Monday, May 18, 2009

Savvy Shopper Part 2

Krystal asked me a couple of questions about my “Savvy Shopper” – thought I’d share. First, I have a large pantry and 2 refrigerators. Having my ‘garage’ fridge is awesome. I got mine 10 or so years ago for $300 at RC Willey– but I’ve seen them on Craig’s list for $25, $50 bucks. Since it’s in my garage – it doesn’t have to be nice or pretty or have all the bells a whistles – it just has to work. My sister bought a full size standing freezer a couple of years ago and she LOVES it. She is big on meal planning and prep – she does a ’30 meals in one day’ thing and uses the freezer to store all those dinners.
That being said, most of the money I save with “SS” is on canned goods, dry goods and meat. Example: if chicken is on sale for $1.89 lb and is normally $4.89 lb, (roughly 70% off) I buy 4 packs instead of just one (that’s where my freezers come in handy). So, when I started, I was still spending about the same amount of money as usual every grocery trip – but was bringing home 4x the product. When I started this, my pantry (or my freezer) wasn’t very well stocked b/c we just relocated from out of state in February. It took me about 3 shopping trips (3 paychecks in my world) to get to the point where I pretty much everything I needed for meals. So, now, I just buy what is on sale. For instance, I have 2 cases of black beans and only 1 can of garbonzo beans. I have a magnetic pad on my fridge and when I notice I am getting low on something I write it on the pad. When I do my “SS” every 2 weeks, I cross reference that list with what’s on sale – and buy only what is on sale. I am at the point that I can meal plan around what I have because of my ‘back stock.’ And am also at the point the since I am only "SS" the money I spend at the grocery store is significantly less than it has ever been.

Things I still buy at Costco/Sams: basically stuff we USE in bulk and are cheaper there: tortillas, diapers, wipes, I make salad almost every night – so, I hardly every throw away produce (cheap & good), bacon, butter (the real stuff in the blue box), crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese – super duper humongo block of it! Flour, fruit snacks, dog food, toilet paper and paper towels. Every once in a blue moon Costco will have a great deal in their meat department – I’ll take advantage of that too – if I know it’s a screamer (50% off or more).

You asked “do you ONLY wait to buy when it is on sale, or do you still buy your necessities whenever?” Because of my ‘stock up’ the only necessity that I make an extra trip to the grocery store that I can think of is milk. But, on Saturday, Smith’s had milk on for $1.69 a gallon – so I bought 6 gallons (we drink A LOT of milk). Oh, and Hidden Valley Ranch dry packets - they never go on sale - so I suck it up and pay full price.

Every 6 months or so, I'll run out of a 'basic' like vegetable oil, olive oil, vinegars, etc. I haven't come across that problem since I became so 'savvy' haha but I am sure when I get low, I'll start searching those products out on "SS" and buy them when they go on sale.

I hope I clarified everything and didn't completely confuse anyone! If you have other questions, just 'comment' and I'll get -cha back.

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