Friday, April 18, 2014

Saving on Groceries

As I mentioned in this earlier post, I wanted to answer two burning, frugal questions:
Q. Can you save money by comparison shopping for groceries?
A. Yes

Q. Enough to make it worth the time and trouble?
A. See below

I made a list comparing the prices of items we frequently buy in two stores that are across the street from each other.  Then I used it to make shopping list with three categories:  SuperSaver, Hy-Vee, and Either.    I used the free ad flyers we get in the mail to check out sales.  (We don't get a newspaper.)  I jotted down what we saved.

After 10 weeks, here are the totals:
Saved $116.93
Average savings per week:$11.69

However, week six we saved $51.69.  That was not normal!  So taking out what statistians call the "outlier," here are the results:
Saved: $69.83
Average per week minus outlier: $6.98 

Is it worth it for you to do the same thing?  Only you can decide that.  Saving $.6.98  a week would add up to $362.96 a year.   I'm hoping to increase the amount we save by adding more items to the list, especially meat.  It's also nice to know if 10 for $10 on yogurt is really a deal or not. (Normally .59 cents = not a deal.)  Plus if we had to pick just one store on any given busy weekend, SuperSaver is cheaper for more items, which is good to know.

It takes probably three or four hours to create and refine the comparison list, and maybe an extra 10-15 minutes each week to compare the usual prices and the sale prices with the list, plus I'd say probably an extra half an hour of shopping time.  Our per hour rate is DISMAL!  But that is true for most frugal things.  We have more time than money, so we make decisions accordingly.  I think it also gives me a tiny feeling of control in the face of rising grocery costs.

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