Do You Know If You’re Spending Too Much On Groceries?

{Disclaimer: I do think Costco and Sam's both have some great prices on meat, milk, and *sometimes* fruits & veggies, I just think you can spend way too much on other items while you're there if you're not very careful. See what items I think are worth picking up at Sam's/Costco over HERE.}



This weekend I visited Costco with my dad (he loves that place), and I've got to tell you, it was tough. I watched as busy shoppers stuffed hundreds of dollars in food, paper products, and cleaning supplies into their carts, without even considering just how much they were paying for those items.


The truth is, I'm betting in most cases they had no idea they were paying too much. They just went on about their business, bustling about and clogging up the checkout lanes.  And, my bet is that more than a few of them got home and felt like they'd gotten hardly anything for their hard-earned money. And they're right ~ most likely they didn't.



It was all I could do not to pull them each aside and ask them if they had any idea if  they were paying was a reasonable price for thir groceries. I really think they just have no idea that there's a better way, and simply don't know what a good price is.




But, you do know your prices. Right?


If not, you should.


Maybe you have oodles of cash just waiting to be thrown away on groceries, if that's the case, more power to you. (Ummm . . . but then, why would you be here?)


My guess is instead that most folks simply don't know any better, and haven't researched what those rock bottom prices are.  And, although I've got to confess that I don't spend nearly the time on couponing that I once did, I rarely pay entirely too much for anything, and am always looking to get the best price I can by shopping the sales ads even on those days I forget my coupons at home.


So what about you? Are you one of those shoppers that I'd just love to pull aside and give a little lecture to? (Knowing of course that I would do it only because I want the very best for you?) 😉 Or, do you have so much moolah that worrying about paying an extra dollar or two for every single item simply doesn't matter to you?


Or, do you need to scale back as the beginning of a new school year starts, and focus on your financial goals? I've said it before and I'll say it again if you’re struggling financially and don’t have abundance, there is no other place in your family’s finances than your grocery budget that YOU have such control over than what you spend each week on your groceries



Please, puh-lease, take time to learn your best prices and set aside a few minutes in your week to pinch a few pennies at the grocery store. I promise, you'll save more than you can imagine if you work diligently towards your goal . . . YOU CAN DO THIS!!!




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  1. Stephanie W says

    PLEASE pull me over & give me a lecture!! I totally don’t feel like I always get the best deals. And, I always feel like the things I need, there are never any coupons for. Or at least I can’t find them .

    • I wish you could see the restraint it takes to hold me back from some lecturing Stephanie! I just want people to know they can do better, and not just settle for whatever the store charges. And, it is hard to find certain things sometimes at a great price (trash bags are one of those that always seem to be high for me), so you’re not the only one. Maybe just watch the prices on those specific items and see if they ever go on sale at all to help a little bit! 🙂

  2. i used to shop at costco until i started couponing and its amazing what i used to think was a good price on things. Now i’ll go with my sister sometimes but i usually just get three things when i go, Costco water (36 for like $3.50, and im picky about my water but actually like theirs a lot), baby wipes bc i LOVE them! All the other brands i have tried fall apart and have a funky feel to them, costco wipes are great! lastly, the rotisserie chicken, its bigger than the ones at publix and they are only $4.99. I feel like everything else is a rip off. or its just so much of an item that it will go bad before i use it all.

    • I definitely agree on the water bottles (and I’m not sure if they’re in my Sam’s Club list!) While I’d rather re-use water bottles from home, there are some times when you just need convenience. I haven’t checked out the prices on baby wipes (my target price would be $.02/wipe) or rotisserie chicken, but I’m betting they’re definitely cheaper than Publix would be. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

