• The Fleeting Luxury

    I’m not a big fan of sweet stuff. I’ve always been the type of person that prefers savory flavors, and my favorite thing in that regard is cheese. I love trying new kinds of cheeses. Every once in a while, I’ll splurge and buy a chunk of cheese that I’ve never tried before. Extra mature …

  • Teaching a Seven Year Old How to Shop for Groceries Frugally

    The other day, I was at the grocery store with my seven year old son. As we walked through the entrance of the store, I looked over at him and said, “Today, we’re going to try something different.” He looked up at me. “Today,” I said, “you’re going to buy the groceries. You have $100. …

  • Spreading Out Your Grocery Shopping

    Dinner with My Family is on a one week hiatus (which is party explained below). It will return next week. Over the last month, Sarah and I have been experimenting with a longer period between grocery store trips. Prior to this month, we had almost always done a weekly grocery store visit, usually on Saturday …

  • Waste Not, Want Not: Strategies for Warehouse Club Shopping

    One of the big tricks of shopping successfully at a warehouse store (I use Sam’s Club because it’s the only one reasonably close to me) is knowing when to buy something in the bulk sizes available there. It’s not always the best move. For example, our local Sam’s Club often carries these giant 24 packs …

  • Using Grocery Flyers to Plan Meals

    As I’ve mentioned many times on The Simple Dollar, one of our most frequently-used methods for saving money on food is to simply create a meal plan each week based on the sales found in grocery flyers. I then take that meal plan and prepare a grocery list based on it, which naturally includes many …

  • Review: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half is the follow-up to America’s Cheapest Family, a very solid book on frugality by Steve and Annette Economides from 2007 that I quite liked. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half seems to be a …

  • What You’re Buying When You Go to a Store

    Why do you shop at your preferred grocery store? Think about it for a minute. What reasons do you have for shopping at one store over another? Is it purely the prices? What about the location – is it because it’s close to your home? Cleanliness (like my Aldi story a while back)? Store organization? …

  • Finding Your Own Value Balance at the Grocery Store

    Whenever I go shopping, I find myself with an interesting mix of items in my cart. There’s quite a few generics, quite a few “low cost” name brands, and still some more rather upscale items (like organic fresh foods). Organic baking soda gets tossed in right next to the free range eggs, for example. Why …

  • Optimizing Your Grocery List

    A few weeks ago, I went to the grocery store in the afternoon to take care of grocery shopping for the week. Sarah had written a list for me (in all fairness to her, it was actually closer to a set of notes for a meal plan rather than for grocery shopping; it wasn’t really …

  • Why Are Oranges Always on Sale in December? Seasonal Food Sales and How to Take Advantage of Them

    When I was a kid, each year my Christmas stocking had a large orange in the toe. I always thought of this as a bit strange, so when I was a bit older, I asked my parents about the orange. It turns out that oranges were pretty hard to get ahold of when my father …

  • Simple Ways to Save Money on Salads

    Lately, my wife and I have been studying ways to reduce our weekly grocery bill. We’ve been using several tactics to do this, which I will discuss one at a time over a series of articles. Salads before dinner are a common staple at our house. For a long time, we would buy lots of …

  • The Truth About Grocery Store Flyers

    One tactic I mention regularly for saving money on your food purchases is to watch the grocery store flyer for sales, then plan your meals (and shopping lists) around those sales. This tactic really works – I’ve saved quite a bit doing this over the years. However, things aren’t quite that simple – you can’t …

  • Living and Saving in the Moment

    My three year old son loves to go to the grocery store with Mom and Dad. He wanders around with us, listening to our discussions about which products to buy, and quite often expresses his own opinions. He’ll remind us that he loves V8 Fusion (our preferred fruit juice, since it’s 100% and also is …

  • Using Consumer Reports to Assemble Your Grocery List

    Long time reader Bob writes in: I like reading all of your suggestions about making a grocery list and searching for bargains. My technique is actually pretty simple. I trust Consumer Reports completely – they’ve never led me wrong. So each month when I get an issue, I write down their “best buys” in each …

  • Is Your Local Warehouse Store Worth Your While? Here’s How to Find Out

    My wife and I have been members at Sam’s Club for years. We use it to buy tons of items in bulk – but over time, we’ve realized that some items simply aren’t cheaper there. While visiting, I’ve noticed the same trend with Costco as well – it’s got spectacular prices on some staples, but …

  • How to Plan Ahead for Next Week’s Meals (And Save Significant Money): A Step-By-Step Guide

    My wife and I shop for groceries on a weekly basis (with the exception of a rare mid-week stop for more milk or other pure staples). We shop from a grocery list, usually nail the sales, and focus almost entirely on buying produce. The end result is that we usually save quite a bit at …

  • Winning the Battle Against Low Quality Generics While Still Saving Money

    As a rule of thumb, I think it’s a good idea to try generic versions of products you already use, or, at the very least, try out lower end versions. But there’s a problem with that philosophy, one that’s explained very well by Allie, who recently emailed me on this topic: The reason I don’t …

  • Amazon Grocery: When Is It More Cost-Effective Than the Local Supermarket?

    Recently, I made an offhand mention that I’m a user of Amazon Grocery and this intrigued several commenters, so I thought I’d walk through the shopping process that leads me to using Amazon Grocery for some items. What’s Amazon Grocery? For those unaware, Amazon Grocery is a section of Amazon.com where one can buy most …

  • Investing in Yourself: Diet

    Recently, I discussed the value of investing in yourself – putting time and money into improving you, not building assets. Today, we’ll look at one area of investing in yourself as part of an ongoing series on the topic, spread out once per weekday over two weeks. If you’d like to review all the entries, …