Fresh Meat? Not This Shopper!

So I’m not very good at cutting out coupons, see. Wait a minute, I take that back. I cut out coupons and place them in a drawer. When I think about it again, swelling with pride that I remembered, I’ll go to the drawer to retrieve them only to find that they have expired. So, I’ve mostly given up on coupons. 

I have learned to save money at the grocery, however, without the aid of coupons. When I enter the grocery, I know that I have spent $5 without placing anything in my basket—the $5 being the tax that is now added to the grocery total. I have also learned that fresh produce can increase my total quickly, so I tread lightly. On Friday of this week, for example, one of my favorite apples was $1.99 lb. They were small enough that it would take about two apples to make a pound (yes, I know one can weigh them to be sure, but who has time for that?). Buying five apples, I knew that I had spent about $5. Now my total was up to $10. Grapes were the same price. The store had separated them into bags of about 5 lbs each. How nice of them, right? Hold on a minute, at $1.99 lb that’s $10 a bag! Instead, I grabbed a plastic sack from the roll and made my own 2 lb. bag of grapes, “stealing” from several bags. Now, my total was $14.

I am also careful about ounces. On Friday, my favorite chips were two for the price of one…great, right? On a closer look, however, we noticed that one bag was 11 oz and the second bag of a different flavor was 10.5 oz…sneaky,huh, so we bought two of the same flavor. Grocery stores are very sneaky like that…always trying to rip-off the consumer. Cereal is the worst and is the place where you really have to notice the ounces. Also, if a favorite cereal goes on sale, like a two for one sale, stock up, even if you don’t need it. Cereal keeps forever and is the biggest rip-off there is. (For that matter, stock up on anything that will keep, even it you don’t need it right away).

A final way I save is I will go to a Wal-Mart Superstore or Aldi’s. The latter is insanely cheap, so I’ll go there to buy staples, like green beans, pasta, and so on. I don’t like to shop at those two stores regularly, because the first is too crowded and large (may I borrow a pair of skates, please) and the second doesn’t provide grocery sacks and you have to pay .25 for a grocery cart, which is reimbursed. Still the savings there are worth some visits.

We have a small family, so this may not appeal to most people, but if you don’t like juggling coupons (why do they make them so slippery?), then you may find something here you can use. Until next time, I’ll see you in the frozen foods.

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