I was flipping through an old issue of ShopSmart Magazine today and spotted a new-to-me frugal shopping tip:
“Make a top-20 list. Go through receipts, kitchen cabinets, and the fridge to come up with a list of the 20 products you buy most often. Then write down the regular price of each one (find it online or take notes when you sho9p). That way, you’ll easily be able to spot a good sale. Focus your efforts on those 20 things and you can save a lot without a lot of effort.”
That seems simple enough and well worth trying. Since my shopping lists are in my little daily calendar/journal, it was easy enough to page through and identify the items that appear most often. Or so I thought. Here’s what I came up with:
3. other seasonal and on sale fruit (cantaloupe, watermelon, berries, etc.)
15. almonds (or some other kind of nut)bread
16. tortillas (corn for DIY chips and flour for Mexican chicken burritos)
17. green chiles
18. black olives
19. pickles (dill and sugar-free bread & butter and sugar-free sweet pickle relish)
20. cereal or granola for yogurt topping
While these aren’t the only foods I buy, they comprise probably 85% or more of my grocery purchases. Items 1 – 13 appear regularly on my lists, some of them almost every grocery store run. The others are more shelf/fridge stable and so I only buy them every few months. Everything else I buy is a once or twice a year purchase, either because I buy it in bulk (oatmeal) or don’t use much of it (salad dressings).
I think I might be in a dietary rut. But I’m happy here, so I’m not going to mess with it. Not too much, anyway. I picked up a package of tofu a few weeks ago, and I’ll be trying Tofu Parmigiana later this week. Who knows, maybe tofu will displace something on my ’20 list’!
What’s in your top 20?