I am blessed by the fact that I have just about every option available in my area to shop for groceries. It is nice to pick and choose where I want to shop. But that also can be overwhelming as I don’t have time to visit every grocery store, every week.
Before I start to shop I ask myself these questions to select which grocery store to shop at this week.
What is on sale?
Are you surprised this is my first question? I hope not! The biggest factor in my selection of grocery store is whether they’re having a good sale. There’s no point investing the time to cut coupons, if their sale ad looks dreary and bare. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have the most items on sale. It means that they have quality items that my family will use and may need on sale.
What’s the most expensive item on my list?
I look at what our family needs to stock up on and choose the grocery store based on their sale ad. If we’re needing more chicken and I see that Buehler’s, for example, has their Gerber’s Chicken as Buy One, Get One this week, I’ll most likely choose to shop there. If we’re needing produce, I select the store based on the produce deals. I look at the largest budget area on our shopping list and choose the store based on that. If I see a deal on toothpaste but also see how I can save $5 on meat it makes more sense to go to the store that has meat on sale and not the store that has FREE toothpaste.
How much time do I have this week to grocery shop?
There have been a few laid back weeks where I’ve been able to visit 2 or 3 grocery stores, but most weeks I only visit one. In choosing my plan of attack, it’s alway important for me to know how much time I have to shop. If I can fit two stores in, I may also select the two stores that are geographically close to one another to save time.
What’s my shopping experience going to be?
I look first at their sale, but I do also factor in the ease of shopping. I like to coupon and don’t want to burn myself out by having an overwhelming shopping experience. All the grocery stores in my area have great customer service so that doesn’t factor into my decision too much. However, if I have both kids with me I do think about how I want my shopping experience to be. It’s not worth it to walk 5 acres to save $1 on shampoo if I can visit a smaller, more intimate grocery store and postpone my shampoo purchase.
All in all, I make my decision and stick with it. I can always look back and say, “I could have saved a few more dollars if I visited a few more stores.” However, that thought will only overwhelm me more. There’s always more money to be saved, but you can’t get your time with family and friends back. And saving money does take time. That’s why I ask myself these questions, I set up my plan to shop and then I come home to my family to enjoy our bounty!
How do you decide where to shop each week?