When it comes to frugal shopping, I do not claim to be an expert. I do however think I am a shopper who is aware. What do I mean by being aware? Let me explain….
Growing up I was always taught to shop for deals. When something comes on sale for a good price, buy a few extra to put in the pantry. Examples could be pasta, tinned goods, personal products, etc. The other big one was meat and cheese (if you eat these that is). Meat and cheese are two of the most expensive things to buy per pound than most anything else. Buy what you can afford and what you can store.
Another thing I was also taught to watch for is package sizes. There may be a great deal on buying a large box of 500 sandwich bags but when you look at the cost of two 250-count boxes of sandwich bags, do they work out cheaper? Another great example is toilet paper. When it comes on sale, do you look to see how many sheets per roll? If you are spending $6 on a 12 roll package: One package has 170 sheets per two-ply roll (= 2040 sheets) versus the other package which has 253 sheets per two-ply roll (=3036 sheets). That is a pretty large difference.
The other thing to watch for is when packaging changes. Does the new package still contain the same quantity of the old packaging? If there are old packages still on the shelf with the new, pick the old packages. They are the same price! I really noticed this lately on packages of bacon. (Sorry, I know it isn’t good for you but it IS a guilty pleasure). The package looks the same size but the new package is 375 grams but the old package contains 454 grams.
Another way to be an aware shopper is to scan the prices of labelled products as you go by them. Sometimes you may spot a “deal” where the person labeling the product missed a decimal or a number. Don’t laugh! Just two days ago I was buying chicken that was on sale. I had picked up a package in the meat section that was 1.3 kg for $6.48. When I got to the freezer section there was a refrigerated open section where the chicken was advertised for the same price. On a quick scan I saw that a bigger package of chicken was priced at $3.67 for a 1.5 kg package. My brain misfired for a second until I realized someone had priced the first section at 1.99 per pound. This second section had mistakenly been priced at 0.99 per pound. SCORE! I put the package of chicken in my basket back into the fridge and grabbed the three packages left in this bin. I have had this happen on more than one occasion. You may find some great bargains.
Watch the flyers for the stores when they come out or go online to have a look. If you don’t have much extra storage space, make your menu for the week based on what is on sale. If pasta is on sale this week, have pasta! There are so many little things that you can buy when they come on sale that it saves you money in the long run.