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Shopping for Food - Where? Why? Coupons?
Old 08-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #1
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Shopping for Food - Where? Why? Coupons?

Aldi - Farmers' market

Price... and growing selection - Nearby 1/4 mi. - fast checkout - familiarity

No coupons... too much work

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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I have sons - ages 9 and 11 - who have reached that bottomless pit stage.
I also still work. So time is limited.
I shop weekly at costco (which is carrying lots of organics now.)
I supplement at Sprouts (produce store), and Trader Joes.
For quick items - the local grocery store, Vons, gets the business.

We do most of meal eating at home - and pack lunches... so we go through a lot of food.

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Old 08-22-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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Most fruit and vegetables: farmers market
Meat/eggs: farmers market or Whole Foods
Spices/ethnic food: farmers market or Whole Foods
Dairy products: Whole Foods
Food Staples: Safeway or Whole Foods for bulk.
Tea/Coffee: small local retailers

No coupons. I select the retailer based on freshness, selection, and other tree hugging criteria. Convenience and price are secondary.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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Not a lot of choices here. Walmart, Kroger and a Piggly-Wiggly

WalMart generally has lowest prices on canned goods and most staple items, Shop sale adds a Kroger and PW. Buy in bulk when items on sale.

Coupons on things I can actually use, which is not much. Got used to store brands on a lot of things.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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We have a place in the Northwest called WINCO. They beat all the supermarkets and Walmart on price for most items. They are like a Costco for food.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Costco and HEB. Both have great meat selections. HEB has great produce. Costco does too and great fruit when in season. HEB has a good store/organic brand for dairy and many non-perishable items.

I focus more on quality than anything. Fortunately, both Costco and HEB give pretty good prices for higher quality items.

Nearest Whole Foods is 250 miles away. Sprouts has some of the organic brands we like, so we occasionally visit them. HEB carries some of the other staple organic brands.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:52 AM   #7
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I shop at the supermarket a half mile from my home. It has all the standard stuff at reasonably competitive prices. Also it has nice produce, often locally grown.

Since I am just shopping for one person, and for only half my meals at that, I am not inclined to drive around looking for deals or unusual items. Time is money even after retirement. It isn't worth it to me.

Yesterday I was out of EVERYTHING. I went to the grocery store, and was able to shop, bring everything home, and have it all put away in my kitchen within 32 minutes after the time I left (and 23 of those minutes were walking up and down the grocery store aisles). Very convenient. It is even faster when I only need half as many items.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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Aldi's - prefrozen chicken, veggies/fruits, dairy, snacks
BJ's - on free trial membership, paper goods, condiments, some frozen prepared food (potpies, meatballs)
American Legion - join up with other members and the post itself to buy in bulk from Sysco or Deli Boy.
Dollar type stores - canned and dry goods
My container garden on the back deck - herbs, tomatoes, peppers, peas, green onions, leaf lettuce, beans in season
Micellaneous local stores - Mr B scans the newspaper grocery store flyers for sales while he has coffee with the Legion guys in the morning. They do the same "research" and tell each other about the best local deals. It's like having a Shoppers Club with no fee or silliness.

WalMart is at the very bottom of my list, if at all. I have personally seen people sample food from sealed containers and place them back on the shelf. That just grossed me out and destroyed my confidence in their food safety.

Coupons? Not since I was a newlywed and we bought the house in 1984.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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I'm guessing at about 75% WalMart, 20% Costco and 5% Publix supermarket. Just two of us so we don't buy anything in bulk. Most meat products come from Costco. Everyday grocery items come from WalMart because of price. Most of the coupons I use are for a $1 or more off an item. I don't mess around with the $.50 off eight cans of something. At WalMart, if we get there about 10AM they might be marking down meat if it's the last day to sell before expiration. I'll stock up on 96% lean ground beef or thick cut pork chops where you can save $3-4 on a package. We use a lot of chicken broth and I buy this at The Dollar Store where I can get a 32oz box for a dollar. If we were a family of four with two teen age sons playing football, I'd be watching grocery cost a lot more.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Our weekly CSA share for vegetables. Aldis weekly for everything we can possibly buy there, because it's the cheapest by far. Stop & Shop or Shoprite for most everything else. Trader Joe's about once a month. Whole Foods about once a year.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:47 PM   #11
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At our current house I mostly go to HEB. For HEB they do all their coupons in store so if something has a coupon you just tear it off there in the store and use it. That is convenient since we don't take a paper and so don't otherwise get coupons.

For awhile before I went to HEB I did the Grocery Game.

