Missed the first posts this series? Read them here.
When I mention how I save a lot of money by shopping at more than one store, I’m often met with resistance:
“But I don’t have time to go to more than one store! I can barely make it into Walmart once a week.”
“That’s not saving money! You’re wasting all sorts of time and gas running around to fifteen different stores in one day. Wouldn’t it be more cost-effective and efficient to just do all your shopping at one store each week?”
“I’m glad that works for you, but I don’t have near the patience or organization to even attempt something like that!”
Yes, one can make a lot of excuses for not shopping at more than one store. But I think all of these excuses show a lack of understanding as to what it really means to shop at more than one store.
Let me be clear: I am not advocating going to 15 different stores which are 45 minutes away from your home in order to save $2 at each store.
That’s not saving money, in my definition. Instead, that’s wasting enormous amounts of time and effort and producing little to show for it but wear and tear on your vehicle and an exorbitant gas bill.
What I am advocating is taking a little bit of time to scout at your nearby stores each week and pick a few which have the best sales and deals. Then base your grocery trip planning on shopping only at those stores.
A simple example…
Last week I flew to Baltimore and ended up spending quite a bit of time at the airport between my four different flights and layovers. I only packed one checked bag since I also had Silas, a stroller, a laptop, and a diaper bag. So I had limited space to bring snacks to eat on my flight days.
Because of this, I ended up buying a few items at the airport stores to tide me over for breakfast and lunch. Instead of just going to the first shop I found and plunking down whatever dollar amount they were asking, I took five minutes to survey my options.
I quickly walked over to each of the shops within a minute of where I was and checked out their menu boards and prices. By doing this, I was able to put together a relatively healthy meal for less than $6. While that number might seem high–and it is!–compared to how expensive some of the meals were at the airport, I definitely saved at least $3-$5 by taking five minutes to check out my options.
$3 to $5 in savings for a little walking and five minutes is a pretty good investment, in my opinion. In fact, if I were to save $4 every five minutes, that’s like saving $48 an hour–which isn’t an hourly wage to sneeze at! Plus, did I mention that when you save money, it’s tax-free?
In the same way, by putting forth a little bit of effort and learning what are the best deals for your area and picking a few stores to shop at each week that are running the best sales, you can get rock-bottom prices on your groceries and save significant amounts of money each week.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some step-by-step ideas for getting started shopping at more than one store while keeping it simple and not wasting a lot of time, effort, and mileage to do so.
Do you shop at more than one store for groceries? If not, what’s holding you back from doing so?
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I do shop at more than one store, but not always in one week. I am trying to get organized to go to the stores that I get the most discounts at every other week and the other stores once a month. I then stock up on the things I use often in order to last 2 weeks. This helps with my schedule and limited time for grocery shopping.
Andrea Q says
We have a variety of stores, but I’m finding that two things make the most difference in our spending: 1. planning the week’s menu around the sales flyers and 2. focusing on saving money on toiletries through CVS and Walgreens deals.
I don’t have a lot of the stores mentioned on this blog since I’m in Iowa. I shop at Fareway for groceries and Target for everything else. They don’t always have the best deals but I’m all for convenience. I also prefer these stores over Walmart and other competitors because of their business practices. That’s more important to me than saving a few pennies on something. I use coupons as much as possible and stock up when things are on sale. I could do better but I’ve already cut my budget considerably just practicing a few things.
I do not go to several different stores in a weeks time. I am a full time working Mom and I do not have the extra time to shop around. I do go to a local grocery store, Gaint of PA, Rite Aid and CVS. They are all within a five mile radius of my home. I wish I had more time to shop around but in life there is a season for everything.
I love your articles and all the helpful tips. You have inspired me to start couponing and going to drug stores. This has saved me money. I went from spending $100 to $125 for a family of three to $75 a week. I am trying to get my spending down even more. You are a true inspiration to me. Thanks!
Dana @ The Coupon Challenge says
I have several great stores within about a 5-10 minute drive from my house. I usually shop at Farm Fresh (right across from my house), Harris Teeter and Walgreen’s. WAGS and HT are right next to each other, so I always shop those together. Plus I can just drive that way to the Y. I always shop WAGS first because I can use the RR I earn to pay at HT!
Kroger is about 15-20 minutes away, so I don’t shop there regularly. However, if I’m planning to go to my in-laws or another store in the area I make a list and grab my binder to hit Kroger on the way back home. A little planning and you don’t run around crazy and waste a ton of gas.
