How to save money shopping!

I'm not sure how you would describe my shopping except more as a bargain Hunter. Using the term hunter in the truest sense of the word.
Most successful hunters scout several  good locations before Hunting season. They listen to people talk about how good or bad the season will be before they pick a hunting spot. For the shopper this means doing your own scouting of stores. Knowing the average price of items (Price Points) and which stores are consistently lower priced, who has the best quality of meat and fresh produce. Who has the best quality and best price on store brands. You don't give up on quality just to save money. Often times you will find a store brand is better and costs less than many big name brands.
Now scouting and stalking bargains involves a different attitude than shopping. I think shopping you get so focused on what you need you forget to look around and see what's available, or you see so many sale items and you blow your budget before you get what you need. The trick is not to have an immediate need to fill, so you have time to scout and stalk sales on items you will need. I love the Internet for this. Most retailers put Sales Fliers up on their websites. In my area it's Sundays and Tuesdays. No need to buy the paper and most stores carry their ads in store so you can grab one there if you need coupons.
Now how do you get out of the "I need this Mode" when shopping? Why by getting your basics via the $150.00 shopping list. You know you won't starve though it's a bit bland meal-wise. You are learning or have learned to make some basics from scratch. You have a few extra canned, boxed or frozen meals you have already bought and stored. If you are planning your shopping list by what you will need in a week. You know how long you are prepared for. I'm just asking you to push that time out a bit at a time from a week to 2 weeks to a month to 3 months then to a year. I don't think you will stop needing Toilet Paper in a couple of months so why aren't you getting it on sale? If you are getting it on sale all you have to do is transfer that to food. I know I have been able to guesstimate that some items will go on sale because stores have a limited time to hold items on the shelves.
Loss Leaders: Stores sell several items below cost to get you into the store. They are hoping you will buy something else that has a higher profit margin. I see this a lot on buy 1 get 1 free, yet the price for 1 actually doubled or more in price. This is where your Price Points and scouting will pay off cause you won't be fooled.
Now be able to use the food/ items that you got at a great price.
Proper storage
Always the coolest, driest and darkest place in the house. It may be a basement, closet or under a bed. But store it in the best environment you have available. Even if it is not perfect you can get a year or so plus for most items. If you are rotating and eating what you store that 2 years should be good enough.
I have a friend that checks and inventories what he stores in Oct and May each year. If some item of food has been the "Pantry" that long (canned/boxed goods) he donates it to the local food bank before the expiration date and adjusts his shopping list. That' a Win/Win in my book.
I'm not a big coupon user. I need to get better at it. If you want to learn to coupons check my Blog Roll. Kellene at preparednesspro.com is great and she has a class that you can order from her site. Plus she has all kinds of great info and classes.

2 comments:

  1. Well stated. I would only add a thank you for not having me write the same thing on another blog. Because it is what/exactly what I would say. I will just direct everyone here. Thanks.

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  2. I think that's a good thing. I don't mind riding TF's coat tails but I hope I can give my own twist to preparing. He is all about investing and the high side of money. I'm all about the low side, socks, gardens and blankets setting up a RV or boat and make it work.

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