Act 330

Two for one can be confusing but fun

This morning on my way to school with the kids, I saw an electronic billboard at my local grocery store promoting a two for one meat deal. Now, while I really dislike the barrage of digital signage that has invaded my town, I have to say, this message made an impact. So, after school, we stopped in to check out the deal. It wasn’t all meat, just some of it. But for $35, I got my basic groceries for the next couple of days and 6 packages of meat including ribs, pork steaks and ground beef. I saved twenty bucks easy. I’m happy. Even if I do still really dislike those obnoxious signs. I’m not sure why they would run a sale like that. There’s no way they’re making any money especially if customers only buy what’s on sale. Groceries is a nickel and dime business although it’s certainly one that’s seemed to increase the wealth of the Weston family of Loblaws whose worth has increased considerably in the last year.

Sometimes I just don’t get it. But even if I don’t get it, if I can still save a few bucks, I can live with it.

Act 266

Be productive in the produce department

I always thought that bulk purchases would be cheaper than single units in the produce department. Turns out, I was wrong.

When you’re shopping for produce, be productive and do the math. I managed to save a few bucks by reading the prices despite the chaos that is created by pricing some things in pounds and some things in kilos. Do you think they do that on purpose?

I’m pleased to see that Christmas oranges have made their way back to the grocery store. So pleased in fact, I considered buying a great big box in an effort to get a good deal. $5.99 for 5 lbs. Only to discover that I could buy them as singles for .99/lb. Same for carrots. I was committed to a 5lb bag for $4.99 when I discovered I could buy them for .89 a pound as singles. I saved a few bucks by doing the math. Who says math’s not useful outside of school. It’s plenty useful. So use it. Especially in the produce department.

Act 241

Discover the thrill of no frill

Salmon Arm recently saw the opening of a No Frills grocery store. We are not short of grocery stores in this town. Seems we’re quite find of food in general. Great markets, great grocers, great farmers.

But this No Frills store is really quite something. I saved at least half of what I expected to spend by opting to go there this afternoon for a few items. Yes, I cherry picked and purchased no name goods but my budget is well intact and my patronage is assured for much time to come. And I wasn’t alone. It was busy (it is a long weekend afterall) with people who I would normally see at the local grocers.

The store was renovated some months ago. It’s bright, clean and quite modern. The selection is good and it’s well signed. Maybe the saying should go “if you build it right, bright, clean and well designed, they will come.” Because they have.

Truth be told, if I were the other grocery stores in town (including the big box one about to open at the end of town), I’d be keeping an eye on this one which has shown me that there can be a thrill when shopping no frill.

Act 13

Shop small.

I love grocery shopping. It’s like a fun game for me. Recently I’ve challenged myself to only use the little carts which forces me to only buy a few items at a time. I try to avoid the middle aisles and stick to the outside ones instead (bread, dairy, meat, fruit and veg only).

Some would argue that it’s better to meal plan and shop for a week or more at a time but I find the shop small strategy is easier on my cash flow and keeps my budget in check.

And since I love to grocery shop anyway, I’m happy to visit more than once a week.

Act 07

Go for Lunch at the Grocery Store

It’s good to get out of the office or the workplace at lunch. Trouble is, if I go for lunch every day at my favourite place (I have a few), those daily visits can cost upwards of $3,000 a year. So I’ll keep them for special occasions and visit the grocery store at lunch where there is a great selection of well priced single serve items like fruits, dairy, baked goods and deli items.