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Anyone Else Stocking Up?

LuvMaerz's picture

 

I suppose one of my favorite days of the week is today, Tuesday.  Sounds strange because it is the day the grocery ads/Free Press/Shopper come out in our area.  Sales start on Wednesday, so I like to get them and look them over.  Hy-Vee often has "Specials" for Thur-Sat, and often a 20 cent/gal gas discount if you spend $40 in the store.

 Is anyone else stocking up on food when it is on sale.  My MIL is so worried about food prices, it is about all she talks about.  I will share a few things with you that I have been doing, and maybe other people can also share some tips!

-A while back, eggs were 99 cents/dozen for XL eggs.  I bought about 6 dozen.  I broke them, 6 at a time, into my big Pyrex measuring cup, beat them up, and poured them into Ziplock bags.  Then I lay them flat on cookie sheets and froze them.  When frozen, I stacked the flat, frozen bags in piles in my freezer.  For our family, 6 eggs (and a little milk/water, and cheese) is perfect for making scrambled eggs for after-church breakfast.  I just take the bag out of the freezer before church, and let it thaw on the counter until we get home, or the night before in the frig.

-We hit the bread discount store when we are in Quincy, and buy about 6 loaves of our favorite bread because it is half there what it is at the store.  We freeze that, also!  It doesn't take long at all for a loaf to thaw, and the bread doesn't taste any different. (But...frozen pieces of bread are good when making a sandwich to be packed until lunch.  Keeps it cold!).  That way, we have fresh bread whenever we need it, and we pay a lot less.  Plus, I have one of those Rubbermaid things you put your bread in, and we keep it in the frig.  to prevent mold.

-I found a deal on gallons of milk a while back for 99 cents!  But the expir date was soon, so I only bought two.  I wanted to try freezing the milk.  It worked fine!  Just a note:  make sure you use about 1/4 of the milk before you freeze it, or else the jug will crack when the milk expands in the freezer.  Dethaw in the frig, and make sure to shake it up to get it all mixed back together.

-Check with local farmers about buying beef.  You can usually buy anywhere from 1/4 to the whole thing.  Last year, we did that (we shared 1/2 a beef between us, my MIL, and my SIL) and it was nice to always have meat in the freezer.  HOWEVER, you still have to check prices.  This year, I found it to be a better deal to buy bulk steak and hamburger from local merchants than to buy the beef (after paying for the processing, etc).  And that way, you don't end up with stuff you don't use a lot of, like liver and soup bones.

-The last thing I can think of is to really look at the economy size food area of your store.  I know WalMart has one.  If you use a lot of ketchup, bbq sauce, peanut butter, etc. you can save some money by buying the 4 lb bottle.  Also, it is economical and environmentally friendly to buy the large cans of pork and beans, etc for family reunions, parties, etc.

-Use coupons and keep an open-mind about store brands Wink

 I hope other people have some hints/tips they would be willing to share.  I am a weirdo in the way that I enjoy grocery shopping, and you can often see me in the aisle, calculating cents per oz.  LOL


Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

Just watched a news piece about food ads, how you can take the food ads into Walmart, show the cashier the price for the item at another store, and they will meet the price of their competition.  So even though an item you need is on sale at one store, Walmart will sell it to you at the lower price.  Lady takes in all the food ads into Walmart and gets the sale prices from the other stores!  I've done this before with Lowe's (they not only meet but give you 10% off that price)but never for food.  Tried to get a link for it but couldn't copy it but you can go to abcnews.com, go to videos and it is called Price Matching:Top Retail Secrets. 

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... that's why they call it the present."

 Yah, our Wal-Mart does it too... but at the risk of sounding horribly stereotypical, it seems that several of the people that work there don't care too much about ringing things up right.  I have a hard enough time watching the stupid thing to make sure the sale stuff is coming up on sale (and keeping my kids in the cart), that I don't even bother adding another bit of confusion to the equation.  We live in such a small town that it is just as easy for me to hop to the next grocery store. 

HOWEVER... on "Black Friday", my favorite day!, Wal-Mart is one of the only stores to honor the special early bird sales of other stores.  SO... that will save you a lot of hassle and time on that especially hectic day of the year!  And we do often take advantage of the Lowe's thing.

Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

I don't shop at Walmart that much and hardly ever for food (they don't double coupons).  But I think I might be checking into if other grocery stores in my area will meet prices or at lease accept competitors' coupons.

KJuneBug's picture
Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

Sounds like you are doing a good job of keeping on top of the sales.  The one thing I found when I checked ads each week was that I actually was spending more for groceries!  So, (sorry to Kevin, the newspaper man) we stopped getting the paper and stopped picking up ads at the stores.

Now I just fill in each payday trip, which is twice monthly.  Our thing is we have switched so many of our purchases to organic and those cost moreFrown.  We still seem to have plenty thoughSmile.  God is so good to provide for our needs!  I also discovered this about myself when I was using ads and coupons, I found that I was relying on myself instead of placing faith that God would provide like the Bible says.  I felt pretty stupid when I figured this out!  Sometimes I think He is up there, giving me the "you finally got that lesson!!!, lecture."  I think it comes from having to really scrimp during our lean years, so I was tending to hoard.

