Friday, November 18, 2005

 

How I reduced my grocery bill and my cholesterol

Our monthly food budget for 2 people and a cat is $200, however when we were shopping at Safeway we were constantly going over budget, we'd go to the store at least once a week and averaged between 80 & 100 a trip. I tried the coupon route, but coupons always seem to be for major brands and it was still cheaper to buy the store brand so I gave up couponing. Then I tried to buy only items that were on sale or had a really good club card deal, it didn't help. I don't do warehouse stores because I don't want to pay to join and my house doesn't have the storage for bulk items. So I switched grocery stores, since October I shop at Grocery Outlet. We are now spending between 60 & 90 per trip, but we are only going to the store every 2 weeks instead of every week because we are able to purchase more items because of the lower costs. Here are some examples of cost savings on items I buy every grocery trip:

Roma tomatos: $0.40/ea vs. Grocery Outlet $1.29/package of 8
Cherry tomatos: $3.99/16 oz, vs. Grocery Outlet $1.29 16oz and these were organic!
Green peppers: $1.29 vs. $0.50/ea
Red peppers: $1.99 vs. $0.50/ea
Eggs, medium: $1.55/dozen vs $1.59 18 count
Romaine lettuce: $1.29/each vs $2.99/bag of 3

This is the big one, the Grocery Outlet does not have a fresh meat department because they deal on closeouts and overstocks, if you want meat you have to buy the frozen kind. A 2.5 lb bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts: $11.99/bag at Safeway, Grocery Outlet is normally $6.99 but this week there was a special of $3.99/bag. I priced the fresh chicken at Safeway and the 2.5lb bag is $12.35.

I figure with the cost savings and shopping less often, I'm saving 30-50% on my monthly food bill. This has allowed me extra money for gas and the occasional trip to Wendys and will hopefully keep us from going over our food budget.

But what about the cholesterol you say? Well since I can only buy frozen meat at Grocery Outlet, I have so far only purchased fish and chicken. The frozen meat products are typically steaks and I am a little snobby about steaks, if I eat one I want a fresh one, so I haven't purchased or eaten any red meat since October ( I get chicken sandwiches at Wendys). Because of this, I am assuming that my cholesterol has gone down due to the lack of red meat.

I may be wishful thinking on the cholesterol, but the savings are an actual fact. Grocery Outlets may not be to everyone's taste, a lot of the brands I had never heard of but I'm having a great time being adventerous and saving money. If you have one in your neighborhood, I heartily recommend checking it out!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also recommend checking out ethnic grocery stores for produce. I find Indian grcoery stores are much cheaper than Safeway. Many of them are not the cleanest, but if you look around you can find the decent ones. The main problem is they don't always have everything in stock.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cholesterol - ALL animal products contain cholesterol, just some are lower than others. don't be misled when peanut butter is labeled cholesterol free or oatmeal or lots of others I've seen. Wish we had a Grocery Outlet, we're in FL and the produce is awful - they ship the good stuff out!

2:47 PM  

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