I used to do all of my grocery shopping at Kroger once a week on Friday nights while J watched the kids. Then I discovered Walmart’s pickup program and that totally revolutionized my grocery shopping experience, not to mention freed up my Friday nights. The problem is there are some things that I can’t get from Walmart. So I still go to Kroger every other week. On top of that I usually hit up Costco once a month for the items that we consume the most of and can save money on by buying in bulk.
It’s taken a lot of trial and error. Plus countless pics of price labels so that I can go home and see which store has the best deal.
But I *think* I’ve got a rhythm going. Here is my routine and budget for the three grocery stores that I usually hit up.
Once a week I go to Walmart for the bulk of the groceries. This includes produce, some meat, paper products, frozen foods, seasonings, etc. I order everything online the night before. It usually takes almost no time at all because my favorites are already saved and for the repeat items I just click through with ease. I spend approximately $50 and in the morning I go and they load up all my groceries in my trunk. Done.
I go to Kroger approximately every other week during Ezie’s speech therapy class. That means I only have one kid with me and I don’t have much to buy so it’s totally doable. I never go over $100 on my Kroger excursions. The reason I can’t cancel out Kroger altogether is because I go there for my WIC items, Dasani sparkling water, and I also prefer to get my meat there. I often find great deals on clearance priced meats, better than anywhere else and it’s easier to buy the appropriate measurements in real life vs on line.
I go to Costco usually once and sometimes twice a month. My Costco budget is $150 for the whole month. My friend over at This Pilgrim’s Life has a fantastic rundown of the prices at Costco compared to Aldi’s. I don’t have an Aldi’s near me so I don’t shop there, but I did my own price comparison on dozens of items and figured out what we needed from Costco.
The main things that we go through a ton of are bacon, heavy whipping cream for our coffee, cheese, and nuts. So we stock up on all of those when we go and save a lot of money this way.
I know this may look like a complicated waste of time, but it’s really not that bad. I used to spend more time, more money, and a lot more trouble when I would shop all at once at one place. I even calculated how much we were loosing in Kroger fuel points by making this switch. Yes, it does take some effort to really see how much you are spending and do price comparisons, but I don’t mind. I enjoy saving money and figuring out which foods we prefer. It’s been said that I can squeeze a nickel out of quarter. Now you know some of my secrets.
This post is day 27 or 31 for my October series Captain of the Kitchen. For the rest of the series click here.