A Wife Loved Like The Church

Oh, wow.

Posted on: March 2, 2009

Not to long ago we established that I am lazy but really need to be more mindful about where and how I spend our grocery money. So, last night I sat down with Hy-Vee, Fareway and Wal-Mart’s ads to make my grocery plans for the month (or close to it). It took me an hour and a half. Now, granted, I was doing my month meal schedule at the same time, while watching National Treasure 2, but still. 

After Mabel woke up from her morning nap I was able to hit up New Pi and Hy-Vee. I scored some pretty good deals (in my mind) at Hy-Vee. We came home to eat lunch with Jonathan and then back out to Wal-Mart and Fareway (where I found 6 bell peppers for .59 cents total!). All in all, I spent 2 hours going from one store to another. And can I just say, I hated it. Alright, for someone who is lazy and likes to shop at one store and one store only, I sure wasn’t digging spending the better part of my day driving around to 4 different stores. And Julia really didn’t like it. Especially when she lost it in the Wal-Mart check out and got a spanking.


Which makes me realize, Mondays are no longer my “grocery” days. We get Hy-Vee and Fareway ads delivered on Wednesdays, New-Pi’s are online, along with Wal-Mart’s. So, my new plan of action:

Mondays store run will be for “essential” items – cereal, milk, veggies for the week, etc.

Thursdays will be hitting up any deals that were posted from Hy-Vee and Fareway.

And random runs to New Pi thrown in throughout the week (it sure is nice that Jonathan works right next door!). 

I think I’ll keep tweeking my plans as I go, but that’s what I thought would be best for now. I’m good with groceries till middle of next week (save for fruits and veggies), but I plan to still watch for whatever goes on sale this weekend. 

What days do you shop? Is there a method to your madness? And if you have kiddos… how in the heck do you do it?!

8 Responses to "Oh, wow."

Hey Sarah,

As you know I don’t yet have the challenge of shopping with any kiddos. I know Laura and Laryssa have pretty much just given up on the idea of going to more than one store with their respective broods in tow.

But, here’s my basic plan of action. I’m shopping by myself either before or after work so I have to keep it to an hour or so. I go to three stores every week and sometimes I make a splurge trip to Whole Foods. I start at Kroger because it’s the nicest of the three stores and has organic/natural items I can’t find at the other stores. Next stop is Aldi where I basically buy everything on my list that I can. I wind up at Wal Mart buying the items that ((SIGH)) only Wal-Mart carries in our very small town. I’ve also started getting in the habit of picking up the Sunday paper when I shop on Mondays so I won’t have to subscribe and I can cut coupons for the following week. The Sunday paper is only $1 after Sunday has faded so it is good deal too. It only takes a few coupons to make it worthwhile. I also really watch the online ads for CVS and Walgreens. That can really cut costs for Hair and personal care products if you have coupons on top of their special offers. Well, that’s about it for me. I look forward to reading what the other gals (or guys???) have to share. Thanks for bearing with this incredibly long comment!!!!! SP

I’ve been able to look at HyVee’s ad online before, so that might simplify a little bit. Also, if there’s a store that’s more out of my way (Fareway) or that I hate going to (Walmart) or that seems to have fewer low prices on things you often buy (HyVee), I’ll just cut the trip to the store that seems least convenient, unless the price on something is just that unbelievable. Or, I’ll only go if I happen to be on that side of town. I don’t have kids to tow around with me, however, grocery shopping at a busy time of day stinks no matter what. I avoid shopping around lunch time and between 3:30 and 7:00. I’ve had to do some Walmart runs for gelato supplies in the mornings before, and I’ve found that 7:30-9:30 is one of the least obnoxious times to shop at Walmart.

Let me know how your new plans work!

I think well-timed snacks for kids can be a great life-saver when needing to do a bunch of shopping. My kids think it is such a great treat to purchase a cheese stick or a little container of yogurt (or sometimes a cookie from the bakery!) and then eat it in between stores. The buck or two spent is well worth it! Of course snacks from home work too…but especially once kids are old enough to know the difference (like Madeline is), it makes it more of something to look forward to if you are actually buying the treat there.

