A friend shared this YouTube video as something he could identify. Since I could identify with it as well, I figured you might too:
A couple of months ago when I lived in California, I’d grocery shop at 4 stores (I’ll let you be the judge on the fifth):
- Safeway – I’d pick up the first page circular loss-leaders… stocking up in our chest freezer if there was a particularly good meat sale. I’d take advantage of Safeway’s Just For U Program or a few items as well.
- Lucky – Another place with the loss leaders. They also have bottles of wine for $2 that I don’t think are absolute swill (my wife would argue otherwise).
- Costco – Costco is great for a lot of things, but for us, it had the cheapest price on quality dog food (a good site for that is Dog Food Analysis). Also I’d pick up 5 pounds of shredded cheese for around $10, portion it into sandwich bags, put all those in gallon freezer bag, and store in the chest freezer. If you want to pay $2.50 for 8 ounces of shredded cheese be my guest; I was paying around $1.25.
- Military Commissary – This is my go to shop for just about everything else. Since they are non-profit, the prices are significantly better. However, they require more driving since they are only on some military bases. Also, almost all the meat prices are more than what you’d at your local grocery store, especially if the grocery store is running a sale to get people in the store. The exception is the ground beef, which is always a very good price.
- Whole Foods – I really only stop in there for Ecover, which is a fancy, natural, laundry detergent that is highly recommended for the baby’s cloth diapers. I recently found that Ecover Liquid Laundry is available for less at Amazon. (I hadn’t looked until recently, because I had presumed that shipping costs would out-weigh any savings, but they don’t). Since I only shop here for one item every few weeks (and get the heck out of there ASAP), I’m hesitant to count it.
By the sounds of that, and coming after the video, you’d get the impression that I spend all day driving from store to store to buy groceries. However, the first three stores on the list are usually quite quick. Most weeks, I would only hit either Lucky or Safeway. Costco and the commissary were most likely once every three weeks.
Lately, I’ve gotten my grocery stores down to two: a Stop and Shop and the commissary. With the move to the east coast we are in temporary housing on a military base for a bit. With limited space (and no chest freezer), I can’t stock up on any deals. Also with no real mailing address, I don’t get the circulars tempting me to go to the grocery store to get the deals. The local Costco is a far enough away that is not a temptation either. All this will change when we get our real housing. Then I’ll go back to shopping at 4-5 different stores.