October 29

To say that I am frugal is to say that pink is a nice color, or chocolate is a nice after dinner treat.

No, I am very frugal.   Not to an extreme measure like Amy Dacyczyn of the Tightwad Gazette fame.  (Although I do have all three of her books, and have them highlighted)  Her books opened the frugality door a bit wider in my world.  I do some of the things that she suggests, but not all.

About 8 years ago, Superman had neck surgery and he was out of work for 3 months.   That was the worst year, financially, of our marriage.  We literally had nothing, and I vowed like Scarlett O’Hara that we would never be hungry again.

In today’s economy, I think everyone is beginning to rethink how they do things.  Especially grocery shopping.

This week someone asked me how I can make all the things I post on my blog and not go broke.    It isn’t a miracle like someone suggested, I just shop differently.

After Superman’s surgery, and reading all my Tightwad Gazettes, I took one of her suggestions to heart and I have never looked back.

First I shop at Aldi.  If you are not fortunate enough to have an Aldi in your area, Save-A-Lot is the next best thing.  I have never seen another store be able to compare in price over all, to Aldi.

Many people don’t want to give up their name brand items.   Many site that store brands don’t taste good or they are a little ‘off’.   Just because a store brand doesn’t taste the same as a name brand doesn’t mean that it tastes bad, it just tastes different.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t have name brands.   I have about 5 bags of Ghiradelli chocolate in my pantry.  (It went on sale.)  I also have about 50 pounds of Gold Metal flour.   It was on sale, cheaper than I could get at Aldi.

Secondly, I stock up.

My grocery cart rarely looks like a normal persons.   When I find flour on sale (and it has to be a good sale) I won’t just buy 2 bags, I buy 10.   When butter goes on sale, I buy 40 pounds and freeze it.   Same with sugar, etc.

I wasn’t able to do that in the beginning.

When we began to recover, financially, from Superman’s surgery I started slow.   I’d go to the store, and purchase my regular amount of groceries and add a couple of cans of tuna, or green beans, or bags of flour till I was stocked to the point of having enough in my pantry till another huge sale came along.  One thing that always works in my favor is Thanksgiving and Christmas.   Basic baking staples always go on sale around this time, and I am the freaky woman who is shoveling flour and sugar in her cart.   It is also at this time that I stock up on nuts.

It took about a year or so to get to that point, and it was a struggle at times to get there.   There have been years that we have eaten straight from the pantry for months at a time because I couldn’t afford to go to the grocery.

One of the other things that helps me to be able to stock up like this, is I try to put back money for this specific purpose.  When times are lean, I only stick back $1-5.   When Superman gets overtime, I stick back $20.   That way, I am not taking $$ away from any other area.

This is what works for me.   It might not work for you, but I hope that I have been able to encourage you, to get some thoughts flowing on how you can save some $$ at the grocery.

Next time, I’ll talk about how I save on cleaning supplies, etc.


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Just an average wife, mother, and homeschooling woman

26 thoughts on “October 29”

  1. Love and rely on Aldi even tho we live over 2 1/2 hrs away from one. When we go to the big city we stock up. Then all I have to buy here is the fresh foods and a few special items that we think we must have like taco sauce, coconut cake mix,……

    I like Aldi’s cream soups so much better than any store brand ones around here that cost three times as much.

    We are a sight to behold when we go as we fill up two carts. Lots of stares and comments. Oh well!

  2. Yep! You are definitly a descendent of Dean and Alta McCarty. Grandpa went thru the depression and never got over it. Even after he had more than a half million dollars he still straightened used nails and put them in a bucket for future use. When we cleaned out the dairy house, we ran across these old rusty nails and found it difficult to throw them away after he went to all that effort.

  3. When we went to Indiana earlier this year I got the chance to shop at an Aldi’s. I was shocked at the prices. At that one particular store milk was around $2.50 a gallon. After I did a double take, dh did too.

    Thanks for the shopping tips. 🙂

  4. ohhh I love Aldi’s soft oatmeal cookies. Yum, yum, yum. Good tips… I always stock up on butter when it’s on sale and cringe when I have to buy it at full price.

  5. Hi Tayna, I enjoyed your tips. We shop at aldi’s to. I recently tried the grocery game as well but I didn’t think at least for me personally it was worth it. Aldi’s works. I also recently got a membership at BJ’s and that saves me money, especially on meat!!

  6. You are the queen of shopping tips!! Thanks. I recently started making bread and I can’t believe how fast I go through flour. Sometimes I wonder how much I’m really saving? These are great ideas.

