Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why I (Usually) Buy Name Brand

As many of you know, I've rarely met a bargain I didn't like. I really enjoy hunting for one and the satisfied feeling I get when I've found one. I also like grocery shopping, for real! This is probably mostly due to the fact that I typically find at least a couple of bargains while I'm there. In fact, since starting to purchase my own groceries, better than five years ago now, I've pretty much stopped making my grocery purchases based on what we're having to eat that week (with the exception of dairy and produce, of course) and instead making a list based on what's truly on sale. I have a fairly well-stocked pantry, so if we're having pasta, I've already purchased that when it was a good deal and I don't have to pay full price.

Significantly improving my ability to shop ahead is my chest freezer. My parents gave us one when we bought this house and if it were to die now, we'd immediately go out and purchase another, it saves us that much!

Anyway, all this to say that I'm going to post about my grocery shopping trip from yesterday, so if that type of thing bores you, it might be time to look away. But, this was probably one of my best trips ever, so I'd like to record it for my own personal memory, and I figured it might interest a couple of you in the process. If not, I'll be back with something more kid-focused later this week. We just got a Flip, so look for videos coming soon!

Without further ado here's a picture of my table after I unloaded my groceries from yesterdays shopping:

What would you guess I paid for all that stuff? (As a note, I realize it looks like I went crazy on the oatmeal and cereal purchases--however, both James and I eat oatmeal for breakfast nearly everyday, I make my own granola, and I have two kids 3 and under, so Cheerios go FAST! Same it true of the string cheese...)

Are you ready...wait for it comes....
Yep, that's right, just barely over forty dollars for:
2 gallons of milk
1/2 gallon of orange juice
54 pieces of string cheese
6 boxes multi-grain Cheerios
1 box Honey Kix
1 (1lb.) package tofu
1 (4lb) whole chicken
3 boxes Kraft Mac'n Cheese
4 cans Campbell's tomato soup
5 (8 pack) boxes Quaker instant oatmeal
5 (2 1/2lb) cans Quaker old fashioned oats
3lbs. fresh broccoli
1 (2lb) can of organic whole-milk yogurt
3 (6 pack) boxes of Nature Valley granola bars
And that's why as a general rule I buy name brand. If you're just running into the grocery store to pick up something quickly, it's true that the store brand will almost always be at least a few cents cheaper (sometimes a lot). However, they rarely go on a truly good sale, while if you watch carefully, name brands will usually be on sale at nearly 1/2 price (or more!) at least a few times per year. And, it's nearly impossible to find coupons for store brands, while there are some very valuable coupons out there for the name brands. Combine that with double coupon days (Wednesdays where we live) and you can really find a deal. In fact, I actually made $3 on those 5 boxes of instant oatmeal packets!
Aslo, completly off topic, but because I can't stop laughing about it, according to Joshua a few minutes ago, the past tense of 'make' is not 'made', it is "moke." As in "Look mommy, I just moke a tent out of a blanket and that chair!"


kristin noel said...

Kudos on the grocery shopping! David and I make a game out of our trips. The most we've ever saved with doubled coupons (everyday where we live) and extra savings was $42.56. I think our total bill was $70 some dollars. Love those deals!

The Kampers said...

love it! I used to be able to do that better when we lived closer to things...but shopping for a month with two tiny kids is a challenging is just a season right now

The Scott Household said...

Love it!
Hey, watch those Nature Valley granola bars. I can't really see what type they are but on the Today show this morning, they said that you should not eat ANY granola/cereal/crackers that have peanut paste in them because of the salmanoella poisioning (forgive the spelling) in peanut paste. I know they've recalled Kellog's cereal with peanut paste in it, as well as Keeblers and Austin brands peanut cracker combinations :)

Paula said...

We've been considering buying a chest freezer for that same reason. Buy meat, etc while it's on sale and stock up. Maybe with some of our tax return this year...