Frugal Club Bargains

Findings from research found a list of items you’re most likely to buy at their lowest costs by club shopping.  In my area, Coscto is my go to club for purchasing these items below.

  • Dairy Products: You can expect to pay 30% less than supermarket’s price on eggs, butter, cream, half-and-half, individually wrapped cheese sticks, egg substitute, and both block and grated cheeses.  Milk is generally cheaper at the Wholesale club, depending on how low your supermarkets’s milk price is that week.  Gourmet cheeses sell for half the supermarket’s price.  If you use coupons and combine them with sale prices or buy the store brand, you will have greater success at the supermarket buying sour cream, margarine, individual yogurt cups, ice cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese there.  If you don’t use coupons, you will fare better shopping for these items at wholesale clubs.
  • Fresh Produce: You’ll pay less per pound for top-quality produce at a wholesale club, but you’re going to have a lot of food on your hands.  If you can split the cost with a friend this will help save money.
  • Baking ingredients: For those of you who bake regularly, potential savings is significant when buying in bulk.  You’ll find name-brand chocolate chips, real vanilla extract, yeast, basic spices, evaporated milk, vegetable oils, and nuts for 40 to 60 percent less than supermarket name-brand options.  If you don’t mind buying in large quanitity, the savings are significant.
  • Fresh and Frozen meat, chicken, and fish:  Not only is the club price lower, but the grade is also higher.  Remember, packages are larger so you’ll want to store or freeze smaller quantities of ground beef, steaks, roasts, and chops for future meals.
  • Bakery and deli items: Wholesale clubs feature a variety of super-sized baked goods, “take and bake”, sheet cakes, extra-large pies, muffins, pastries, and bagels, all at lower prices than you’d pay at a supermarket bakery for the same quantity.
  • Plastic bags, garbage bags, foils, and plastic wraps: Many of the moms in the community say that even with sales and coupons, it’s hard for supermarkets to beat wholesalers here.
  • Batteries:  Without a doubt, the best prices on batteries is at the wholesale club.  Costco’s Kirkland brand of AA batteries sold in forty-eight-count packs work out the equivalent of 92 cents for a four pack.
  • Frozen juice, fruits, and vegetables:  Wholesaler prices are hard to beat.  Large bags of frozen vegetables and fruit are bargains.
  • Private-label houshold and paper supplies: Name-brand bath tissue and laundry detergent are generally no cheaper than supermarket sale prices, but you can save at wholesale clubs by buying store brands.  Kirkland bath tissue is one of Costco’s top-ten best-selling items, so it’s quality meets thier shoppers’ standards at up to half the price of other name brands.
  • Snacks and quick meals: Small food courts inside wholesae clubs are great places for quick – and cheap bites.
  • Costco coupon book provides an added savings each month.  Make sure and grab one upon entering the club!

Strategic Shopping fits all budgets! Do you have any frugal shopping tips when it comes to club bargains?

How to save money when eating out

IMG_5766My family and I enjoy eating out from time to time, but with seven of us it can get REALLY expensive!

Here are my top 10 tips to help you save some money:

1.  Order water.  This may seem obvious, but if you order a soda it will cost you $2.00 a person.  This is an easy way to keep the bill down.

2.  Look for coupons!  I am amazed at how many restaurant coupons come in the mail.  Often times they are $5 off of a $20 purchase.  That is a 25% savings!  Other coupons are buy one entrée get one free with drink purchases.  A $2 drink is much better than and $8 dinner!

3.  Look for places in your area that have “kids eat free” nights.  This is HUGE!  Many places, like Chili’s, allow you to get up to 2 kids means per adult entrée ordered.

4.  Look for restaurants that offer combo deals.  (Chili’s and TGIF both do this!)  You order one appetizer, one meal and a dessert for a set price.  This is a TON of food.  So share it!

5.  Go during lunch hours.  Many restaurants will offer meals as much as 50% cheaper for the same entrée.

6.  Look for happy hours.  Many restaurants offer good deals on their food during less crowded times.

7.  Split your meal with your spouse or kids.

8.  Go to restaurants where you don’t have to tip.  There are some GREAT burger joints where you order at the counter and don’t have a server.

9.  Let your smartphone work for you!  Download apps that point out deals for you.  Dining Deals, Bite Hunter and Groupon are just a few!  They will tell you where all the deals are around you.  You can often buy deals right on your phone and never even have to print them out.  Just pull it up on your phone and show the server.

(And my favorite……)

10. Leave the kids at home with a babysitter to eat PJ&J while Hubs and I go out to eat for date night!  (Seriously… I can pay a babysitter for less than it cost me to take the kids out to eat!)

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