This is based upon 2 concepts. The first is that store rotate sales of items on a regular basis so within a 3 month or so period of time the price on an item can vary widely between the regular price and sale price. If nothing else, you will save a lot by buying a 3 month supply of non-perishable items when they hit the lowest price during the 3 month cycle. If you have a coupon saved up for that time, you save even more. The grocery game will tell you which items in your local store each week are at the low price and will tell you which coupons match up. It isn't free but when I used it I definitely saved much more than the cost. However, since we don't get coupons from the paper any more I quit using it. Also I found it less reliable for HEB than other stores.

As far as other stores, I occasionally use Kroger for a few things that I can't get at HEB and even more rarely go to Walmart (very poor selection and only go there for 1 product flavor I can't get elsewhere).

I used to live near a Super Target and its grocery prices were comparable to HEB. Kroger is much more expensive. However, where I live now the Target has poor selection.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:02 PM   #12
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I have a big vegetable garden, and my goal is to buy no vegetables from the store for at least 5-6 months or so, while my garden is producing (and we have veggies in the freezer and on the canning shelf to fill part of our needs after that, also). So far this year (since about early June, anyway), sweet corn is the only veggie I have had to purchase, and I get that at a little local corn/veggie stand.

For meat, we buy a 1/4 side of beef and a lamb from local farmers every fall. We also get free-range chickens and farm eggs from another farmer. We also hunt deer, which usually provides some venison.

We did this stuff when I was working (to some degree), but now that I am retired, I have lots more time for the garden and deer hunting, etc., so we're even less dependent on the store for food. We like to know exactly where our food comes from (and how it was grown/raised), which is why we make the effort to do these things. I understand that it would not be practical for everyone.

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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Aldi's for staples. Can't tell the difference between Aldi label butter, flour, eggs, etc., and the chain stores.
Whole Foods or meat market for meat, bakery, cheese.
Independent local groceries for produce.
Target for non-food stuff like paper and cleaning goods.

If I see a coupon for >$1 that I can use at Target, I'll clip it. Otherwise, no.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:36 PM   #14
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Aldi's. It's convenient, inexpensive, and I don't need the wide selection that larger stores carry. I'm find with no-name or store brand products hence I don't use coupons.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:52 PM   #15
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Once a week I risk life and limb dodging 30-45 year old people who have ate themselves into the privilege of using electric carts at Walmart. Really nothing else in a 20 mile radius. No coupons, being single food isn't a big bite out of my monthly budget, so I don't bargain shop much.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:24 PM   #16
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Aldi for most everything.....probably about 90% of our shopping. Everything we've had from Aldi was as good as, if not better than, over-priced (IMHO), name-brand stuff. Their produce is very good, fresh, and cheaper than anywhere else in town. Same deal with their meat.

Kroger has THE best produce selection in our area. They have a wide variety of organic herbs & produce, as well as the standard herbs & produce. All of the produce that we've had from Kroger has been top-notch...fresh, ripe, and reasonably priced. They also have a very good selection of ethnic food, condiments, ingredients, etc.

We also buy produce from a local roadside stand across town, for fresh-picked produce. There is a small 'mom & pop' organic grocer in the next town over that I go to occasionally.....went there today for a cold ice tea and fresh baked cookies after I attended a friend's funeral visitation across the street. For steaks, seafood, and specialty or unique meat products, I go to the neighborhood butcher shop a couple blocks from home.

We used to shop a lot at our local IGA grocery store, but their quality and selection have gone downhill drastically, and their prices have gone up drastically.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:54 AM   #17
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Local Martin's sometimes Food Lion. Those are the only two (besides Wal-Mart, which I avoid) because of always-long lines.

Martins has frequent sales and sometimes coupons for stuff we actually buy and use, and for every $100 spent there we get 10 cents/gallon off on gasoline.

Costco and Sams Club are both 1/2 hour or more away so it doesn't make sense to go there for groceries. Any savings would be consumed in fuel.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Costco and HEB. Both have great meat selections. HEB has great produce.
What is HEB? Is it an abbreviation for a name?

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
What is HEB? Is it an abbreviation for a name?
Howard E. Butt

It was originally called the Butt Grocery Company. Probably a good idea to go with his initials only, eh?

Oh, and the official tag line was changed from "We stock a Butt load of groceries" to "Here Everything is Better" ...
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #20
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We shop at different grocers, but biggest by volume and $$ is Whole Foods Market. We buy game sausage and bison online because we either can't find a local purveyor or it is too expensive.

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