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March 05, 2008


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I have a personal fave, Aldi's - their prices are unbeatable, and no need to get a coupon to get the lowest price.

I tried using coupons for a couple of years before I tried Aldi's - I always spent more at the grocery store using coupons until I went to Aldi's - much bigger savings and much better quality stuff as well.

Here's a money saving tip for beer drinkers. We like to drink expensive imports, but recently instituted a plan to help us save money - domestics on weekdays and imports only on weekends! And I think we are going to start buying our beer at Costco.

We just recently discovered the joy of going to a local farmer's market. All of the fruits and vegetables are super fresh and look great. Not only that but the prices are great. We keep a lot of fruit around and this is what we save the most on and they have exotic fruits from time to time that are good to try. For instance at the farmer's market we go to grapefruits are 10 for $1. On our last trip we went to the grocery store afterwards to compare prices and we saved close to half.

Often grocery stores have coupons in the aisle in dispensers. If I see these for a product that I normally buy, I take a few, even if I'm not buying that item that day. Often the coupon is good for an extended timeframe, so no rush for me to buy the product at full price. I wait until that item goes on sale and then use the coupon to get extra savings.

I definitely second the vote for Aldi (or Save-a-lot, etc). Buying the same things (buying sale items and using coupons at the mainstream stores), we saved $150/mo by switching to Aldi. They have a double money back guarantee but I have never found anything that wasn't the same or better than the name brand. Also, they do occasionally have name brand items for great prices. Besides, when I splurge and buy an impulse purchase like Oreos, I spend $1 instead of $3.50.

Dollar stores also have name brand cleaning supplies, shampoo, etc, for low prices

My wife was surprised at how much cheaper milk is at Aldi's than even Sam's Club. The downside: the milk is 1 week from expiration, instead of 2.

Yes, I'm the one buying the discounted meat and bread...

The bread - why not buy day-old bread? I've never noticed a difference in taste. I scour the "Oops, we overbaked!" rack. :)

As for meat - I buy stuff that is a day or two BEFORE expiration, not past expiration, and I cook it up that night or immediately throw it in the freezer for later. I wouldn't buy any meat past its sell-by date, but before? they just want it to move quickly.

There are quite a few "fresh" veggies that freeze really well....I buy green/yellow/red peppers when they are on sale and cut most of them into strips (i like to do stir frys)and then some I chop/dice to add to soups/stews/sauce I also do the same with onions/celery...Spinach also can go right into the freezer, it will not change the 'freshness/flavor" at all...the same with most herbs...Fresh parsley/cilantro adds a ton of flavor to most anything so I buy when its on sale (79 cents a Big bunch) and chop it up the same day...I put handfuls into sandwich bags and then put all the bags into a freezer bag, you just need to pull one out when you need it....


I find that every time I go to Aldi I spend $50-$60 and walk out with a cart full of goods. Go the larger chain grocer and I spend at least $70 and usually half the amount of things. Aldi is great for the basics and then if they don't have something at that point you can get at somewhere else. This saves us probably I'd say $50-$150 month on food/supplies etc.

Pay by Discover card and get a discount (cash back bonus).

If a food product is expired, the store has to dispose of it or return it the warehouse for a partial credit. I think it's illegal to knowingly sell past-date food products.

"Must go" foods are not past the expiration date; they are only approaching the expiration, so close that the store is afraid they may not be able to sell the item and will have to count it as a loss (inventory shrink). So they the cut price drastically so that the item does sell before the expiration date. For example, a gallon of milk that is going to expire in two days may be marked down to $1.50. So a customer buys the milk, drinks it for two days, and even if you only drank half of it, you probably saved money.

Sometimes such discounts are labeled as a "manager's special" or placed in special bins around the store. I can often get soy milk and other organic products for cheap because no one buys organic food in my town and it gets close to expiration.

I know why you would do #5 - to make sure you can actually GET the items that are on sale. Too many times I've gone grocery shopping on Monday or Tuesday, seen a terrific sale on an item, but that item is all gone or almost gone. (I especially find this is true with cereal and yogurt - if the sale covers multiple flavors, the only ones left are the ones I don't like.)

Paul's tip about beer can also relate to wine too. If you like a certain type of wine, try a lesser known vintner or varietal. Experiment and try wines in a lower price range. I have found some interesting wines for way under $10. When you find something you like, even if the wine is $5 a bottle, you will also get a discount if you buy a case.

If u like movies, go to the video stores and buy instead of rent. I found I was paying about 23.00 to rent 3-4 movies and most places u can buy 2 or 3 for $20-$25. About a month ago I bought I am Legend, College Road Trip, and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins for $23.00. I buy them after they have been out for about two months when they are 2/$20 or 3/$24 etc.

Tip about buying freezes very well and if you thaw it after the expiration date, it is fine! You just thaw it in the fridge for a day or two before needing to use it. We do this with milk from Aldis every month. I purchase 4 or 5 gallons for the month and we thaw as needed. Also, using powdered milk, also very cheap from Aldis, is a great way to use "milk" when cooking or baking without going through the real thing. Tastes the same in those applications.

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