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Old 08-05-2019, 03:40 PM   #61
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As one of the Aldi's proponents here, a little clarification on how we shop.

DW is the coupon and discount finder, for the most part. We both look at the circulars (Aldi's, Fresh Thyme, and locals Schnucks and Dierbergs) and mark what we might want. Additionally, there are things that Aldi's carries (store brand) that we have found to be equal to, or superior than, name brands at much lower regular prices (35% to 50% less in most cases).

So, typical trip to Aldi's might include:
- Boneless leg of lamb (on sale)
- rack of lamb (on sale)
- avocados (on sale)
- mushrooms (on sale)
- Rainer cherries (on sale for $2-$3/lb pound less than the supermarkets)
- Other discounted produce, if it looks good
- store brand pickles, condiments, chips, crackers, fiber bars, coffee, cheese, eggs, milk

I have no illusions that we are saving a pile of money. And if we prefer a different brand, sold elsewhere, that is what we buy.

FYI, I like lamb, DW does not. Local groceries rarely carry it. Aldi's, and Sam's are the only ones that have it regularly (Probably Costco too, but that is much further away, so we are not members).
I agree but doesn't everyone kind of shop this way. Yes we need the fresh staples but I've never been one to go and grab stuff off the shelf. It's quality, price and value.
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:06 PM   #62
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I agree but doesn't everyone kind of shop this way. Yes we need the fresh staples but I've never been one to go and grab stuff off the shelf. It's quality, price and value.
Uuhhmm, no. They SHOULD, but I would guess the majority of folks just go to the closest store and buy what they need/want. Circulars are not for people like us, they are to get someone in the store for a few sale items, and have them spend another $100 on the rest of the groceries at full price.
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:34 PM   #63
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Uuhhmm, no. They SHOULD, but I would guess the majority of folks just go to the closest store and buy what they need/want. Circulars are not for people like us, they are to get someone in the store for a few sale items, and have them spend another $100 on the rest of the groceries at full price.

I get all sorts of free food each month just for signing up for our local stores rewards programs. Last week one store had freebies of a package of bagels, a package of English muffins and three pounds of bananas. I did buy a couple of other items like yogurt and a splurge chocolate bar on clearance, too. But they really would only make any real money giving away free stuff like that if shoppers did spend another $100 or so on additional purchases at full price, as you noted.
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:58 PM   #64
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I was near a Walmart today while running errands, so I decided to pick up a few grocery items I needed there and see how it compares to Safeway where I normally shop.

As I remembered, the produce is terrible. What they have looks old, and you have to buy most items in bulk shrink wrap bundles. I had to pick through a large box to find one decent tomato.

Meats were surprisingly expensive. Considerably more than I pay at Safeway and the quality looked questionable.

Bread, bottled juices, wine, beer, milk, cheese, and toilet paper all cost the same or more than than I pay at Safeway. The few canned goods I looked at cost about the same too.

The only things I saw that were really any cheaper were packaged convenience foods like cookies, crackers, chips, candy, pastries, and frozen dinners. Garbage food we shouldn't be eating anyway. We don't buy enough of those items to make it worth a trip to Walmart, especially since most of the items we do buy cost more.

Safeway is still our closest store, but I would like to try shopping at Fred Meyer (Kroger) a few times. I take my mom shopping at her Fred Meyer and some costs seem lower, but it may just be the items she buys (again, lots of junk food).

Any other grocery stores are too far away to consider for weekly shopping trips.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:12 PM   #65
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We're big fans of Lidl (they are expanding so there will be more and more opening) for their specials and great quality. Also love Costco but do tend to overspend when I shop here. We've had many new stores come into our area (Publix, Wegmans) and I've read the competition is driving down prices. We'll see I guess.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:19 PM   #66
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Winter is great for buying sale items and stocking up, especially canned veggies for soup, spaghetti, stews, casseroles, etc. But summer in Texas is mostly fresh produce for salads or cold cut sandwiches. Too hot to cook or even want soup. So, it's difficult to stock up when things are on sale, as produce must be eaten fairly quickly. You can't keep long or freeze. I spend more in summer.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:09 PM   #67
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Vitacost.com is great site that does free delivery on orders over $50.




You can get Simple Truth organic beans, lentils, chicpeas, etc for $1 a can
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:22 PM   #68
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Uuhhmm, no. They SHOULD, but I would guess the majority of folks just go to the closest store and buy what they need/want. Circulars are not for people like us, they are to get someone in the store for a few sale items, and have them spend another $100 on the rest of the groceries at full price.
They should? Why?
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:14 PM   #69
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They should? Why?

Context is everything. He is posting advice in a thread on how to save money on groceries, not where to buy the best caviar.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:30 AM   #70
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Learn the BOGO schedule at any store you shop regularly. Example: the local Publix does BOGO on bagels every other month. They freeze well, so we buy enough to last until the next sale. Same for other BOGO products. Remember that your freezer runs more efficiently if full ;-)
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:28 AM   #71
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We watch the newspaper ads and buy what's on sale this week. We notice Publix has a big 2 for 1 sale about every 4 weeks, and that's the only time we shop that relatively expensive store. We shop at Aldi's about every 2 weeks, and I like their chicken and pork that comes from the upper Midwest. We have started buying our meat at Sam's Club, as their 90% ground beef is in a class of it's own--without water in it. My "drive in market" is a Walmart 2 minutes away with their 98 cent gallons of milk and 88 cent bread and buns. We buy no produce or meat at Walmart, however as it's too expensive there.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:43 AM   #72
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If a red wine comes on sale at a fabulous discount I will buy a bottle. Try it immediately. If I like it, we buy a case, sometimes more.