  7. We have a surplus store that sells canned goods el-cheapo! I have been going there to stock up on beans, chicken broth, etc. I hear you though about stocking up. If everyone lived within their means, we’d all be a lot better off!

  8. We have never lived anywhere near Aldi’s. I know my mom shopped at Aldi’s in Germany & New York and always saved $$.

    You have some great tips & ideas. I have used most of them. Right now we are not stocking up because we have the house up for sale and we are trying to prepare to move into our trailer.

  9. That was a good post. We do not have an Aldi’s or a Save-A-Lot near our home. Our best prices are at Sam’s and Wal-Mart.

    For the past couple of years, our grocery stores have started limiting the amount of items you can get on sale. It is now down to only getting two items.

    I do buy flour and brown sugar after the holidays. The brown sugar usually goes on clearance for 50 cents. When the itmes are on clearance, there isn’t a limited amount you can buy.

  10. i am trying to re-adjust our shopping “needs” these days. alas, we did not have an aldi’s or save-a-lot near us but i do price compare between wal-mart and kroger’s and food lion locally. i am anxiously awaiting the butter prices to drop so we can purchase many pounds. past weekend it was $3.19 pound…ugghhh. since there is only two of us i seldom stock up on much more than say meat…found a great buy this weekend on some roast at 1.99 pound…bought it and ground it up. we no longer by packaged hamburger (yuck)…we’ve found that buying the roasts on sale and grinding them up is a better route to take and the difference in taste is unbelievable in the meat dishes. i also try and watch for can soup on sale and will buy that in some quantity though…not a huge amount. that’s about it…

  11. I love Aldi stores. Can goods don’t come any cheaper there. Before we moved into our apartment we had a huge pantry and it was stocked full on everything and 95% of it came from Aldi’s. Now that we have zero storage space I am finding that my grocery shopping habits have changed and I am missing my well stocked pantry for all my go to items. I have done some creative organizing this fall and made some room for some baking goods. I am hoping to stock up on a few items this holiday season as well. Great minds must think alike! 🙂 GO ALDI!!!

  12. Alas!!!( How do you like that one??) we have no Aldi’s, no Save-A-Lot within hours of us.We only Have WalMart,Food lion& PigglyWiggly. Who can be serious about shopping at a store called PigglyWiggly????? three guesses what their major sales comes from…You got it…pork!!! which I don’t like to eat to much of. Their meat prices are good but everything else is sky-high. I would rather cook for 6 than 2. It is hard to go to all that effort for just two especially when one of those two is extra picky.

  13. EXCUSE ME????? Honey you are super frugal! I’m not complaining mind you. I’ve always appreciated how well you manage your budget and am proud of you for that.
    Now me….on the other hand…well let’s just say I’m not a descendent of Gpa and Gma McCarty…just married to one and well…he didn’t get the frugal jeans from them either.

    I do have to have Gold Medal flour and I do think some brands have better taste. Milk, sugar and butter I can’t tell.

  14. I totally understand about being frugal. I’ve often wondered how people like Deb from Smitten Kitchen can manage a budget and still post food every day. I guess you just have to learn to save well!

  15. Aldi’s has not seen the light and opened a store in Alaska at this time. The shipping is what keeps many businesses out of our fine state.

    I shop in bulk at Costco and Sam’s Club for that which rarely goes on sale for a better price at the local grocery stores. We do have a Super WM but I find that on many items their prices are higher. Most of my local groceries come from Fred Meyer, now part of the Kroger chain, as they do great on the sales and regular prices.

    I need to begin stocking up on my baking supplies as I try to buy most of them during this high sales time.

    I also look in the meat mark down bins to see what meat has gone down in price. That is how we get our buffalo (much lower in the bad stuff for a red meat and very high in the good stuff plus the flavor is out of this world). I look forward to the day when hubby is able to go hunting and get a moose as then I can redirect the meat money to other areas.

    Great tips, CC, I look forward to future posts on this critical topic.

  16. I like to shop at Aldi’s and Save-a-lot. I get some good deals at Kroger too. I use a lot of coupons. You have to watch them though. Sometimes they are tricky.I guess when you are brought up watching prices it stays with you. I think if I was to come into money, I would still be a bargain hunter.

  17. Fabulous post!! Am anxiously awaiting the tips to save on cleaning supplies. My current method of “not cleaning much” probably isn’t the best.

  18. I stock up on sale also.The clerks always ask if I’m having a party.
    We don’t have an Aldi’s but do have a store that sells scratch and dent and lots they buy from the grocery stores of items that don’t sell. It is Amish run. Very cheap and my 12 year old son loves to go with me.

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