And I have to admit I really like the pretzel and soda combo at Target…the kids get the pretzel and I get the diet coke! 🙂

I generally try and alternate weeks between stores…one week I do Aldi and the other week I do either Super Target or Cub or Rainbow. Most of these non-Aldi weeks it is Super Target though, for the obvious convenience of everything you can buy there! (We don’t have Super Wal Mart anywhere close by…I am sure that would be even better!).

If there is something I absolutely can’t miss at Cub or Rainbow, sometimes I make a quick run by myself at night.

What a day for you girls! I am thankful we didn’t add to all that! OY!

It took a while, but I mapped out a driving route that was good for time and sanity for us. I actually took out some stores for sanity/time’s sake, which when I compared the savings, and as my husband always reminds me, my time is valuable, made it ok to do so. (Which is JUST me, :)!)

I am terrible at couponing and am not a bargain whiz like other amazing mamas we know, but I am game for using weekly ads/online emails, but I fail to do this side in advance. I AM really big on writing out my entire list and menu and taking both to the store with me and not buying extra things on my list unless I cross off other things, that way I avoid buying more food than we consume in a week. I write up my menu/list in such a way that if say noodles are on sale and I had down lentils, I can easily switch to lentils, or I put a generic 3 lbs fruit or 2 lbs fresh veggies on my list and buy what is best priced that week.

The 4 of us can maintain joyful attitudes for only two consecutive stores and that’s it. From where we live (and when I don’t have a bum foot) I go grocery shopping on Monday and I go to Fareway first because it is farthest away. I have their prices memorized and a lot of essentials can be purchased there that are healthy, good quality and cheap in my book. Then, on our way home we go to HyVee for the things that I know are cheaper there or FW doesn’t have.

Then after our library day, either Thur or Fri, we go to either the Bread Garden or New Pi. I plan my menu around that delay of shopping as well.

I do avoid Walmart and try to go there only once every two months for household stuff, and then I seriously only buy what is on my list and I write down and nothing else. While they have great prices on some food items, I have found I actually spend more $ when I go to Walmart because I end up with a lot of other random items not on my list and then my budget is blown! OY! That is probably just me, but it always turns into a sinkhole in my budget so I try to limit my Walmart exposure as much as possible.

I tell you what though, due to my bum foot, we have done grocery shopping as a family on Sunday and only at HyVee and the amount of $ we spend is double what I normally spend at the FW / HV / New Pi combo, crazy!

PHEW! “SP’s” length looks tiny compared to this mess! I love you Sarah! You are an amazing lady!

Here is a quick tip.. It’s kind of a more of a plan in advance see if there is anything you want for the upcoming week kind of tip but I use it a lot..

You can look at the upcoming Hy-Vee’s ad online on Monday for Wednesday.. by clicking on Austin MN… All Hy-Vee ad’s are the same.. they just come out on different days.

Sometimes Hy-Vee will offer something this week for say 4.50 but next week it will be 3.99 so it’s good to be able to look at the ad a week ahead of time and also it’s good to keep some kind of general idea what a good price of an item is, so when its on sale you’ll know if its a good sale or not, and if you should or shouldn’t buy it.

hope that helps.. good luck! 🙂 and

p.s. I agree.. time is money 🙂


Hey again,

Yes Dana is exactly right – THE LIST IS EVERYTHING! I shop weekly because of buying fresh fruits and veggies so I make a weekly menu and follow it to a tee as much as possible. I have found that the weeks that I make multiple trips to the grocery, I always spend more than my budget. If I shop on one day, with a list and a menu, I come in at or under budget nearly every time. The only times I still go over are the weeks that it seems like we run out of detergent, shampoo, dishwasher soap, floor cleaner, dog food, etc. etc. etc. all at once! LOL SP

[…] the beginning of March I’ve been trying to be more resourceful and mindful of my grocery shopping. I’ve been going through the local store ads, buying items in advance when they’re on […]

[…] scored an amazing deal at Fareway on fruit (just one more reason why I love them); added a salad and presto! a delicious but easy […]

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