I definitely shop at other stores, but only if those stores are worth going to based on their sales! I only shop Target, CVS, and Rite-Aid when they have bargains to not be passed up. Don’t go out of your way! Fortunately, all these stores are enroute going to and coming from my house. For example, this week @ Target, I made 3 transactions, got free bodywash, free Venus razor, then paid $2 for Prevacid (which I made money off of because I had the $4 coupon plus the mail-in rebate), then paid $2 for 4 boxes of cereal! Because of planning and a little time, I was in and out of the store within 30 minutes, and I had a 4 year old with me. The money I saved was well worth that 30 minute stop. Thanks moneysavingmom for all you do!
Since reading your site we now shop 3 to 4 stores depending on the sales. It takes a little for us to drive into a bigger town so we only hit that store if they have items we need on sale. My husband thought I was crazy when I first started doing more than one store. Now that a year has passed and the savings have piled up he is all for it. He even volunteers to watch the kids. He now understands that if I have time to think without “Mommy can I have that” every three seconds the savings are bigger. I make a very detailed list with prices and coupon savings. This helps when we make a run to Sams. There have been times when this has saved huge amounts over things we thought were a great deal. Thanks for the great posts. Cant’t wait to see what tomorrows tip is.
In Oregon I shop the deals of the week at Albertsons, Safeway, FM, Walgreens and Rite Aid. I buy the rest if needed at Winco, they have inexpensive fruits and vegetables and stock up once a week for those. I usually try to do a few runs to differents stores 2 to 3 times a week, but I don’t want to run my life around it so I take planned days off (Sundays and Wednesdays for sure) I also shop around planned trips to not waste gas and time. My goal for a family of 5 is $250.00/month for all food and household and eating out is $50/month – we use Restaurants.com.
Thank goodness for the internet to have a “support group” for couponers and budgeters. I don’t have support from friends so this is my outlet.
I use 2 stores: a small local grocery and a ‘big box’ (Meijer) that are less than a 5 minute drive. I read both their ads to look for loss leaders and make my list in 2 columns (including prices/sizes/coupon amounts). Small local has better meat than Meijer and I watch their sales like a hawk. I keep the list in my purse so I can compare prices when I go to any store.
Aldi is a bit farther, as is RiteAid and we have no nearby CVS or Kroger.
I agree that everone’s situation is different and we do different things in different seasons of our lives. I recently started shopping at CVS and after just 3 weeks I see a HUGE difference. Last trip cost me $.94. My youngest is 14 months and we are thankfully heading out of winter coat season so the idea of shopping multiple stores will be so much easier. Having a list and plan for each store is HUGE as well. If you are wondering through each store without a clue, shopping multiple stores isn’t going to do much good. I can really see how having a plan is going to help me SO much. Thank you.
I definitely try to shop at multiple stores if I can, but sometimes time is a big issue. One thing that I think is interesting is the decision between a healthy-sounding gourmet-type store like Whole Foods and a “regular” grocery store. This article I found has some interesting statistics on the price differences between those two (and also other random ways to save money at the supermarket): http://blog.learnvest.com/learnvest-daily/ten-tips-on-how-to-save-at-the-grocery-store/
Hope it’s helpful!
Sue Morrison says
I usually shop at 3 stores. I’m lucky because I have a Publix, Winn Dixie and a Food Lion almost equidistant to my house so I can take advantage of the sales & specials at each store. I don’t necessarily go to all 3 each week but if they are having several specials I can easily hit all three in one day. I even have a Walgreens & CVS right around the same distance so I do all the stores at one time. Keep up the good work!
I am new to couponing and menu planning. I’ve just been shopping and Costco for most of my groceries and going to Von’s and Walmart for the rest. I am really saving $$ now that I’m using coupons along with the store sales and then menu planning with what is on sale and whats already in my pantry. However… I’d love to find a resource for how much stuff normally costs. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if somethings a good deal.
Andrea Q says
@musicalmommie, Prices vary so much from region to region that the best way to figure this out is to make your own “price book”. Use a little notebook to record the prices of the items you purchase most (25 to 30 items) and keep track for six weeks or so. You’ll see how the prices cycle and know when you’re getting a good deal.
