Thursday, November 1, 2012

The two-store solution

Welcome to this week's Frugal Follies Frugal Tip!

This week, I thought I'd revisit some shopping advice that I still follow!

I used to go to lots of grocery stores, but in the last few weeks, I've found myself too busy to cherry-pick all the great deals at several stores. So I've been using the two-store solution to save money on groceries.

Here's the strategy:

 Pick two stores to shop at.  One should be a somewhat high-end grocery store, which might have higher prices, but also has an advertisement full of great sales each week.  The other store should be an everyday low prices store which has a wide variety of store-brand items, but rarely has great sales.  In my area, ALDI fits the bill here; if ALDI is not in your area, Walmart also works well.  Or perhaps you have a smaller, cheaper grocery chain in your area that would work.

Each week, check a blog which covers your fancy store for which items are on BOGO, and get the coupons from your coupon file.  Once you've done that, see which items on your grocery list you still need.  Plan to buy those at the everyday low prices store.

When you shop, if it's feasible, go to the fancy store first.  That way, if a deal doesn't end up working out for you (perhaps the coupon is for the wrong size, or the blogger's deal isn't available in your area), then you can go to the everyday low prices store to pick up the item if you absolutely need it.

As you buy more items at BOGO sales, you'll find that you need less and less at the everyday low prices store.  Eventually, once your stockpile has grown, you'll only need to buy a few items at the everyday low prices store - dairy, produce, and the occasional item that doesn't go on sale or have coupons available.

Good luck in saving even more on your grocery bill!

 For more frugal tips, please go to my Linkup Parties page and check out the bloggers listed under Frugal Tips Linkups.  There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips!

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