April 15 @ 8:30 am
If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a bargain hunter when it comes to grocery shopping. Over the years I’ve developed several strategies that save me the most money, and I’m always happy to share them.
I always start by looking at my local stores’ weekly sales ads to see who’s got the cheapest groceries. After that, I plan my weekly menu around the items I’ve found on sale, and match coupons with all the items on my grocery list. Doing this usually saves me about 40 percent on my grocery bill!
Sometimes this method requires me to split my shopping between two different grocery stores. Usually, I’ll start with the store that has the best deals on the seafood and meat I have on my shopping list. This is because meat is usually the most expensive item in my cart!
My feeling is, if it takes me 20 minutes to review what’s on sale at all the local stores, build my list, and find coupons to slash my grocery bill, it’s well worth my time. I actually enjoy the process and I definitely enjoy the savings total at the bottom of my receipt!
Sometimes I’m asked whether shopping at different stores is really worth the travel time and extra gas money. If you take a look, you’ll see there’s a difference in prices between your local stores even though they may all be near each other. Of course, sometimes a price difference may also mean the quality is higher or lower, but these price differences also mean there’s a choice for where you shop and how much you spend.
Sometimes prices at different stores can be shocking — in both a good or bad way! That’s why it’s a good idea to find out who has the cheapest groceries each week by checking the weekly ads and clipping online coupons.
To prove just how shocking price differences between grocery stores can be, I picked one simple recipe for Skillet Parmesan Chicken (I added spaghetti to round it out), and shopped for the ingredients at five different grocery stores near me.
I was shocked to find out which store was cheapest — it was not the store I thought it would be! Read on to find out where my grocery list rang in at the lowest cost — and which two surprising stores almost tied!
Watch Jeanette in action as she shows you how to meal plan with coupons!
My grocery shopping list for Skillet Parmesan Chicken
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
- Parmesan cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Marinara sauce
My Whole Foods Grocery Bill
Source: Susan Montgomery
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast: $8.98
- Parmesan cheese: $3.99
- Mozzarella cheese: $4.49
- Spaghetti: $1.09
- Marinara sauce: $1.99
Whole Foods total: $20.54
What a surprise! I expected my bill at Whole Foods to be the highest (or close to the highest) of the bunch. But instead I was happy — and a bit surprised — to see the prices at Whole Foods were relatively low compared to the other stores.
My Walmart Grocery Bill
Source: Ken Wolter
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast: $11.18
- Parmesan cheese: $3.74
- Mozzarella cheese: $2.50
- Spaghetti: $1.38
- Marinara sauce: $1.98
Walmart total: $20.78
This is another big surprise. I expected my bill at Walmart to ring in under Whole Foods, but the higher price on the chicken breast meant my receipts almost tied — a shopping trip to Walmart actually costs more in this case!
Pair your grocery store research with these recipes for cheap and easy meals!
My Trader Joe’s Grocery Bill
Source: Roman Tiraspolsky
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast: $10.98
- Parmesan cheese: $5.49
- Mozzarella cheese: $3.79
- Spaghetti: 99 cents
- Marinara sauce: $1.79
Trader Joe’s total: $22.95
My Mollie Stone’s Grocery Bill
Source: Mollie Stone’s
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast: $13.98
- Parmesan cheese: $3.99
- Mozzarella cheese: $6.59
- Spaghetti: $2.39
- Marinara sauce: $3.69
Mollie Stone’s total: $30.64
I love shopping at Mollie Stone’s. Unique to Northern California, it’s a local gourmet grocery that only carries natural and organic products from local producers in the Bay Area. Normally I can find some great deals there, but this grocery bill really surprised me!
My Safeway Grocery Bill
Source: Andriy Blokhin
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast: $10.79
- Parmesan cheese: $3.99 (with Safeway club discount)
- Mozzarella cheese: $4
- Spaghetti: $1.19
- Marinara sauce: $2 (with Safeway club discount)
Safeway total: $21.97
My Target Grocery Bill
Source: Supannee Hickman
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast: $5.60
- Parmesan cheese: $2.49
- Mozzarella cheese: $5.39
- Spaghetti: $1.22
- Marinara sauce: $2.32
Target total: $17.02
Ding ding ding! We have a winner! My shopping trip to Target is the perfect example of why checking the weekly ads is so important. You never know when you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a sale on meat or other items on your grocery list!