It was tough after our big long trip, we came home to two empty freezers, a few canned goods and no crackers/cereal type stuff.  It took a couple paydays but I think we are in a good spot now.  It is important to have good supply of food on hand, especially you with two little ones! 

To answer your question, yes, I think I am stocking up a little more, as I try to make less trips out with the thirsty car! 

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... that's why they call it the present."

God definitely provides, but I think he gives us the smarts to help ourselves out in that way, too... but sometimes it is hard not to go overboard on some of the sales/coupons Wink  You end up spending more and buying more than you need in that way.  Lately he has been helping us out in other ways.  We have been working on putting some new much-needed windows in our house (and that is a budget-buster right there!), and were going to have to get some new trim to put around them.  Well, my husband is working a big job right now on a retirement complex, and the contractors keep throwing away tons of good stuff!  My husband brought home a bunch of nice long "scraps" of oak trim, out of the dumpster, that we can put to good use! 

Our town is fairly small, so gas isn't too much of an issue (except for having a red light on every block of Main street... Kevin, do you remember that?).  HyVee is within a mile or two of here, and one night when I wanted a paper, I stuck the girls in the bike trailer and took a ride there.  They enjoyed it, and it was good exercise! 

KJuneBug's picture
Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

I think here in the suburbs we have too many choices.  Within 5 miles I probably have a dozen grocery store options.  We live near a great big mall, and I have the choice of three different Costco's, within a ten mile radius.  Sometimes it is all overwhelming.  We have so trained since childhood to just jump in the thirsty car and go, whenever.  We are definately pampered suburbanites. 

We hardly ever walk anywhere, a walk is something we do for relaxation and exercise. We might go on the walk, then hop in the thirsty car to go to the store!  One reason I think I got hooked on this column and blog is to figure out how to live simple.  In the last few years, I have worked on stopping my "need it, go get it now" mentality, it is definately a struggle and one that I take up with God lots.

We really enjoyed passing through all the small towns on our trip, it definately gave us a new perspective.  One highlight was that we spent an hour or so in Three Oaks, MI, chatting with the town magistrate and just hanging out.  Actually talking with someone who has lived in a small town his whole life was interesting.

Thank you for bringing up this topic, to remind me to keep it simple!          

Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

When all four sons lived at home, I tried buying food in bulk.  Went to Sam's Club and spent a month's worth of grocery money thinking that I had a month's worth of food in the house.  Found out the hard way that with boys, you buy in bulk, they'll eat in bulk so I stop buying in bulk.  I do buy some things in quanities, depending on the sale price and if I have a coupon for them.  My favorite thing is when I get items for free or make money on buying them thanks to coupons.  I have found that I only shop at stores that will double my coupons and look out when it is super double coupon day (normally only double to a dollar, super will do it up to two). That's when I pull out all my dollar plus coupons and buy whatever I have a coupon for.  However, notice that since the economy has gone down so has the availability of coupons and super coupon daysFrown

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... that's why they call it the present."

When I was a kid, the grocery stores would often do double coupons.  My mom was SOOO good at it, she often got a bunch of stuff for free, or the store would end up paying her money to take it!  It has been absolutely forever since I have seen any store around here do double coupons...definitely 10-15 years or more.

Hy-Vees are all locally owned, and it seems that the one here in Keokuk always has special things that aren't at the other Hy-Vee's, like our big gas discounts.  This week, it is 10/20/30 cents/gal, depending how much you spend....but part of your purchase can be a gift card to be used towards gas, so pretty much that covers the discount part right there!  Also, occasionally they will have coupons in the Free Press for free stuff, like a box of mac and cheese, a box of pizza crust mix, etc.  And free is free, right?

The funny thing is, I often go to Aldi because their produce is good and often very cheap.  BUT one week something can be 99 cents, the next week the very same thing is much more expensive.  For instance, they had blueberries for $1.29/pint (and they were 2.99 everywhere else), so I bought like 4 pints to freeze.  Then I went back the next week, and they had them marked down to 99 cents/pint, so I bought 7 more pints!  This week, the SAME berries were up to 2.79/pint!  I know they had to be the same berries because they literally had hundreds of pints of them a few days before.  But I am good on blueberries now... mmmm they are so good!

Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

SIGH, BK, change the "boys" to "guys."  If we buy in bulk - you put it best - I then eat in bulk.  Buy 3 boxes of Lucky Charms and I'll eat three boxes of Lucky Charms three times faster than usual....I think this is why the Amish only home can meats and veggies and not coffeecake and cookies:), all the people with sweet tooth would just chow down quicker...

Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

I don't think your a weirdo. My daughter, she's a culinary student, says "going grocery shopping is like buying a new wordrobe for your kitchen"!

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Anyone Else Stocking Up?

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... that's why they call it the present."

What a good analogy!  Come Wed or Thurs, my wardrobe is getting pretty scarce!  LOLWink

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