  3. I will have to disagree. I used to coupon but when I decided to switch our family to a more whole foods and less processed diet, I found I couldn’t coupon anymore. Even most organic coupons are for organic junk food. Which defeats the purpose of a whole foods diet. Without Costco and their awesome prices on organic whole foods, I couldn’t have made the switch! Organic spinach, carrots, apples, green beans, frozen veggies and fruit, coconut oil, quinoa, brown rice, beef and chicken. All organic and unbelievable prices!! They also stock nitrate free lunch meats and hot dogs (which are treats and once in awhile convenience purchases for us). And this is just a fraction of what they offer. YES, I agree there is much that is overpriced and you DO have to know your prices. Like their diapers aren’t a good deal unless you stock up when they release their $6 off coupons which makes it similar to $5 a jumbo pack (my stock up price for Huggies). It makes me a little sad to see Costco written off so hastily. 🙁

    • Thank you for sharing Carolyn! In fairness, I didn’t check their prices on organics, but the prices on their regular produce was higher than my local Publix on sale (and I hate that people pay an annual fee to pay more, and then are so easily tempted to over purchase.) I do think they have good prices (as I shared at the beginning of the post!) on some specific things all of which are probably mostly non-processed foods.

      The prices at my local Aldi (who is starting to carry some organic items) on produce are so significantly less, and with that as an option I guess I would choose that first myself (and just want people to know there are better prices out there.) BUT, I completely understand what you’re saying… my frustration primarily was more for frustration who *thought* they were getting a great deal paying $7 for two boxes of Cheerios or $9 for a mega pack of cleaners.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts though – I completely understand! And really, I think more than anything I just wanted people to know (whatever they’re shopping for) what their basic price points are before spending too much because they think that just because it’s in a big box store it’s a great deal.

      • I COMPLETELY agree with you about the $7 box of cereal!! And other items like that! My jaw drops and I’m like “seriously people?!?! What are you thinking?!?!!”

        We also shop aldi for most of our other groceries like nuts, spices, napkins, wipes, and some snacky foods like veggie chips and such. I mainly shop Costco and Aldi actually. 🙂

        I DO agree that people need to know their prices on things. But I also know that Costco has been a lifesaver for us!

        • I really think Aldi just has me so spoiled now! I just about shop Aldi for all produce and baking supplies, Publix with coupons for groceries/cleaning products/toiletries, and Amazon for paper products. More than anything I just want people to KNOW what they’re spending, and I get frustrated when I know they’re spending way too much and they have no idea. Thanks so much though for sharing (will definitely be watching prices at Costco next time on organics…. and I’m determined to get to Earth Fare this week to see if they have any deals!)

  4. Carolyn…I dominate Whole Foods when I go there 🙂

  5. I find their prices on papergoods to be too high, but there are certain things I buy there including hamburger and hotdog rolls 16 rolls for 2.25, that's a good deal here in NY. A friend bought Quaker granola bars 60 for $8, which I consider a good deal (she asked me to split it with her so said yes). There are certain things that are a good deal and those that are overpriced, so please… yes… do your homework!

    • I have noticed some decent deals on things like granola bars as well, and it definitely depends on where you live and what stores you have to compare with. Some deals that seem high to me, are probably worth it in certain areas of the country. I just think doing the math ahead of time is so worth it ~ great point Shari!

  6. You are absolutely correct. I don't coupon but I know what I spend for things at the grocery. My neighbors laughed when I admitted having subscribed to Amazon to deliver toilet paper and paper towel. Both said they get it at Costco. It's not cheaper. Cereal is no cheaper especially if you're willing to buy and eat the bagged versions. Canned goods, you get bulk and brand at Costco, I buy what I need, store brand for less. There are deals I LOVE but you have to SHOP! I get corn-dogs and hot pockets in bigger packages for less at Wal Mart. Costco has some unique products, good quality and convenience items that are well worth the trip.

    • That’s a good way to put it Lisa – you really just have to shop and KNOW what those prices are (and somethings are higher on Amazon, but so many things are a better deal!) More than anything I just want people to know what good prices are – even if you never clip a coupon, that’s the best way to save. Thanks for sharing Lisa!

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