Save Money at the Supermarket

by Jennifer Donovan

Recently I attended a luncheon sponsored by Stop and Shop/Giant Foods. They wanted to tap into the Mommy Blogger network. I’ve attended a few corporately sponsored events and conference calls, and I would like to go on the record and say that Stop and Shop impressed me.

They fed us–not only were we treated to a delicious lunch at Sarabeth’s restaurant in New York City, but we were fed some great information about the changes that Stop and Shop/Giant supermarkets are making as a result of listening to their customers.

One of the main subjects on everyone’s mind is in this age of rising prices, how can we savemoney at the grocery store? Unfortunately the reality is that many of the ways center on being prepared, which is what we don’t often have time for. Sometimes I feel that it’s all I can do to actually get to the grocery store to stock the pantry. If you can take a bit of time, here are some suggestions:
  • Check the circular and shop accordingly. You might not have planned to make pot roast, but if it’s on sale, now’s a good time. Most store circulars are available online if you’d rather plan that way.
  • Plan for at least two to three meals for the week, and then you won’t be tempted to “pick something up” for dinner. Using some prepared foods is more expensive than starting from scratch, but is still cheaper (and more healthy) than eating fast food or take-out.
  • Stock up on seasonal sales. In the summer, you’ll likely find picnic goods on sale (condiments, paper goods etc.). Christmas baking season offers butter, flour, and sugar at low prices, and even meats go on sale at certain times of the year.

Whether you have time or not, one way that you can save money is by trying store brands instead of national brands. I found out that Stop and Shop/Giant offers a money back guarantee if you are not happy with one of their store brands. There are some things that I always buy store brand unless the national brand happens to be on sale for less: flour, sugar, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and some cleaning products. But there are some things that my husband has prohibited me from even trying: snack foods, cereal (although I buy my own shredded wheat in whichever brand is cheapest), and peanut butter top the list.

At the event I attended, we were sent home with some samples, and I was absolutely thrilled with the ones I tried. The one that surprised me most came in a familiar blue and white package. I don’t think that I could have picked out Oreos over Twistos in a blind taste test. When I was at the store this week, I looked for them in the cookie aisle to see the difference in price, but they weren’t available.

Stop and Shop/Giant actually offers many different store brands (and you can read about one more through the link below on Going Green):

  • Great Value is for items that consumers indicated no real brand loyalty for, including baking soda and plain napkins. It’s truly no frills, and has the lowest price point.
  • the Stop and Shop brand offers products such as Twistos. It is one that they hope you’ll turn to instead of your favorites if you are looking to save money. They realize that there is brand loyalty and quality here to compete with, so they put effort into making sure that they deliver what you expect.
  • Simply Enjoy is a premium store brand. I tried some delicious chocolate covered cashews. They also offer premium party foods, such as crackers, dips, etc. These brands are meant to replace a higher-end product, so they aren’t bargains, but they still offer savings over the comparable goods.

Find out more tips at StopandShop.com or GiantFood.com.

What are some ways that grocery stores earn your loyalty?

If you want to enter to win one of two $50 grocery cards (one for Stop and Shop and one for Giant), leave a comment, specifying either Giant or Stop and Shop. You may also leave one comment on each of the posts on the other sites for additional entries (except Books which has its own giveaway), so please visit all of the posts below, specifying Giant or Stop and Shop in your comments there if you are entering to win). You’ll increase your chances to win, and you can join the conversation across our sites about shopping for and feeding your family.

The winners will be posted here on Friday, August 29.

Jennifer Donovan is Managing Editor of 5 Minutes for Books and a Contributing Editor at 5 Minutes for Mom. She blogs about her life and loves at Snapshot.

Read all of the other posts in this series on food for your family and grocery shopping featured on our sister sites today:

Save Money and the Earth at 5 Minutes for Going Green
Stay Sane at the Supermarket at 5 Minutes for Parenting
Shop with Special Diets in Mind at 5 Minutes for Special Needs
Kids in the Kitchen at 5 Minutes for Books



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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