Frugal Friday: Learning to Save in a New Part of the Country

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Relocations are happening all around us, especially in the height of summer. Moving itself can be expensive. There’s the transportation, the boxes, the deposits, not to mention setting up shop in a new home. Often brooms and trash cans don’t make the trip.

But, what about learning the ropes in a new area? That can be tough, too. You know where all the good deals are in your old town and now you need to figure it out all over again? Ugh!

Frugal Relocating

Here are some ideas to consider as you get a move on.

  1. Give yourself a break. You are learning all over again. And that’s okay. The dust will settle, and you will figure it out.
  2. Don’t worry about nabbing the deals right away. Get the groceries you need to get by for a week or two. In my experience, Walmart has the lowest prices all around. They might not beat sale prices elsewhere. But, for one-stop shopping, it’s a good bet. And Walmart is everywhere….
  3. Research. Spend some time doing online searching of your local grocery stores. Check out MoneySavingMom’s Database of Store Deals. Visit your store’s websites and browse their online ads. Walk the aisles when you’re not in a hurry. Take note of prices. Talk with customer service and find out about their coupon policies.
  4. Talk with friends. As you meet people and develop comfort with them, ask where they do their shopping. You may find some local secrets you wouldn’t otherwise discover on your own.
  5. Have fun. Just because you’re pinching your pennies, don’t feel like fun is excluded. Consider ways to enjoy summertime on a dime. Visit your local library. Head to City Hall and ask about community events.
  6. Be patient. It will come in time. You may have been a grocery geek back home, you’ll get there once again. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy the new adventure.

What do you do to save money?

Share your favorite money-saving ideas today. Leave a link to a post that shares some frugal wisdom. (Please no giveaways or deals posts. Teach us how to fish!)

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  1. Great topic and suggestions. We moved from Kentucky to Florida last December. I was used to one stop shopping at Kroger for all of my grocery deals. That’s just not possible here. To prepare for the transition, I asked for gift cards to Target, WalMart and Publix for Christmas. This helped us rebuild our pantry and gave me time to learn the stores around here. I learned that I can rarely find good bread deals at the grocery stores here but I found a bakery outlet nearby that sales the Nature’s Own bread that we love. Once every week or two I go there for bread. I also learned that I just had to accept paying more for milk. I use coupons when I can and don’t worry about the extra $1 the rest of the time. I also had to accept that I would just have to shop at multiple stores each week to be able to keep my grocery budget in check. I choose the stores that have the best deals each week and shop there. I spend a little more time shopping but not much since I’m generally not buying a lot of items at each store. Seven months after moving I’m pretty much settled in to my new shopping routine. I still miss my Kroger but those B1G1 sales at Publix makes it a little easier to deal with.

  2. Hi! My entry today is a healthy Bittman chocolate chip cookie recipe I made to serve at a tea party with my grown daughters who wanted to use their childhood tea set again! It was divine, and the cookies were pretty good too! Thanks for sharing your space with us today and I totally agree with your tips on relocating and re-organizing your savings plan! ๐Ÿ™‚ [email protected]

  3. We moved just 30 minutes away from our old home, while I thought it would be so easy since we’re in the same general vicinity, it wasn’t. While grocery shopping became easier when I became more acquainted with couponing over here, it’s still been hard to find the activities that I took for granted at our old home! So we’re still slowly working on that!

  4. I think that is excellent advice! I use to be in the military and became a quick pro at moving. The Wal-Mart tip is SO true! That s what I would always do until I got my bearings. I also use to make a game out of it and would pick on place that was just a little further down the road than I had ventured, and make myself go there and check it out. It gets you to know the streets better, and you might just pass some place along the way you didn’t know was there!

  5. As someone who is living in their 7th house in 7 years, learning the frugal ways of your area is very important!
    While cross country moves are hard, sometimes a cross city move can be the hardest when it comes to saving money.
    Many times your favorite frugal spot is now 30-45 minutes away so shopping their isn’t so frugal anymore. It takes time to learn the area and find where the best deals can be found!
    Great post.


  6. Even though we haven’t had to move in a while (12 years), I’m *still* learning the frugal ropes of my area. What has helped me incredibly is a dear friend of mine who has been giving me frugal tips since the day we met 8 years ago! One of the FASTEST way to make friends is to be genuine and humble, and when someone gives you a great tip – THANK THEM. For a frugal friend who gives you great tips, an extra bag of apples (on sale!) says “thank you” even louder. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (As I get my blog up and running again, I hope it is ok to link up my “old” Frugal Fridays posts, since all the old links are broken.)

  7. Great post. Just wanted to let you know I check you blog everyday and always find useful information. I’m new to blogging and am trying to figure how to do all the links. Sorry for the mistake I made when trying to link the first time.

  8. I made a 200MI+ move 5 years ago after living in the same place for over 20 yrs. (now I’m shopping where there are NO double qs. Ouch)
    Best suggestion? Go to new store(s) on a scouting expedition to see the layout and brands. When I know where things are, I can make my grocery list in the order of location. No unnecessary trips down aisles.
    Armed with my ‘grocery geek’ shopping list, I can move fast.
    No kids, I can do “ninja” shopping–even on the day before Thanksgiving–without breaking a sweat.

  9. Well the first 20 yrs of our marriage(been married 28 yrs) we moved about 16 times what I found that helped me was I packed enough clothes for each person for at least a week .I put pants or whatever is in season down first then undies and socks then shirt fold it in half and pack.It work really good for small children.Just came back from the mid west and everyone has a backpack the clothes go in the kids know only to take one set of clothes out at a time.For food I always pack a box of quick foods for at least a week with paper plates,paper towels,wipes plastic forks and such and all that gets packed in my car.I always pack it so hubby doesn’t put it somewhere .LOL Until I can go on the hunt for cheap stores .Which is always fun.

  10. Yes! Especially about giving yourself time.

    We used to move a lot, and we learned that the most important thing is to connect to people in your new neighborhood. Then you’ll have the energy to go out bargain hunting; otherwise you’ll sit at home in tears.

    Annie Kate

  11. It was strange for me to move from VA to FL. No more Food Lion. In fact all the stores were completely different. On the upside, the WalMarts here are all Super. I just price-matched for a few years until last year when they opened Publix. Now we get better deals. Still no triple coupons like at Kroger. But hey, at least it’s not WalMart!

  12. Good suggestions! It took me almost a year to get the hang of it all in a new place. I focused first on the “drug store game” and then turned my attention to the grocery stores. Because we keep kosher and our meat and dairy products are much more expensive (and no coupon sources that I’ve found yet), I have to take it incrementally. That’s what I love about your 1st tip, to give myself a bit of a break if it doesn’t all happen instantly.

  13. Great advice! We moved to our current house two years ago and it is only recently that I’ve really gotten the hang of learning where the good deals are to be had!