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Keep Store-Specific Stocking Up Lists (Frugal Friday)

Typically I love to go grocery shopping. Between the food and shopping for the deals, I always find something to entertain myself with. My first job was actually at a grocery store, too.

But at the same time, grocery shopping can be a chore. Or feel a little postal. But, since I can’t get the kids to stop eating, I have to keep shopping.

Over the last few months, I’ve found that it is simpler to frequent a handful of stores rather than doing the 8 to 10 stops that I used to do in my heavier couponing days. The sales are just not that great in my area; I haven’t bought the paper for coupons in months. since we’re moving away from a lot of processed foods and being a little more particular about hormones and GMO’s, I’m also finding that my field of options is narrowing.

My solution has been to isolate the stores where I know I can get the items that I typically want at a fair price. This doesn’t stop me from looking at the circulars each week. But, I know that when there isn’t a great loss leader sale, I can fall back on these stores for the basics to get us through.

Stocking Up

Costco is my go-to spot for milk, some cheeses, some fruits and vegetables, dried beans, oils, vinegars, and breads.

Trader Joe’s, with its pledge not to sell items with GMO’s, is proving to be a good place to buy a lot of my staples. Most of their dairy is also hormone-free, meaning I can relax a little about reading every single label.

Walmart has great deals on condiments, dairy, canned goods, and cleaners.

Keep a list.

I’ve found that if I keep lists of the same things that I buy each week or two at these stocking up spots, I prevent myself from reinventing the wheel. Instead, I can just print off a list and check off the things that we need to replenish in our stores.

You can download a copy of this planning page right here. One page has my regular stocking up items. One page is blank.

By keeping my grocery shopping to a minimum and keeping regular grocery stock up lists for each store, I’m better able to make use of my time as well as my money.

How do YOU save money?



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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this tip; a list like this is a great idea!

  2. That’s exactly how I shop now. I used to get sooooo excited to see what was on sale in the ads every Tuesday.

    It has made my life a lot easier in some ways.

    Off to check out your list…thanks for posting it!

  3. This is a great tip! I have to have a list when I go into Costco- otherwise I get into trouble! :)

  4. Awesome tip!!!!!!!

  5. Great idea! I always shop at the military commissary for most items, but I do go to other stores for some of our items. I am in the middle of putting together a price list for the items we regularly buy so that I can compare prices during sales. I’ll definitely be breaking it down by stores now!

  6. I always think this AS I’m shopping in the store, but this helps put thoughts and passive observations to action. Just what I needed!

  7. Today I’m linking up a recipe for Polish Wild Mushroom and Potato soup which features one of my favorite items from Costco–the dried gourmet mushroom mix. So much cheaper than using fresh mushrooms! (tastier, too, in my opinion)

  8. I’m not couponing as much these days either for the same reasons as you. I do the majority of my shopping at one store, but I am starting to stop at Aldi’s more. I wish we had a Costco, as I have heard nothing but good things about them.

    Thanks for the linky.

  9. Great idea, I know I find myself buying the same items over and over at the same stores, and this would simplify my list making!

  10. Oh, what a great idea. This makes me want to get a membership to Costco, too. Not sure if I can justify it for just my husband and me, though. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thanks for the reminder I need to get off my butt and update my price comparison list. :) All the Target’s in my area recently expanded their grocery selection and it made me realize I need to be much more organized about noting the prices for all local stores.

  12. I keep several lists going on Cozi.com. It helps me see at a glance what we need and helps me plan my shopping.

  13. I apologize for this question, but what is GMO?

    Great tips…I love your blog.

  14. One way I save a lot of money is by buying food in the bulk food section. Foods like rice, beans, flours, nuts, dried fruit and more can be found in bulk food sections in the grocery store. It really saves a lot of money becuase you don’t have to pay for packaging. Also, it allows you to try new foods without having to buy a big amount.

  15. Great idea! Have you looked at Amazon for stocking up on some basics? I’ve got 6 kids too and any time I can cut out int he car is good for me. I’ve been waiting for Skippy Natural PB to go to a low price on S&S, I get the Eden’s organic beans (BPA free!) when they go low, canned organic pumpkin, and now that the cereal deals aren’t so great anymore I get cereal there. You can often get the Kashi cereals for $2.50/box or less. Recently they’ve had the Cliff Jr bars for around $10 a box too.

  16. I awarded you the gift of Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you will pass it on and find some new followers.

  17. I do this but do it in the notes section of my phone. My husband sometime goes for me on his way home from work…especially the Costco run. I find doing it on my phone I never forget my lists at home. I can easily categorize stores and I can copy paste in a text to my husband.

  18. I added my Chia Banana Bread.

  19. Thanks for hosting! I posted recipe ideas for raspberry leaf

  20. what a great post! i have just recently started making a separate list for walmart but love your idea for making separate ones for each store.

  21. Good morning everyone. I wanted to share this great weekend soup recipe that is inexpensive to make and comforting. A tip: I use bacon ends from the butcher to cut down on costs.

  22. Great tip! I do this too. I have two shopping lists printed out in my household binder for the two stores I usually shop at, as well as one in Evernote for the health food store where I go to get bulk herbs and other specialty items.

    It certainly makes things easier!

  23. I also live in the San Diego area and was wondering where you buy your meat and what your price points were for it? Thanks!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I have recently found the best deals at Ralphs and Sprouts. I try not to pay more than $2.50/pound. It used to be $2, but that is harder to swing these days. If there’s no sale and I “need” it, I pay the $3/pound at Costco.

  24. I love the idea of one list for all the stops. Can’t wait to get my list made!

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