We went grocery shopping today. Bought some stuff at Sams Club (the only wholesale club here in Columbus) and some other items at Winn Dixie.
I like Sams because I can get items that we use alot of in bulk and freeze it. We get 90/10 ground beef at $2.89 a pound. I bought a 7 pound package, and separated it into 9 smaller ziplock bags. I used to separate it in 1 pound portions, but over the last several months, we've realized that a whole pound of ground beef for the recipes we're cooking is a little bit more than we need. So we decided to package them a little smaller - 3/4 pound packages or so. This way, we get more meals out of the same amount of beef. Even for recipes such as Hamburger Helper, 3/4 pound of meat will be plenty.
Wholesale Clubs are great for getting deals in bulk. I got a 5 pound bag of rice for less than $5 (which I separated into smaller ziplock bags, too) and a pork roast that I cut in half before freezing. I'll be able to put it in the crockpot with some veggies for an easy yummy meal. We also buy hot dogs and separate them in smaller packages and freeze the rest. We do the same with bread and buns. My deep freezer is the best $160 investment we ever made, because we have the ability to buy in bulk and don't have to worry about it going bad before we can use it all.
I wasnt able to buy chicken breasts today. The Sams brand fresh boneless skinless chicken breast were on sale $1.77 a pound, but they were out. I was told they'd be getting more in on tuesday, so I'll have to go back. I could have gotten the name brand for $1 more per pound, but I can wait 2 days to get the better price.
At Winn Dixie, I bought things that you can't necessarily get at Sams. I'm trying to get better about brown-bagging my lunches for work, and cutting out the fast food. My Blow money was going towards lunch - fast food lunches, and thats one thing I'm trying to cut back on this year. I know I can cut out fast food, I've done it before, I can do it again. I bought cans of soup and some of those microwave meals for a decent price. A $2 can of soup is cheaper than a $5 value meal at the drive through (and it's more healthy). I also use coupons - but I ONLY use coupons for items I would have bought anyway. There's no point in buying a random item with a coupon if it's not something you need. However, even if I have a coupon, I still compare the store brand price. If the store brand is cheaper than the name brand, even with the coupon, I'll buy the store brand. I bought Chef Boyardee Ravioli cans for 10/$10 today. Usually, they are $1.25 each, and the Store brand is $1 each, but today, I was able to get the name brand product for the store brand price. YAY!
Using store sales, and coupons, I bought $120 worth of groceries tonight for only $89. I also like that WD allows you to buy BOGO (buy one, get one free) items for 1/2 off if you only buy 1 of the items. Publix (the other big grocery chain in my area) doesn't allow this - you have to buy both items to get the sale.
I'll probably go to "the bread store" one day this week. The bread store is a discount bakery. 1 day old bread that is no longer on shelves at the major grocery stores. I dunno about you, but I can't eat a loaf of bread in a single day, and if bread is only 1 day old, I would much rather buy it at the discount bakery - where I also get a 10% military discount. Woo! I can get a name brand loaf of bread that's normally $3 a loaf for about $1.20...sometimes less. I can also get bagels and buns. I usually spend about $12 at the bread store - and I come home with 6-8 loaves of bread and several packages of bagels or buns in the process. It's a STEAL! Here's another blog I found about the benefits of going to a discount bread store: http://getoutofdebt.org/1123/where-to-buy-really-cheap-bread