Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Mama Told Me, You'd Better Shop Around!

Well, Momma was right.  Call her up, tell her she was right and you should have listened.  It'll make her day.  If y'all get nothing else from this blog, get this

The First Rule of Tightwadery:


Focus on what I said now, you need to actually KNOW for actual FACT how much that kumquat costs at at least one other store if you want to get the best deal.  Don't assume that just because you're buying a kumquat at Walmart you are getting the best deal.  Also don't assume that because the store is having a GIANT KUMQUAT SALE! that you are getting the best deal in town.  In both of these cases, you probably are not.

I know what you're thinking, "Little Mama, does that mean I have to go drive all over creation checking prices?  Cause I just don't need to save a few cents on a kumquat that bad!"  Well, let me reassure you.  Yes, you DO need to save a few cents on a kumquat if you can, that is the whole point of tightwadery, and no, you do not need to drive all over creation.  Let me introduce you to the LOSS LEADER!


I will almost bet you have one of these in your house right now.  Probably in a BIG stack of newspapers and junkmail.  Haven't ever looked at one? Here's why you should.

"Loss Leader": Sale ads sent out weekly by most grocery stores in junk mail packets and/or newspapers advertising weekly specials, including DEEPLY DISCOUNTED PRODUCT THE STORE IS OFFERING AT A LOSS TO LEAD YOU INTO THE STORE!!!!

That's right, the grocery stores sell a few things every single week at such a discount they lose money on it just to tempt you into the store.  And they advertise them.  And send the ads, with prices, straight to your house.  For free.  They are also available online at the grocery store websites! Comparison shopping on your couch, in your jammies with a White Russian.  HOORAY for technology!

How to save money on your groceries?

ONLY BUY LOSS LEADERS!  Stock up when it's on sale, never pay full price again.  But more on that later.

***CAUTION!*** not all loss leaders are alike!  Also, not all products in the loss leader are great deals!  Case in point, this week's best seasonal Loss Leader


My city happens to bless me with six (6!) major grocery stores within a few miles.  Every one of them is offering srrawberries as a front-page deal on their loss-leaders. I only pay $1 per pound for any produce. Strawberries are a good deal for about two weeks a year where I live.  Let's see if I can buy some this week:
Fiesta -                                                                  Kroger -
DOUBLE my budget!                                            Better, but not really.
Albertsons:                                                              Aldi:
2lbs for $3=1lb for $1.50 NOPE!                           $1.49 a pound.  Nyet.

Tom Thumb:                                                       Sprouts:
$1.47/pound.  NO NO NO!!                             $.99lb.  DING DING DING!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! 

Important to note here, the "value" store here is actually charging the most, and the "Boutique" stores are offering the lowest prices!  This proves my point:

Never ever assume you know the price based on a store's reputation!

So go grab that pile of junkmail and filter through it, you might just be surprised.

More loss-leader treasures later!  Until then, happy penny-pinching!

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