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Frugal Living Anything to do with saving money, living for less, how to save, free stuff, etc.

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  #1  
Old 01-10-2013, 08:25 PM
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Default Grocery shopping

I think I'm going to try shopping at a different store in the local chain this month. The one I live by is small so I want to go a little ways away, if my neighbor is willing to take me and see if I like that store better. I've been in it but not in some time and I don't remember much about it.
Do you always shop the same store if it's part of a chain or do you go to whatever one you're near when you're out?
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:03 PM
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I have two stores I consistently shop at because they are close, prices are very competitive, and quality is as decent as anywhere else (which isn't saying much but that is another discussion altogether).

Down in Houston there is a new store I've been in called JoeV's. It seems to be an HEB overstock store. No frills, no fixtures to speak of. Most of the foods are in cases stacked on pallets. When a box runs out the next box is opened. Fruit and vegetables are in big bins, some in the 4x4 pallet boxes. You sack your own food. Prices are about 20 to 30% lower on most things but I did notice some things aren't any cheaper than other stores. If there is a JoeV's near you and you haven't been, you might try it. There are none around here though.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:35 AM
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Molly I've never heard of JoeV's though I will keep an eye and an ear out for one to open here. The Austin Highway HEB I'm considering going to is, I believe, a larger store than the one on Montgomery Drive and Walzem Rd. near where I live. I don't expect the prices to be any lower but they may have a larger variety than my store does since it's a small store.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:21 AM
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I shop at 4 different stores, depending on what I'm "low" on, or where something is on sale for a great price. One particular store has the best prices on fresh produce and sometimes meat.

One store that carries a lot of "international" food and caterers to the Indian market has the best prices on spices, dried beans & peas and a new thing I'm loving cooking with - sliced dried garlic (man is that good in stir fries & such).
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:53 AM
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Living in rural areas can put a kink in access to a choice.

HEB or Wm.
Brookshire Bros(too pricey but close) and Market Basket.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:57 AM
whitehairedidiot Female whitehairedidiot is offline
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I know what you mean, Annie. We only have 2 chain grocery stores here; in each little town there are both - and a couple of mom/pop stores that have been here forever. Sometime next summer, our teeny-tiny Walmart will be larger and will start carrying more groceries.

To go to a Sams or Costco - is a 90 minute drive (one way) for us.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:15 AM
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The Brookshire's in town has really gone downhill. I won't buy produce there at all anymore. They keep stuff on the shelves until it is literally shriveling up. Their meat prices are too high unless it's a sale price. I bought pork loin for 1.99/lb there the other day, but that's about the best sale price I've seen in a while.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyPitcher View Post
The Brookshire's in town has really gone downhill. I won't buy produce there at all anymore. They keep stuff on the shelves until it is literally shriveling up. Their meat prices are too high unless it's a sale price. I bought pork loin for 1.99/lb there the other day, but that's about the best sale price I've seen in a while.
I never buy chicken from them----nasty-- and have gotten spoiled chicken(multiple times) I had to return.

Their cans goods are way out-priced--dont know how they stay in business.
One thing they have I do buy and love is their raisen bran--packed with raisens and cheaper by $2.00.
Its only about 2 miles from me---so If I need milk---one or 2 items---I will go there instead of 20 miles the other way.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:27 AM
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Rose, I think that our HEBs carry some different items depending on the area it is located. Prices vary too. Sometimes I like going to a store that is larger and carries lots of items. It is fun to browse and read labels.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:28 AM
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Proximity to grocery stores was a factor when looking for our current resident. Within a 15 mile drive, we have at least eight options (excluding Walgreens/CVS). Wally is our last resort and most gas stations sell milk at the same price as the grocery stores. We watch the sales and pretty much know which store has the best prices. Most of our meat is purchased at a local "butcher" shop - a throwback place where the owners/employees eat what they sell.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:57 PM
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I shop sales of loss leaders at the grocery near to me which is about 17-18 miles. I shop for most things at either Aldis or a WM that is about 40miles away. I just watch prices on things, and buy different things at different stores. I get garbage bags at WM as well as cheese because it is cheaper than Aldis. Cow's milk can vary from place to place, so I sometimes get it at Aldis. 12 Grain Bread is from WM, as well as sale items on the day-old bakery cart. Shampoo, Dish soap is WM. It just varies with each product as to where I get it. I do go to Dollar General for Toilet paper, foam plates, and some things from the dollar aisle.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:04 PM
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We don't shop at the stores in our little town--Safeway and Thriftway. Honestly, our population is full of welfare and poor folks and all they can choose from is the high priced crap!!
I work 45 miles from home and I'll do a little meat and canned food shopping at two stores there.
Then, weekly, depending on what we are low on--- (usually pet food), we go to WM (against my better judgement), BiMart (a regional version of Kmart, but MUCH more useful) and Dollar Store.
This trip takes hours, but rather that than be subject to only what is available locally.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:40 AM
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I despise going into Hellmart for anything, except the food grade buckets from the bakery for a buck a piece. At this point, we are very fortunate to be in a spot with our pantry, that we can shop the loss leaders, and still try to support our local businesses. That is important to me, as I was once one of the "little guys." It doesn't take too long to figure out the cycle in the grocery game, and work it to your advantage. We never use cupons, as they are not available for what we would buy. That is just us, but everyone is different. We spend what we can, and that keeps us fed, and puts some aside for later. Cooking from scratch saves a lot of money, tastes better, and is good for the mind, soul, and body. It is something that most people need to learn, or relearn. Even as a single guy, back when, I always had the best lunches. I learned how to cook at a young age, and still love doing it to this day. It really doesn't takt that long to get the basics stockpiled, so that you can use what you have, and buy whats on sale.

