Wynne, AR

Creative ways to save money at the supermarket

Gin Lee

Hays Supermarket located in Wynne, Arkansas/Photo byGin Lee

This article was inspired by a sweet lady that I met in the Hays Food Town on March 4th, 2023, in Wynne, Arkansas. While grocery shopping, she stopped to talk to me about the high prices.

Are you a shopper who's always purchased the same items from week to week? You always knew, basically, how much your grocery bill would be? You were always able to buy what you actually went to the store for before the high costs of inflation?

These days, it's very difficult to be overly picky about buying certain items due to high prices and availability. So, what can you do to save money during your next shopping trip?

The lady whom I mentioned in my opening paragraph wanted to know how I was able to purchase all the items that I had in my cart. I am hoping to answer her questions in more detail here today while helping others as well.

To begin, it's very important to note that I only go grocery shopping once every few months. I also only go when there are good sales. Then I buy in bulk. Plus, I grow a lot of my own food and either dehydrate, can or freeze it.

Hays sale insert/Photo byGin Lee

This week, Hays supermarket is having a pretty good sale. Ten-pound bags of chicken leg quarters are on sale for $4.90, Bar S jumbo wieners are two for $4.00, a fifteen-pound box of catfish nuggets is $16.99, and sodas are three twelve-packs for $13.00. (This particular sale will end on Tuesday.)

Hays sale insert/Photo byGin Lee

So, if you were to purchase the catfish nuggets, they would cost a little over a dollar per pound, and the ten-pound bag of chicken would equal 49 cents per pound. In today's times, that's pretty good and probably the cheapest price you're going to find in our area.

My strategic grocery shopping plan is to only purchase the (really good) sale items and skip all the other aisles. If you walk around the entire store, you'll be tempted to purchase more items. If you're trying to save money that's a big no!

8 more creative ways to save money while grocery shopping:

  1. If there's not a good sale on meat products, buy meat bundles instead. When I purchase meat, I generally buy at least one to two meat bundles (when there aren't any good sales on any).
  2. If you've always bought fresh produce but now you can't afford it, go to the freezer department and buy frozen fruit and vegetables. I know the texture is going to be different, but the nutrients will still be the same. Nope, you're not going to find stuff to make a fresh salad in the frozen selection, but you'll still be able to get some of your produce there. Plus, it will save you a little on your grocery bill.
  3. If you're buying off-brand products and thinking that you're saving money, make sure that you check the prices, list of ingredients and ounces. A lot of the off-brands (as well as name brands) are skimping on the ounces and ingredients. I have also found that the prices on some of the off-brands are actually higher than those of the named brands.
  4. Instead of purchasing lunch meat for sandwiches, buy a whole ham, turkey, chicken, or whatever you can find cheap enough for your grocery budget. Then cook it and slice it thin for sandwiches. Make meatloaves and do the same. Meatloaves don't have to be made just from ground beef. You can also use ground chicken, ground turkey, ground venison, ground pork, etc. Doing this will make a lot more meals, and it will actually save you money in the long run.
  5. Don't buy canned chili, stew, or soups. It's so much cheaper to make these items yourself. Plus, it's also healthier for you and saves a lot of money.
  6. If you can't afford eggs, use egg substitutes. Today, I didn't even bother to check the egg prices. (I still refuse to pay those steep prices for them.)
  7. Create your own frozen TV dinners. The store-bought frozen dinners are also skimping on the amount of protein that they once had and now have less of. Meaning you're not getting the same product that you once were getting, nor are you getting the same amount, but you're paying double and sometimes triple the price. This, unfortunately, is the case for several products. So, if you like having TV dinners in your freezer, take one day out of the week to cook meals. Then portion the food out in separate containers to create your own frozen dinners to have on hand.
  8. When possible, shop in the $1.25 aisle for items such as spices, condiments, sauces, pasta, baking mixes, cooking oil, medicines, cleaners, etc.

To conclude, if higher prices weren't already hard enough to swallow. The packages on everything keep shrinking, while the quality of each product keeps going on a downward spiral. Another example is that various companies have switched back to using corn syrup in their products and are no longer using a better grade of sugar.

So, be vigilant while you are grocery shopping. Check the ounces as well as the list of ingredients. Make sure that you're getting the most and the best for your hard-earned dollars.

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About the author: Gin Lee is a native of Arkansas. She studied at the Institute of Children's Literature. She is an animal rescuer, food critic, organic gardener, food editor, home cook, food blogger, artist, and a complete do-it-yourselfer. Gin Lee is a published author, journalist, and contributor, among other works, and she resides in a rural town in Arkansas with her husband and their fur babies, Highway, Princess, and Stinkpot the turtle. A huge thanks goes out to all for reading, following, and sharing Gin Lee's articles! Thank you! Since Gin Lee lives in a rural area, there's not much local news to cover. So, she covers articles of interest on how-to's about organic gardening, recipes, homesteading, and survival techniques. If those things are of interest to you, then you'll never (hopefully) be disappointed. She tries to cover a wide variety of articles to entertain everyone. Comments are turned off due to rudeness and hatefulness. The world has enough vulgarity, hatefulness, and arrogance without it having any help. Since having the simple courtesy of manners is lacking and sharing words of kindness does not abide in a few people. Those few people ruin what's supposed to be educational and an enjoyable experience for all others. Gin Lee does have children and young adults that are followers. Potty mouths, vulgarity, and hate are not acceptable. Apologies go out to those of you who generally are very sweet and also to Gin Lee's followers who have been a witness to others being rude and malicious. Hopefully, you'll be understanding of the measures that have to be put into place. Please be kind to one another.

Hickory Ridge, AR

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