It depends on the week – usually I find I don’t have enough time to do more than one store. I work full time, so I try to only take up one evening with grocery shopping – Monday night. Often, it takes me about half an hour to an hour to clip coupons and figure out what I need to buy. Then, I leave for the store around 7:30 and get home around 8:30. Unpack the groceries… clean up a bit… time for bed! For a while I did try to go to two stores rather than just one, but it really is time consuming, often taking an extra hour. An hour doesn’t sound like much, but it is when time is already so limited. That being said, if there are spectacular deals at another store, I will try to make time to get there.
Prathee Selvam says
Every monday I do volunteering in the local library. Aldi, Walgreens and local grocery store are on the way. I mostly don’t shop at Walgreens (especially not RR deals). So, Every week I’ll shop at Aldi and the local Grocery store within 1/2 hr. Once in 2 weeks I shop at Walmart.
Even though I can’t use coupon in both the stores, I save lot of my time. Moreover, I cover all the deals in Walmart shopping. As we don’t have Publix or any coupon friendly stores, this is the best bet for saving money and time.
I have learned so much reading your blog. Thanks so much for all your research in helping to save us SAHM money!
Since moving from MI last year to MO, I find I have had to work harder at finding ways to save (I do miss Kroger and CVS – not in our market here). The local grocery stores here are private stores and do not offer the great deals of the chain stores, however, they happen to be across the street from each other so it is easy to shop more than one store
Last week was the first time I shopped at more than 1 store. I have to drive 30 min to get to a town with a larger grocery store so I decided to try it. It is not a huge town so it is worth driving. When I go to visit my brother next time, I will definitely look at Target & Walgreens as he lives in a much bigger city and if I can pick up some good deals it is worth it to me.
I recently discovered Family Dollar, which has really great deals with store coupons & they also take manufactor coupons so I saved 30% on the items I bought there. At Hyvee I saved 32% and Walmart 50%. I have found also if I keep a price book of things I regularly buy Walmart tends to be higher than Hyvee. There were a couple of things that I bought at Walmart that had I bought them at Hyvee would have been 80-100% off w/coupon.
One thing that helps me is that the grocery stores near me (Kroger, Albertson’s, Safeway…) run their sales from Wednesday to Tuesday. My weekly budget is for a calendar week (Sunday to Saturday). If I’m having a really busy week but want to take advantage of sales at Kroger and Albertsons, sometimes I’ll shop Kroger at the beginning of the sale, and wait until Sunday to shop at Albertson’s.
This also works great for weeks (like this week) where Kroger is running a great sale, and I want to really stock up. I can buy some items at the end of one week, and wait until the beginning of the next week for the rest. That way, I can still shop at other stores without going over budget.
I review the weekly grocery and drugstore ads and make a list for each store to supplemenet my stockpile. I paperclip the coupons to each ad, and put all the ads in the front seat of my car. Most weeks I make it to all the stores without having to make a special trip. I just stop when I’m driving by. Some weeks I miss a few and I don’t kick myself.
Thanks for all the great advice you give. It really keeps me motivated. Since I’ve begun stocking up on items at their lowest prices I’ve seen my grocery bill drop considerably and meal time is so much easier. I can usually pull together a healthy meal from my freezer and pantry with no stress.
I live in the northern Plains and we only have 2 grocery stores to choose in the town where I live. Neither of these stores really advertises super-great deals, maybe just few times a year. We have Wal-Mart and a Super Target recently opened, so that helps. I do use coupons and match up with the sales whenever possible but where I live, I often times can’t wait for the sale. Not to mention, our grocery stores can sometimes be “shopped out” because so many people have to utilize them. I just watch the ads like a hawk and plan our menu’s around what’s in season.
Debbie in PA says
Oh yes…I definitely shop at more than one store. I always check the ads for the loss leaders of the three main stores nearest to me (two are literally across the street from each other). There’s a 4th store that’s not that close but is next to the library, so I always stop in when I go to the library.
I do not shop from a menu/meal plan….sorry! But i do buy multiples of whatever is a great price, and then work my meals around what i have “in stock” at home.
What’s holding me back? Three children (really 4, but 1 is in school), AND WINTER! It is so much harder to lug all the kids around from store to store when I have to deal with coats, socks, boots, covering the baby, baby carseat, etc. So I have been just picking whichever store has the best deals each week, and going there. Or sometimes I go at night without the kids.
But this summer, with an older baby, I anticipate going back to my 2-3 store routine, even if I do have all 4 with me. Life is easier in the summer!
@Heather, Yes! Winter makes everything so much harder!
