Grocery Geek Presents: Double Ad Days

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This week I decided to try an experiment. But before I tell you about my experiment, here’s some background.

I love my local health food stores.

You see my local health food stores have tremendous sales on fresh produce. It’s rare that I buy any fruits and veggies at the standard grocery store, because Sprouts and Henry’s have them beat. Hands down.

Not only do they have great produce sales, but they also feature great deals on bulk items like nuts, oats, and rice as well as meats and dairy products. Sprouts also has markdown breads that are a great deal. If I stay away from their processed foods, I can get a cartload of groceries for very little money.

I don’t often need to use coupons at these stores, so it makes for very easy shopping. Which is why I took the four youngest children shopping with me this week. And, no, I’m not bald. Yet.

One of the unique features about these health food stores is that they feature double ad days. In my area most grocery store ads start on Wednesday and end on Tuesday night. But, with double ad days, the two sales weeks overlap. This means that I could conceivably hit two sales cycles on one day and stretch my visits to these stores to once every two weeks.

Not only am I saving money by shopping at these stores, but I could save time if I only visit them once every two weeks.

You see where my experiment is going, right?

I bought enough produce (I think) to last us two weeks. I’m not sure. We’ll see. Is this enough?

And yes, I did buy some chips. I had coupons. 😉 Here’s what I bought:

clearance bagels – $0.99
3 clearance breads – $1.50 ea
quick oats – $0.59/lb
rolled oats – $0.59/lb
peanuts – $1.71/lb
brown rice – $0.74/lb
potato chips – $1/bag after sale and coupon
pita chips – $1.25/bag after sale and coupon
OG chicken base – $5.89
lg jar tahini – $5.29
extra lean ground beef – $1.99/lb
bean sprouts – $0.99/lb
blueberries – $1.88/18 oz
broccoli crowns – $0.77/lb
cilantro – $0.33/bunch
tomatoes – $0.77/lb
cucumbers – $0.49 ea
garlic – $0.49 ea
limes – 10/$1.00
onions – $0.77/lb
nectarines – $0.77/lb
green onions – $0.49 ea
red leaf lettuce – $0.49 ea
romaine lettuce – $0.99 ea
grapes – $0.97/lb
gala apples – $0.77/lb

I spent a total of $68.91 this week.

I will swing by Costco for the dairy products we need, but the freezer is full, so we’re good to go. I’ll keep you posted on my experiment.

How do you manage your time with grocery shopping?

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  1. I like the idea of shopping for fruits and veggies every two weeks. In fact, I would be happy shopping for food only twice a month!What I’d like to know is how you are keeping them fresh for two weeks. Thanks.

    1. We have a KitchenAid refrigerator that keeps produce really fresh for a long time. I have been amazed. That was one of the selling features 7 years ago and it has lived up to its promise.

  2. Have you tried the Debbie Meyer green bags? I’m still experimenting with them myself, but have seen very good things with broccolli and peppers so far. (Experimenting is buying duplicate produce and storing one regularly and one in a green bag.) Pineapple went bad more quickly. I still need to check things like strawbs.

    It is $10 for a box of them here. They can be washed and reused. However, I’m considering the savings in time and money with being able to shop less (in theory) and not being vulnerable to “needing” an item on an off-sale week. We have special food needs in this home and go through scads of produce–extra shopping trips are often just for produce. I better serve my husband/family by not running around so much.

    Meal planning keeps me sane. We freeze our own applesauce, strawbs (homegrown), and around 50 lbs. of blueberries and I know those are always ready for meals and smoothies.

    So much inexpensive, organic? produce is surely a blessing of living in California. No such luck here in Michigan. :^) I hope your experiment goes well.

    1. Not all of what I buy is organic, though these same stores do often have OG cheaper than regular. But, if you didn’t shop these stores, you probably wouldn’t think that produce was cheap in CA. Stores like Vons, Ralphs, and Albertsons rarely have good deals.

  3. I do the same with our CVS. On Saturdays, the two sales ad cycles ovrelap so I can shop all the deals at once. It makes sense since sometimes I can get both the sale and ECB deal at the same time. EX: Revlon is BOGO this week and next week is get $5 ECB wyb 2. If I shop on Saturday, I get both deals for Revlon!

    If Publix starts doing double ad days, that would be so wonderful!

    1. Since CVS bought Longs in CA, the deals have been blah. I’ve stopped going almost completely. So glad for you to get those deals!

  4. Wow I wish I had that store here in south FL! I am trying to use more organic especially on the dirty dozen produce, but it means more often than not, going without those things. I love Costco for the frozen organic berries and veggies (I just check that they are from usa though). Publix is very inconsistent with the fresh stuff, so I end up going to Whole Foods about once a month for some organic fresh produce. But it is PRICEY! We don’t eat meat though so I figure it all evens out.

    This fall (we are on a reversed growing season from the rest of the country-go figure) I will be trying my hand at growing a few things on my own. My parents did it this past year and saved a TON a tomatoes. So I am hoping that will happen for me too.

  5. Wow! Amazing prices on the produce. I can’t touch that!

    My kids are older, and shopping for me is almost recreational, so saving time is not a factor for me. If I could get those kids of fantastic prices, it would be a worth a drive and I would stock up, freezing what I could.

  6. I LOVE the Sprouts double ads. Their produce is absolutely delicious. And I like the food bins and reduced bread products, too. The difference between Sprouts and Ralph’s, Vons and Albertson’s is amazing in price and quality. Henry’s just opened in Tustin and I haven’t been yet. I know it’s fabulous. Went to one in Hemet.

  7. no amazing fancy stores here in IL, but I only shop every two weeks normally. If I just stay out of the store I save money, ya know? We eat fresh produce the first week and a half and once that runs out we eat frozen veggies and canned fruit. I really like it…I can hardly imagine going to the grocery store EVERY week anymore.

  8. We threw a little combination b-day party for my husband and son yesterday and I LOVE that I was able to go on Wednesday to Sprouts and get two cantaloupe for 49 cents each from one sale week and two watermelon for $1.49 each from the other sale week!! Everyone loved our fruit bowl!!