run out, instead of purchasing them when they are at the lowest sale price and stocking up). Switch Stores! By shopping at the store where it is priced the lowest, you will save more money! Your notes will tell you the exact number you should pay!
When I did this analysis for myself, I found that it was best to buy my favorite peanut butter and shredded cheese at Trader Joe’s where it is always a low price without needing to cut any coupons.
You might find just by switching up the store where you normally shop, or changing the timing of buying those items at the normal store where you shop, you could save more money (and that’s BEFORE adding in any coupons!). Genius.
Want a bonus tip? If you are afraid of keeping up with a paper list of your Top 20 grocery items, set up a Google Sheet and fill it out on your phone while you are shopping! You won’t ever forget it at home and can update it in real time. How cool is that?! Wow… how did we ever live without this technology stuff?
Your turn! Tell me where you buy your stuff most often by commenting below. Do you choose one store and buy it all (which is a typical Walmart shopper) or do you think about the best place to buy certain things and make separate trips?
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