We have a local grocery store that brings in Argentine and Chilean reds by the box car load and then blows it out. Especially good value now given the economic challenges in Argentina....and I like a good Malbec!

We never by meat. poultry, or fish at Walmart. Don't like it.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:47 AM   #73
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Context is everything. He is posting advice in a thread on how to save money on groceries, not where to buy the best caviar.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:29 PM   #74
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We watch the newspaper ads and buy what's on sale this week. We notice Publix has a big 2 for 1 sale about every 4 weeks, and that's the only time we shop that relatively expensive store. We shop at Aldi's about every 2 weeks, and I like their chicken and pork that comes from the upper Midwest. We have started buying our meat at Sam's Club, as their 90% ground beef is in a class of it's own--without water in it. My "drive in market" is a Walmart 2 minutes away with their 98 cent gallons of milk and 88 cent bread and buns. We buy no produce or meat at Walmart, however as it's too expensive there.


98 cents, seriously? I avoid Walmart if at all possible but would reconsider at that price. Pretty sure itís a lot more at our local Walmart and we use lactose-free anyway. Aldi charges 2.7 for half gallon of lactose-free vs 3.99 for Giant store brand.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:09 PM   #75
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Learn the BOGO schedule at any store you shop regularly. Example: the local Publix does BOGO on bagels every other month. They freeze well, so we buy enough to last until the next sale. Same for other BOGO products. Remember that your freezer runs more efficiently if full ;-)
The laundry detergent I buy has a different price almost every week with sales and store coupons, even at the same store. Usually the regular price is $7, even at Walmart. But I have learned from watching the prices it goes down to $2 a bottle with a store coupon occasionally. So now I wait until I see the $2 price and then stock up as much as I can.


I don't order from Instacart, but the site is useful for comparing prices. I use Google shopping for price comparison, too.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:07 AM   #76
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We buy groceries at the base commissary and Costco. Veggies and fruit that we buy are those that are fresh and on sale. Then there are the variety of beans, lentils, etc. that are inexpensive, tasty, and good for us. Very rarely we buy beef. Mainly at the commissary we buy boneless chicken thighs ($1.98/#), pork chops ($1.49/#) and at Costco frozen wild salmon, for a treat frozen shrimp and a lot of frozen organic fruit for smoothies that are half the cost and larger than what is sold at a smoothie shop.


Cheers!
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:47 AM   #77
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Grocery shopping for me has been the same for 40+years:
Preview weekly ads for sale items, check what I have on hand, plan menus for the week based on that. If something is on a great sale, will buy lots and place in the freezer.
Leftovers are either eaten within a day or two or packaged and placed in the freezer for another meal later.
Shop at local Costco, Safeway, or Thriftway, occasionally local Walmart neighborhood store (has food only). Rarely at Trader Joes or Whole foods. No Aldis here. Did try Grocery Outlet a few times, but not close enough to go all the time and savings were not worth the drive.

Biggest savings for me in the past has been to shop by myself and leave DH and kids at home!
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:17 PM   #78
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Iím hoping more ppl will avoid Aldi so the lines donít get too long which is the biggest drawback to shopping there for me. Iíve never seen any self checkout at Aldi.
Yes.

To respond to other comments in the thread re: Aldi, yes, Walmart will be closest competitor. And Aldi is not for everything, but then i do not use any store to buy everything, I shop the sales. They send out a flier like all the stores do.

I find the produce is often lower-priced than WMT, but not always, and not for all items.

I do not buy much on the way of canned or packaged goods, but yes, Aldi carries off-brands. And for anyone still buying mainly national brands, going to off brands would be an excellent money-saving idea.

When I go there, it is to get items which i know are on sale and a good deal. An I usually fill up my bag with items that i know to be low or competitively priced. Recently, selected meats have been a great deal.

And I am in and out quickly.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:24 PM   #79
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We're big fans of Lidl (they are expanding so there will be more and more opening) for their specials and great quality. .
Be careful with Lidl prices. They list the price of meat as so much per package not by weight (beef roast or steak) So it says 8.99 but is actually more like $16 per pound. And the sale prices are only if you have their phone app and give info to cashier up front-they won't credit you if you are finished .
I hate their checkout system where you bag your groceries off the belt. Aldi puts it in a cart and you go to the large bagging counter to finish up.
I do shop there at Lidl mostly for produce. I do most of my shopping at Aldi for things that I like there, thick cut bacon ,fresh salsa, interesting crackers etc. I also shop at Wegmans which is not expensive if you can bypass the cheese and olive bar.
Trying to save money by making a grocery run last a couple extra days. I am not really out of food just out of ideas. And I have started eating more eggs-just an easy meal.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:37 AM   #80
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We enjoy looking for bargains when shopping for food, although grocery adds up to only 6% of our living expenses. Maybe it could be 10% if we were not good shoppers.

We mainly watch for loss leaders put out by different chains in our area (no Aldi here). We do not buy that much from Costco anymore. With the kids long moved out, we cannot consume food in the big packages that they sell, even though the price and quality are good.
Maybe other posters here have always been more frugal than we were at grocery shopping, but how much we can save with a little effort is all still kind of a revelation for me. Tonight I went to Grocery Outlet and the bill came to around $60, saved $80 over supermarket prices for fairly healthy food. Sometimes I can do better but tonight I bought some staples, like bread and organic eggs, and those aren't highly discounted.

It is worth it to me to drive a little extra to save $80. $80 is enough to buy annual wine passes for two and a science museum annual pass for two from Groupon on sale. The science museum has monthly evening events we enjoy where members get in free, and if we go wine tasting once a month in places like Napa or Sonoma, between the two passes there's 24 outings for us for the coming year just on the savings from one Grocery Outlet trip. That is how I think of the savings and how to apply it instead of a percent of annual spending.
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