The old motto, "Eat what you store, store what you eat" really sticks in my mind. My rambling thoughts. YMMV.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:24 PM
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We have a small local store but prices are way to high for my budget so I shop 25 miles away. There I have the choice of Aldis, Fareway, HyVee or Walmart. I seldom buy food at Walmart. HyVee is generally too expensive but I do shop their loss leaders from the ads. Mostly I shop at Aldis and Fareway. Fareway has the best meat and I stock up when they have sales. Bread I purchase at a Sara Lee discount shop. I've always shopped after work but now that I've retired I will be shopping whenever dh has medical appointments in town. My pantry is full so other than fresh milk I can wait a week, a couple weeks or even a couple months until we have to go to town.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:38 AM
wooddustmaker Male wooddustmaker is offline
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Anna, I used to live 25 miles out of town. Kind of miss it. When it is that far to the store, it is amazing how you will stock up, and make due with what you have. Sure is a good feeling to have a well stocked pantry. What just blows me away are the people that just don't get how easy it is to start to stock a pantry. It doesn't take long, just buying one or two extras here and there. That is all it takes. It is not a s hard as they make it out to be when you read some of the articles out there.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:21 AM
jonvee Female jonvee is offline
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Default Shopping from my pantry

When I got laid off in 2009 I took $300 from my severance package and stocked the pantry...rice, beans, flour, sugar, pasta, canned goods, shelf stable items, etc.

Since then I move staples in and out of my pantry a few at a time, and I've found an ethnic market about 10 miles away where I can buy produce, beans and rice very inexpensively.

I fill in my pantry, usually around the holidays when things are on sale. I shop anywhere that has a good price - Target when mushroom and tomato soup are on sale for 49-cents a can, flour for $1.89/5pound. The only thing I buy regularly (every few weeks) is dairy, and when I go to the store I check out the sale rack. I've gotten tea bags for 69 cents for 100, flour for 99 cents/5 pound bag and some treats for under a dollar. Depending on the price I usually by in ten's...10 cans @.49 is $4.90, 10 bags of flour is under $20 that kind of thing. Even though I raise chicken, rabbits and lamb, I still check out the cheap meat section at the grocery store for beef and pork, usually getting 50% off.

I have a Costco AmEx card, mainly for gas, and when I get my rebate check it is all used on meat that is repackaged into smaller portions for freezing and staple items.

But, I have to agree with the people who advised shopping from your pantry and cooking from scratch. I find it so sad that most people can't figure out how to fix an inexpensive, but nutritious meal, stretch a meal or cook in quantity and freeze. They think a box of Rice-a-Roni or microwaveable something is the only way to go.

It's far easier to walk to my pantry to grab ingredients and throw them in a crockpot than swing by the store. Plus I don't have to endure the weekly sticker shock at the grocery store.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:32 PM
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Watch the ads. My Mom used to hit several stores when she grocery shopped. The ads came out on Wed., and she wopuld make her list of what she was getting on sale from each store, and head out on Sat. morning.

Our local grocery store had a 1 day meat and produce sale today. Picked of very nice baker potatoes 50 pounds for 5 bucks. They had 8 ounce bags of shredded cheese 4 for 5. 2.50 a pound for cheese is a pretty good bargain here, if you want something other than medium cheddar.

I love it when they do the "fill the bag" for 10. They will have 12 or so produce items on sale, and all you can fit in the bag is 10 bucks. I know they hate to see me coming. I have had almost 40 pounds in my bag before.

Sometimes they do a 5 for 20 on some meat packages. When we do that, we just go in and look for the biggest packages, and break them down and freeze them when we get home.

Maybe I am strange, but as a guy, I love the thrill of getting the most that I can out of my grocery budget. As much as I hate paying, we usually do pretty good. Cooking from scratch makes it even easier. Even when I was single, I did that. Thats how I was taught. Funny thing is, none of my siblings do that, or not a whole lot. I don't get it, but thats just me.

Good luck to all.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:18 PM
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I think Aldi's grocery stores are very similar to JoeV's.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:18 AM
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I took the pork loin steak that I had thawed out, cut it in half then split one half and cooked it on my cast iron griddle and made it into a sandwich, yum. Had half a can of ranch style beans with it and that was lunch today. Dinner was the other half of the pork loin steak, split in half again then diced and added to a package of chicken ramen. I took out two small packages of spiral sliced ham for tomorrow. Will probably use one in a sandwich and possibly dice the other one and add it to a box of mac & cheese that someone gave me. I bought a few canned goods and some shelf stable items that had coupons on them week before last and will probably buy more canned goods this coming week. Much to my regret they no longer had the buy one, get one free sale on the pasta that I hit. I'll be keeping an eye out for that again and getting more than 4 bags next time. Can't get anyone but DD to take me to the store I want to shop at as my neighbor who usually takes me for gas money doesn't like it so I'll just continue to shop at my neighborhood store.
I enjoy pulling something out to thaw then deciding what to do with it. I bought a 4 qt. slow cooker and am going to give my daughter the 7 qt. on I have as she's got a bigger family. Think I'm going to pick up a few potatoes, carrots, and onions tomorrow so I can thaw out a big pack of ground beef and fix a meatloaf and veggies in the slow cooker. Am also going to see if I can find a cheap beef roast as I'm pot roast hungry. I can freeze the extra portions for a later time. Asked my landlord to keep an eye out for a second hand freezer for me, told him I don't want to pay more than $50 for one though, that's about 1/3 the price of a new chest freezer at Sam's Club and I know he'll bring it into the trailer for me.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:57 AM
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I saved $23.00 and some change at HEB's this past week on groceries.
They had some great buy one get 1/2/3 free coupons.
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