Friday, January 04, 2013

Saving Money at Dollar Stores for Groceries and Other Items

I give up! I'm tired of coupons and searching for sales at the grocery stores. Since food prices have risen, food has actually become the same or less expensive per ounce at the dollar stores. I used to purchases larger sizes to penny pinch per ounce, but it's hardly worth it now - the gap is closing fast. It's also a hassle to store the larger sizes, break them down, and keep them fresh until our small family of four uses it up.

My husband and I have lost thirty pounds each, and we will be on a low calorie diet for life. We use much less food, and our dollar store now has convenient smaller bags of frozen fruit and veggies, cream cheese, low calorie healthy ingredient frozen meals(Chinese, Jamaican, and healthy choice or lean cuisine(low sodium ones). They even sell frozen chicken, eggs, cheese, bread, sugar, milk, salt, baking soda, vinegar, 100% juices, steel cut oats, etc. I have one other source for low cost foods, mostly for fat free yogurts, chicken(.69 cents a pound for thighs) and turkeys, and that is our discount grocery, Save-A-Lot. I get my mixed salad greens at a higher price range grocery store because they are very fresh, organic and last me a week. I got an organic mixed greens salad at Wallyworld that only lasted me a few days before it became a soggy mess. I had to dump almost the entire carton out!

I also buy my trash bags at the dollar stores(scented 28 count), and condiments, spices, dish soap, drain cleaner, sponges, cleaning supplies, toys, craft supplies, storage containers, socks, hair accessories, hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, kitchen tools, school supplies, medicines, feminine products, and much more.

I'm now seeing $40-50 food receipts when I go shopping, just like a few years ago. We are using less, wasting less, and my waist line is shrinking! I'm still very careful about checking ingredients, and the dollar store(our local Dollar Tree) has been stocking healthier foods now. I was so surprised to see 100% steel cut oats there! Some of their canned foods are a bit more expensive than our discount grocery, so I'm careful about this.

Anyway, we are making do with less and keeping to a diet of more whole foods, or at least food products with more whole food ingredients. We are using Dr. A's Habits of Health: The path to permanent Weight Control and Optimal Health nutrition book as a guide.

Check out the .99 Cent Chef for free recipes. He has a good salmon cake recipe, but I substitute butter beans for the bread crumbs for a lower carb option .


Eva said...

Good for you, Alexandra. That must make you feel good! Our dollar stores don't sell anything like that, mostly just some cans of food and some dry goods.

Debbie J said...

I need to make a trip to our DT and slowly go through checking prices. Wow, you two have done well with losing weight!

Ami said...

Wow, i usually skip the grocery aisle at our Dollar Tree, but I may have to go back and check it out again. I am extremely anal about grocery prices - I have a spreadsheet I keep in a folder, with the usual prices per ounce or pound of everything I buy regularly, at each of the local grocery stores. Paper towels drive me crazy - great, you have eight rolls to their ten, but how much pre square foot is that???

This week one had pork chops for 79 cents a pound - because they were 'mis-cut' (odd-shaped, surprisingly few bones). I bought twenty pounds! Thanks goodness for freezers:)

Thanks for the tips!

Alexandra said...

Some things are not a good deal...paper towels are cheaper for me at the Dollar General. Scott's TP is less expensive at Dollar General as well. I use their weekly instore $5.00 coupon.

If you order online, you can get a discount(see recent post about this) at the Dollar Tree, and now they accept coupons.

There is a generic dollar store at a local mall that has fabulous stuff! I buy all our socks and stockings there.They carry a lot of other neat stuff that other dollar stores don't.

I think dollar store stock varies, but around here they seem to carry the same stuff. I went to a Dollar Tree in NJ and they had even better items in the produce area.

If you buy bulk, you'll probably do better to stick to that, but like I said, we can't get through things fast enough to keep them fresh, nor do we have the room. It's worth a check though. The spices are always a good deal. The wheat bread, frozen mixed veggies, and some of the canned items are always a good deal. They have regular sized Hunts spaghetti sauce, but it's not the kind I like to buy...I get the one with real sugar at Big Lots rather than the corn syrup stuff.

When i used to buy that brand of spaghetti sauce it was .79 cents at Save-A-Lot, now it's over a dollar!

Alexandra said...

BTW, great deal on the chops! I'd have bought a bunch too...we have a floor freezer for meats. My husband gets deer meat at work, and we stock up.Right now I've got it full of turkeys!

Alexandra said...

Not Hunts spaghetti sauce...Del Monte. Opps.

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