Posts Tagged ‘grocery’

Find a Coupon or Discount Before You Buy One More Thing

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

A penny saved is a penny earned.  I once told a friend that with access to the internet one can find a coupon, discount, or sale for pretty much anything.  At the time I had found her a BOGO (Buy One Get One) for Amtrak train tickets so she could come visit me from DC.

Today, another friend sent me a link to a website that pretty much consolidates thousands of sales out there.  The site lists weekly ads for retail and grocery stores.  It posts online and printable coupons for retail stores, restaurants, and grocery items.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of stores, retailers, and products listed.

I am going to love comparison shopping between my local grocery and drug-stores.  Usually, I wait until Wednesday and then go to each of the stores’ websites and run through a rigamaroll to get their weekly ads to pop up.  Now I can go to this website and just click on the store I want to see.  $1.99/lb roasts and $.99 cantaloupes be wary… I am coming for you!  This will also be helpful with my occasional soujourns to AC Moore, Michaels, JoAnns Fabrics, BabiesRUs, etc…  These stores typically always have some sort of coupon (20% – 40% off) in their weekly circulars, but since I don’t shop there regularly I tend not to keep the flyers on hand.  Now when I need to run out and get something, I’ll just print the coupon from the store I want and head out the door. 

FYI – if you think that I am getting anal about finding discounts and don’t think they save you all that much here are some true stories.  I recently spent $22.41 on 10 sewing patterns with a savings of $146 from the original price.  That’s a huge difference and not one to sneeze at.  In the case of my Amtrak friend, we were able to get 2 round trip tickets for her and a friend for a total cost of $86, down from $172.  For an intern, that was a huge savings for her. 

The site also posts money-saving articles, in addition to a blog which features the latest great deal out there.  I’ve only listed a few things that you can see on the site.  Go check it out for yourself and start saving some big bucks.

Be Frugal: Every Dollar Matters  – http://www.befrugal.com/

Triple Coupons at Harris Teeter – April 28 through May 4

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Grab your coupons and head down to your nearest Harris Teeter!  If you live in one of the 8 states and 1 District of Columbia that Harris Teeter is located in you are in luck.

From April 28 through May 4 they have triple coupons up to $0.99.  You can use 20 coupons per day, per household.

Check out my earlier post about triple coupon madness.  This time around, I’m going in prepared!

Save a Pretty Penny by Shopping at Aldi for Groceries

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Aldi was founded by 2 brothers in Germany in 1962 as a low cost grocery store.  Aldi opened its first store in the US in 1976.  Today, there are 1,000 stores throughout America and over 8,000 stores worldwide.

They have a “no frills” approach to selling groceries and strip away any excess spending on their part to bring the cost of groceries down for you.  Here are examples of what they do to maintain a low overhead:

1) Require a $.25 deposit for a grocery cart.

This is my personal favorite! To use a grocery cart you need to have a quarter.  The carts are all hooked together by means of a chain, a “key”, and a “lock box”.  You insert your quarter in the “lock box” and it pushes the key/chain out of the box from the rear and you are free to take the cart.  When you are done shopping, bring the cart back, insert the chain/key into the rear of the box and your quarter pops out of the front.  By doing this, they have eliminated the need to have employees constantly gathering carts.  I have NEVER seen a stray cart in Aldi’s parking lot.  People always want to get their quarter back.

2) Sell food off pallets and do minimal shelf stocking.

Their grocery items are sold stacked in boxes on pallets.  In some cases they have shelves, but the shelves are intended to hold the boxes of smaller items.  When an item sells out, they wheel out another pallet.  It reminds me of a small scale warehouse store like Costco and Sams.

3) Sell Aldi brand products.

Aldi, as an international juggernaut, has made the best deals with companies to provide quality products and the best cost for all their stores.  I saw a special on TV where many of Aldi’s products come off the same production line as name brand items just with an Aldi brand name. They are so sure of their products that they offer a double guarantee:  If you do not like the taste or quality of the food you buy at Aldi they will replace the product AND refund your money.

By the way, they also sell name brand products of items that they have collectively bargained for. Ex. Hershey chocolate chips, etc…

4) Keep a smaller inventory of staples.

They sell what moves.  Think staples: milk, bread, eggs, cereal, flour, sugar, spices, canned soups, canned veggies, paper products, etc…  They also have popular veggies and fruits:  lettuce, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, bananas, oranges, apples, etc… And they sell meat and frozen items:  Hamburger, hot dogs, lunch  meat, chicken, beef, pizza, ice cream, hot wings, etc…  I shop Aldi first and then go to a big grocery store later to get specialty items like cilantro or saffron.

5) Their checkout process is FAST and efficient.

Once you shop at Aldi, you will develop a strategy for putting stuff on the belt at the checkout.  Generally, they only need ONE cashier.  They do not bag any items at Aldi.  You put your stuff on the belt and they have a shopping cart at the end of the line to put your items in.  They don’t stack or arrange, they don’t organize or worry about crushing things – they just scan and drop stuff into the cart.  I have seen them put bread and eggs in the child seat, but mostly the food is FLYING off the belt.  This is no joke, by the time you have unloaded your cart, the cashier is done ringing you up and is waiting for your payment.

7) Cash or debit ONLY

Nice and simple.  No credit cards, no checks.

8 ) Charge $.25 for grocery bags.

Since they do not bag for you, you must bring your own bags or pay for theirs.  When you are done checking out, you wheel your cart over to one of the long counters and bag your own items.  You can also scan the aisles for empty boxes as you go and use those to box up your groceries.

Those are a few of the highlights of how they save money to save you money.  I just spent $89 on groceries to feed 6 people 5 meals for our camping trip this weekend.   That’s $2.96 per meal!  While I was bagging my groceries, I overheard a lady exclaiming over the cost of her purchase.  This was her first time and she was shocked that she got an entire grocery cart of goods for $80.  She said, “I’d pay twice this much if I was at Food Lion.”

If you have never heard about Aldi, go to their website and see if there is a store near you.

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