I’m feeling super accomplished today. I cleaned part of our basement (I’m doing a quadrant at a time), took Ranger to the park, did four loads of laundry, and picked raspberries from our garden.
I also did our grocery shopping, which turned out to be a mistake on a Sunday afternoon! However, it is done, the fridge and pantry are amply stocked, and I know I got a great deal on my items because I comparison shopped!
Comparison shopping doesn’t have to be a hassle
The idea of comparison shopping always seemed like such a bother to me. I had visions of myself combing through receipts piled high on the dining room table or carrying a purse of receipts while in the grocery store, backing up traffic while I penned notes in front of the shelves.
And how could I possibly keep track of the prices of every store in our area and every item?
We enjoy food and we aren’t the type of people who eat the same menu every week. We like to switch it up, try new things, and diversify. I imagined this would make comparison shopping even harder as I might buy a pablano pepper only every six months, or a bag of oyster crackers only once a winter. Surely, I wasn’t going to keep notes for that long.
And what about sales? How did the price of an item while on sale factor into the comparison shopping, when sales are random and can’t be counted on? Ugh! In disgust at the whole idea, I always pushed it to the side.
But I knew I was missing out on savings. Savings that could be put toward my student loans. Luckily, I found a very simple solution.
Here’s how I comparison shop to save money at the grocery store each week
1. Make my list.
I’ll add here that first I look in the pantry and fridge to see what we already can make a meal from, and what I can scratch from my list.
2. I log onto my my grocer’s website, Kroger.com
Kroger does curbside pickup and food delivery, which means all their prices are online. I take my paper list and go through each item by searching for it on their website. I write the price of the item next to it on the list.
3. I take said list and travel to Aldi.
With my list in hand, I can quickly see the item on the shelf at Aldi, and compare the price of it to what’s on my list, Kroger’s price. This takes only a glance.
4. If there is anything at Aldi that is more expensive, I leave it there and buy it at Kroger, stopping on my way home.
Each week this all takes me a total of four minutes. But, why only Kroger? Well, that’s a good question. It’s the closest store to us in the area. Yes, we have a Walmart and Meijer, but it’s a longer drive and it’s not on the way to or from anything. Add as many stores as you like into your own comparison, if they list prices online it should be just as easy!
I’ve come to realize over time that Aldi is simply the cheaper option. That being said, Kroger can have great sales, which makes perusing their site worthwhile. Their website works great for displaying digital coupons when you search for your item, often if the item does have a coupon then it is cheaper than the Aldi version.
Here’s a list of other stores that provide prices online
Walmart, Meijer, Whole Foods, and likely any grocer that delivers groceries or provides curbside pickup.
The next time you’re about to head out to shop, make your list and then quickly log into your computer to find great savings. A little elbow grease could save you hundreds, even thousands over the course of the year.