I shop at least two stores almost every week, and sometimes it’s three or four – but I keep five or six (including a local farmer’s market that is 45 minutes away) on my radar. I try to lump them all into one trip (or two). Luckily, I live in an area where I can drive to my nearest Publix and also pass a CVS . . . or drive to my nearest Kroger and also pass CVS, Walgreens and Publix – and all four are within five miles of my house.
Yes, I shop at 3 different grocery stores (Kroger, Randall’s & HEB) and CVS and Walgreens. I use a free website that combines all the weekly ads together: http://www.mygrocerydeals.com I love it!! I can also print a list to take with me.
When I first started couponing and price matching, I was so focused in getting the most bang for my buck. After about 6 months, my energy dwindled and I started to feel tired when I get home, sometimes even crabby, which is not a way to be nice to the husband 🙁 So, I assessed where I shopped most and where I get the most deals and decided to shop in maximum two or three stores per week and never more than 1 per day (most of the stores are between home and work). I also check sales fliers to see if it’s worth the trouble to go to the store that week or not.
Kerry D. says
We’ve just been doing this for a few months, but have saved about 30% on our grocery/household items, and do use a couple grocery stores plus CVS. At this point, our kids are all teens, and eat tremendous amounts… my 15 year old daughter is a great help in shopping (she can remember what we have in our coupon file!) and when we set up our coupons and list in advance, our shopping is very quick–faster than our old days. I’m not sure I could have done it when they were tiny… probably would have had to trade sitting with a friend and go it alone.
This may seem crazy to you all, but I don’t even peak at my store ads. I have regular blogs that I follow and as I am perusing the deals I copy and paste the deals into one Word document (named weekly deals). So on Saturday, I already have a pretty detailed list of all of the best deals for the next week based the deals the bloggers find. Then as the week progresses, I add in any new deals that people discover. This is so easily done for me while watching tv at night or just after waking in the morning. Then when I know that I will be out and near a store, I just print the stores portion of the weekly deals document and clip the appropriate coupons. If I don’t make it to a store, I don’t bother clipping and the weekly deals list gets scrapped each week for a new list. This also gives me a quick way to check out which stores should be my biggest priority. I am lucky to have a CVS and two Riteaids within a 2 miles of my little ones preschool so killing time until she is done can score me some great deals. I also have two Targets, 3 Walmarts, Giant of Pa, Safeway, Superfresh, Weis, Food Lion and Giant (Md) all on my way to work. So whatever deal is calling me for the week, I can easily leave a few minutes early and stop by quickly to score it. My only drive for a deal comes when Walgreens is having a great week. I have to drive about a 25 miles which stinks, but then there are 3 Wags within 10 miles so I just make a circle and hit all of them making the deals worth it when I can get a lot. Long winded, but my point is that you can cut a lot of at home time if you can find a couple of great bloggers (like money saving mom :)) that cover your stores and then just plan your trips around the daily activities that you already take part in.
Honestly, I usually only hit one store with the best sales. I don’t have the option of shopping with my husband in tow or without the kids, so dragging 3 kids in and out of car seats and to multiple stores is just not going to happen most weeks. So I do the best I can with what I can. That being said, I really don’t usually need to buy that much at conventional grocery stores anyways. Usually (though right now is the exception due to schedueles) I subscribe to a CSA and buy a lot of my dry goods in bulk from Azure Standard. In the Summer, I get milk and eggs at my local farmer’s market. It’s nice to avoid the store as much as possible!
I shop at Safeway, Fred Meyers, and New Seasons. I plan a day that the hubby is home so I can leave my toddler and then go shopping with the baby for 1-2 hours. I of course, “pre-plan” and write my list out so I’m not surprised when I go to the register. I love having an option of shopping more than 1 store, especially when your shopping Organic you can find great deals at several stores, not just specialty stores.
We are at the point with stockpiling that we rarely hit more than 1 grocery store (+CVS) on our weekly shopping trip. Sometimes I will make an extra mid-week stop to snag a particularly good deal, but not often. We are members of a meat/eggs/yogurt CSA and a vegetable/fruit CSA, so the main things we buy are loss leaders/catalina deals, drinks, cheese, milk, treats, and a few things to fill the gaps left by the CSA memberships (meat that the CSA doesn’t offer or doesn’t offer enough of, like lunchmeat, chicken breast, and ground white turkey; fresh fruit & vegetables in the dead of winter).
