Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grocery Sale Cycles

I would love to trim down our grocery budget. A forum I am a part of has a great section called Frugality and Finances where I have learned a ton. Some I have already been doing and some that I have not even thought about doing. Couponing is one I will not spend that much time on. If I happen to find a coupon I will use it but spending all that time searching for them, digging through the Sunday paper, keeping track of them all. Its just not for me! One thing I have decided I can do is keep track of the loss leaders and store sale cycles.

We currently do a once a month trip to Costco for a lot of our food. Meat, cheese, milk, butter, some produce, frozen vegis, flour, other baking supplies, etc. We also buy some household items here. TP, shampoo, conditioner. We usually end up going a second time half way through the month for more milk and some produce. We get 2% back which pays for our membership plus some so I'll call that our coupon. :) We do weekly shopping at Trader Joe's for yogurt, produce, and some other things. I have a goal to get out of the weekly shopping under $30 and never seem to do it. Occasionally I will shop at Safeway or Fred Meyer instead of TJ's. And honestly I am not going to go to twelve different stores. I just don't have the time. Costco will continue. And I will do a mix of the other three depending on what is on sale and what we need that month.

In my search for information I was linked to the Hot Coupon World Forum. There is a wealth of information regarding monthly sale cycles. I am hoping it is accurate and will use this in addition to the sale flyers to try and eat in season and buy on sale.

Here is some of what is says about May. As this is for my notes, I have deleted some of the items out that I will not need to keep an eye on. Like paper plates, cups, disposable utensils, dog food, etc.

BBQ/Memorial Day promos-
BBQ Sauce
Salad dressing
Hot dogs
Hamburger/ground beef
Insect repellent
Allergy meds

Coupon inserts of Summer Blast-off theme
Cinco De Mayo promos –
Tacos, seasonings

National Pet Week promos-
Cat food

Memorial Day
May Day
Cinco de Mayo
Mother’s Day

Other Promotions this month:
Asian Pacific American Heritage month
National Allergy/Asthma Awareness month
National Asparagus month
National BBQ month
National Egg Month
National Hamburger Month
National Salad MonthNational Salsa Month
National Strawberry Month
Skin cancer awareness/prevention month
International Pickle Week
Armed Forces Day
Kentucky Derby

Produce in Season:
Apricots ~ New
Artichokes ~ Waning
Beans, Fava ~ Peak
Beans, Green ~ New
Blackberries ~ New
Broccoli ~ Waning
Cabbages ~ Waning
Cantaloupe ~ New
Cauliflower ~ Waning
Celeriac/Celery Root ~ Waning
Celery ~ Waning
Chard ~ Waning
Cherries ~ New
Corn ~ New
Fennel ~ Waning
Garlic, Green ~ Waning
Grapefruit ~ Waning
Greens Including Arugula, Dandelion, Fiddlehead Fern, Lettuces, Mizuna,
Honeydew ~ New
Kale ~ Waning
Mushrooms, Morels ~ Waning
Onions, Fresh/Spring ~ Waning
Onions, Sweet: Vidalia ~ Peak
Peaches ~ NewPeas,
Edible Pods ~ Peak
Peas, English/Shelling ~ Peak
Potatoes, New ~ New
Radish ~ Waning
Ramps ~ Peak
Raspberries ~ New
Rhubarb, Field ~ Waning
Salad Mix ~ Waning
Sorrel ~ Peak
Spinach ~ Waning
Squash, Zucchini ~ New
Watermelon ~ New

I am going to try and track the sales at Safeway and Fred Meyer (maybe just Safeway) to see what I can buy at the lowest and buy this in bulk to last till the next lowest priced sale. We are also continuing with our goal to make as much of our own food. Garden season is here, I am re-exploring making our own yogurt (last time was unsuccesful lol), we currently make almost all the bread we eat, and our chickens give us more than enough eggs. I still buy hot dog buns, bagels, and tortillas but those are on the list to go as soon as I try out the recipes I have waiting. :) I don't know how much I can trim off our budget as it is not huge anyway. We make most of our food from scratch all ready and are trying to cut down on the snacky foods so those things help. This will be interesting and I am looking forward to watching the sales to see what happens.

How do you do your grocery shopping? I would love to hear your tips and comments.

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