Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sam's and Aldi

So yesterday was grocery day.  At the end of last month I was with my parents when they decided to go to Sam's.  On that trip I ended up purchasing a bag of Tyson chicken nuggets, Tyson boneless skinless chicken breasts, a pack of pork loin chops, 2 pack of beef roast, pack of steak, crackers, pop tarts, an entire Toy Story outfit for little man (pants, long sleeve shirt and winter jacket; I mainly bought it for the jacket and that whole set was only $19.98!) and a drink for me.  That trip was $108!  That's a huge chunk but the meat purchased will get us through about 2-3 months.  After coming home I separated the meats into smaller packs.  The roasts I cut in half so instead of 2 meals we will get 4.  For us, cooking a whole one ends up giving us yummy leftovers but sometimes there are just too many to eat before they go bad.  I would rather have no leftovers or very few than waste food and money.

Now back to yesterday's trip.  We had to go to Sam's to pick up lobster tails.  Yep you read that right.  Not a normal purchase for us but we are having Christmas dinner with the in laws and that is the one thing they asked us to bring as they are providing everything else.  While we were there we decided to go ahead, suck it up and get the staples that we use while there.  We ended up buying fruit snacks, popcorn, tortilla chips, turkey bacon, cheddar cheese, fish fillets, creamer, Bisquick, apple juice, salsa, slice cheese, chocolate syrup, 2 packs of lobster tails, dog biscuits, a broom,  a jug of Naked Mighty Mango, cheese and crackers, 2lbs sausage, chicken and poultry spice, corn, grape jelly, strawberry jam, sugar, paper towels, and of course a drink.  I'm a sucker for those huge cups they have at the register, well that and Cherry Coke.  And the grand total $231.77.  EEEKKK!!!!!!!!!!  I would love to say that it was all because of the lobster tails but they only account for about $50, we weighed our options and some things are just cheaper to buy at Sams.  Here are a few examples. 

Example 1: Members Mark Fruit Snack 72 count $8.98.  Normally we buy Betty Crocker fruit snacks for $1.50 for a 10 count.  When we can find them on sale or take advantage of super double or triple coupons they are the best bet.  However, lately there have not been many super double and triple coupon events.

Members Mark Fruit Snacks $8.98 (approximately $.12 per pack)
Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $10.80 to get 72 based on $1.50 price per 10 (approximately $.15 per pack)
So it doesn't seem like a huge difference but it really adds up, especially in the quantities that little man likes to eat them.

Example 2: Turkey Bacon (3 packages) $5.68 = $1.89/ pack
This week at Harris Teeter they have bacon "on sale" for 2 packs for $7 = $3.50/ pack
This week at Food Lion they have Bacon 2 packs for $5= $2.50/pack
As you can see, we got a much better deal.  Out of 3 packs we will get 6 meals.  I split it in half unless we have guests and need more. (We actually had some for breakfast this morning.)

Example 3: Cheddar Cheese (2lbs) $4.98= $1.24/ 8 oz package (size we normally purchase)
Last week at Aldi I purchased 8 oz. blocks of cheddar cheese for $1.79 each; to purchase 2 lbs would have cost approximately $7.16
This week at Food Lion Kraft 5-8 oz blocks of cheese are 3 for $5= $1.66/ 8 oz package and would have cost $6.64 to purchase 2 lbs 
Again, Sam's had the better price.

Example 4: Naked Mighty Mango 64 oz bottle (8 servings) = approximately $.79 per serving.  Anyone who has ever purchased one of the Naked drinks KNOWS that they are generally about $2 per bottle and that's for maybe 2 servings.  We could have purchased a package of 8 10 oz. bottles but it was almost $3 more.  This ended up being the best bet.  This is also a good way for us to sneak in nutrition.

Example 5: Members Mark Dog Biscuits $6..48 for 8 lbs = $  .81 per lb!  We have small dogs so we don't go through dog treats very quickly. (well except that time that little man thought the dogs deserved lots of treats and dumped and almost full container of treats into their crate......yeah )  We don't buy treats often enough for me to have comparison prices and I couldn't locate any on sale at local stores for another comparison.

Those are a few of the really great deals we were able to get at Sam's.  I know that warehouse shopping is not for everyone but for us it works in moderation.  We were going every other month and it just got so expensive and unnecessary.  We now go once every 2-4 months.  Lately I've been more often, but I'm thinking that after this trip we should be able to go back to the once every 2-4 months and that should mainly be to stock up on meat/certain snacks.

Now on to Aldi.  We only went for the things that were on our list that we were unable to purchase at Sam's or that were not a good deal to purchase at Sam's.  We ended up getting another insulated bag, 3 cans green beans, 3 packages of cream cheese, 4 yogurts, gallon of milk, Parmesan cheese, butter, frozen pizza, and a package of Baklava.  No, Baklava was not a necessity but it's become a tradition for us to purchase a package every holiday season.  The hubby wanted to pick up a ginormous pack at Sam's and I talked him into waiting.  We came across a pack that was large enough for us to get our fill and was $5.99.  So I felt it was a go ahead.  Our total spent at Aldi was $23.41.

Can I just say that I will be so happy when the holidays are over and I can go back to my regular shopping and my $40 a week.  I do not like the amount we have been spending on food lately.  I know I've mentioned it before and I knew when I started the challenge that $40 every week would not always be possible, especially if we plan to continue to eat meat.  Even though we have fallen off the wagon lately we have made changes for the positive.  We are cooking and eating smaller portions and in turn having less food waste and our food is lasting longer.  I'm making meals from scratch much more often and in turn they are healthier.  I know we still have a long way to go but I think that so far this challenge has been positive for our pockets and bodies.


  1. I just wanted you to know that your blog has inspired me to be more cost conscious while grocery shopping. I found out that on Krogers website you can sign up and download electronic coupons to your Kroger Plus card account. I went to the grocery store sunday for the week and spent only $28.00 and saved $15.00 :-) I was trying to stay at around $20.00 but that is very difficult with the prices of food right now! :-)

  2. Yay! That's awesome for a week. It can be hard to lower your bill especially when you are just starting out. It was hard to adjust to the new way of shopping when I first started trying to do the $40 Challenge but the more you do it the easier it gets. Keep up the good work!