Welcome back to my series on Simply Saving! If you are new, make sure to check out the previous blogs (“What’s For Dinner?” “Meal Plan Masters” and “Simply Saving – Grocery List & Shopping Pantry/Fridge”) to get caught up before applying the Bargain Browsing method!
If you’ve finished your “shopping” of your own pantry and fridge then you’re onto the next step… BARGAIN BROWSING! It sounds like a bunch of fun, eh?
This is something you may not have done previously but pending on the time available you can start to implement now. Once I have shopped my own pantry and fridge, I take my list of groceries needed and I sit down at my computer and open a few browsers. I then search the local stores around me (tip: if you go to the grocery stores main site it may not tell you prices or inventory, etc. so make sure you use the store locator and search the store you will be ordering from.)
For myself, I tend to use Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s, Target, Publix and occasionally Food Lion. I get myself logged into all of my reward programs for each store and then start to browse. I will search ground meat at all stores to locate the best deal. Sometimes, it’s a mere $0.10 difference, other times it’s much more substantial. I also make a note of any items that aren’t available at certain stores. For me, I only eat the Quaker Oat Cinnamon & Spice Oatmeal. Unfortunately, I usually only have luck getting it at Kroger. However, my Thomas Cinnamon Bagels are usually only available at Walmart. These are things you can make notes on and help to expedite your process in the future.
Next to the item on the grocery list I will put the first initial of the cheapest available store. So let’s say I wanted Ragu Pasta Sauce and Kroger has it for $3, Walmart has it for $2.88, Target has it for $3.25, Publix has it for $3.50 and Food Lion is sold out. I would annotate my grocery list as follows.
-Ragu Pasta Sauce W / K
This let’s me know that it’s cheapest at Walmart, but I provided the Kroger option also because it may ultimately end up being cheaper at Kroger. Remember, we are pruning! You will continue this method with each item on your list. Don’t forget to make sure you’re doing this on your own store locator to ensure you’re getting accurate information!
I understand that not everyone has this amount of time. That’s totally fine! Even if you just do it between 2 stores you can still save some money. For example, my Thomas Bagels are almost $2 cheaper at Kroger compared to Walmart! Not to mention, the ease of online browsing via apps and browsers is abundant so it’s perfect for something to do while you’re waiting getting your hair done, sitting in the car outside the school to pick up your kiddos or hiding out in your van cause your husband’s home… (wait… is that just me? Awkward. Try it sometime though!)
Solid job on pruning your list with Bargain Browsing! Stay tuned for our next step which we will discuss ‘Back That Cash Up.’
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