Is there a tornado coming that no one told me about?
When we moved from a major metropolitan city in the Southwest to a suburban Midwest town a few years ago, one of the biggest culture shocks was the grocery store situation. Back in the SW, we lived with a Target approximately ten minutes away…to the North AND the South. Off the top of my head, I could think of three grocery stores in a ten mile radius, not including the Sprouts I drove an extra two miles for, because you really could not beat their produce costs. Comparison shopping, and visiting particular stores for particular items, was simple and cost effective.
The town we live in now has one grocery store. I’m going to say that again for my people in the back. There is one grocery store. It is no longer about comparison shopping or leisurely short trips to Trader Joe’s because they have 19 cent bananas. Now it’s survival mode all the time. I’m expecting the announcement of the Hunger Games any day.
I went into this shopping trip slightly grumpy, since there were no good digital coupons and no good in-store sales. Loyal readers will point out that I just spent a whole post lamenting about the hardships of when there are too many items on sale. Now here I am, complaining about how nothing is on sale. Ah, the irony.
It’s not just a financial issue, but a planning one. Since I’m making a concentrated effort to plan my meals around what I find on sale, it would be helpful if I could, you know, actually find things on sale.
Not only could I not find things on sale, but I could barely find things. The loaf of bread I came away with was apparently the last loaf of bread in the state, and had been pushed so far back on the shelf it might have been trying to get to Narnia. There were four mangoes and they all looked like they were ready for retirement out to a nice mango farm, where they could spend their mango days relaxing on the porch and reminiscing about their mango pasts. What I’m saying here is, things were bleak.
And it was packed. Like paaaaaaacked. Which, yes, is bound to happen when you are the only game in town, but man, even for a one horse town, there were a lot of people who needed a ride on that horse.
Around the time the someone was hovering near me, waiting for me to put down the last lettuce, I started to wonder if there was some kind of natural disaster coming our way that I didn’t know about. As I type this, it’s 30 degrees with cloudless skies. A little chilly for my tastes, but definitely not “grab the last lettuce from this woman with three kids” type of weather.
It’s trips like this where I am thankful for shopping to the sale and stocking up on things at great prices. I didn’t need to bemoan my situation for too long. I did a quick mental inventory of things I had at home in the freezer and the pantry, grabbed my lettuce and last bread standing, and got out of there.
- Bananas, 2.54 lb-$1.40.
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (2)-$4.98. At least there was Buy 5, Save $5 for some sweet treat relief! And I got extra points for these on Fetch.
- Blackberries, 6 oz (2)-$5.
- Boar’s Head Honey Maple Turkey, 1 lb-$9.99.
- Boar’s Head Sandwich Pepperoni, 1lb -$9.08.
- Butterfinger Bar-$0. Free Friday Download *Digital Coupon*.
- Chuck Roast, 3.23 lbs-$12.18.
- Clementines, 3lbs-$3.99.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 4.74 lbs-$9.45.
- Ken’s Dressing-$1.49. Part of B5S5.
- Kraft Dressing (2)-$1.98. Each was $.99 after the Buy 5, Save $5 promotion.
- Kroger Milk, .5 gal-$.88.
- Kroger Rice-$1.49.
- Merry Estate Gouda-$3.69.
- Mozzarella Ball-$2.99.
- Pink Lady Apples, 1.37 lbs-$1.36.
- Private Selection Whole Wheat Bread-$1.99.
- Private Selection Brioche Buns-$1.99.
- Red Leaf Lettuce, 1.20 lb-$2.03.
- Red Gold Canned Tomatoes (2)-$1.78.
- Red Tomatoes on the Vine, .1.34 lbs-$2.
- Sweet Onions, 2.62 lbs-$2.59.
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice-$0. I got a coupon in the mail for a free rice. You know free is the way to my heart.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta ($.10 off Any Item, $.75 off Ken’s Salad Dressing), Checkout 51 (.25 off Fresh Chicken)
Total Budget: $83.92
Total Spent: $82.33
Total Saved: $23.17
Rolled Over to Next Trip: $1.59
Even if you’ve got no sales and no coupons (like me), you can still save with grocery apps. If you haven’t tried them yet, Fetch Rewards and Checkout51 are both offering big bonuses just for signing up-$3 for Fetch and $5 for Checkout 51.
Where do you regularly shop for groceries? Are there a lot of options near you? If you could shop anywhere, regardless of location, where would you shop? Tell me all your grocery dreams in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!