I usually visit a few blogs to figure out whether we should hit Dominick’s or Jewel (and very occasionally Target, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s….but since all three of those stores are loaded with budget-busting got-to-have-it temptations, it is just as well that we give them a wide berth). I should probably get my act together and try Aldi — I’ve never even set foot in one — and if we had a Super Target nearby we might put it in a more regular rotation. If there’s nothing compelling in the ads, we sometimes skip a week and just restock on milk at the greengrocer.
My husband and I both work full-time (and 80% outside the home) — to preserve family time and keep stress at bay we try to stick to a rule on the weekends that we don’t do shopping or errands in the mornings, only the afternoons, and we only go out on either Saturday or Sunday but not both. So if we have an outing planned (beach, zoo, museum, park) then we try not to shop/run errands that week if we can avoid it. I have a feeling this rule will have to change once our littles have sports and activities and such, but it works for us for now.
I definitely think it is worthwhile to hit multiple stores if the deals are good, and it generally doesn’t pay to be “brand loyal” to your grocery store — but my experience so far has been that usually only one of the grocery stores in our rotation has compelling/useful deals in a given week.
We are in the same boat. My husband and I both work full-time and family time is so important to us since we don’t get as much time with the kids during the week. When I first started couponing, I was home full time and could go get all the errands and deal shopping done with my kids during the weekdays. Then our weekends were stress-free and we could just do things together as a family. Now, weekends are my only time to shop, so I try to do all the shopping at least while my son is napping in the early afternoon. THat way, we get family time in the morning, which always includes a nice breakfast all together, and then my husband and daughter get some time together while I shop and my son naps. But, like you said, once the kids get a little older and start getting involved in weekend activities and sports, it’s going to be hard to get it all done.
I do shop at multiple stores. We live in a very very small town that only has a Piggly Wiggly. 20 miles south of us is a really big town so and my husband and I both work there. I try to go to Target and Wags when I get out of work and only after I have looked up the deals and know exactly what it is that I am going to get and I only pay cash at those places. For the rest of our groceries we go to Walmart and “The Pig”. I do make out a menu for a 2+ wk period that will incorporate what we have in the house already and things that are on sale at the two stores. The Walmart that we go to is actually 10 miles north of us and we have to go past “The Pig” to get there and back home. As I can find out the sale prices that are at the local store I compare them at Walmart while we are there and I will mark the items that I want to get at “The Pig”. We then will stop at “The Pig” and I will only go in and get the few items that we need. We normally are only gone for about 1 1/2 hrs total.
This last shopping trip my husband was really excited about getting out of Walmart for under $70. We actually got out of there for under $35. He now is starting to get excited about and into the savings. He also is now very supportive about the amount of time I spend looking for the deals and printing/cutting/organizing all of the coupons.
Susan J says
Thanks for the tips, Crystal!
I just returned from a CVS/WAGS run and gave your info to another cashier! =)
I always check through the ads and note which store has the most of the stuff I want/need at the best price and if there is a good enough deal at another store for something else, I will make the two stops. Sunday I went out, coupons in hand, gameplan written down and spent 3 hours making 6 stops! This was kid-free. If I would have had the kids with me it would have been impossible. The worst was at Safeway where they overcharged me for my cereals (the current sale) and it took the gal 25 minutes to figure things out and give me back my $7! So frustrating! Again, if the kids had been with me I probably would have been forced to have just left without my money b/c of the hassle.
yes. I went lot stores, Giant eagle, marc’s , save a lot, wags , cvs, riteaid and maybe once or twice go to target. I feel wow but there too much for me to go stores and look different deal every weeks. I feel that I ignore my kids alot because of time doing search deal and coupon then stores. I need a help with tip for schedule and how can I doing quick look for deal n coupon then store.
I already love your blog because I found lot good tips in here and comment people too 🙂
I have tried to shop more than one stores to get the best deals, but inevitably I end up going over my budget to get the best deals along & what I need… I have had better luck staying on budget by going to one store that is usually the least expensive and getting everything I need for that week.
I am interested to hear your tips!!! 🙂
Like you, I also shop at multiple stores. I review the weekly circulars and Sunday coupon inserts to find what stores will have the best deals and also the freebies. I usually try to hit Rite Aid once a week for freebies or super great deals on a wide variety of things and then usually hit Acme every 1-2 weeks. I stock up on meat from whichever grocery store as the best price in a given week. We usually go to Costco twice a month. Walgeeens, Giant, and Walmart sometimes too. It takes planning, but is well worth it. It can be difficult with three kids 4 and under, so I do some trips after the kids go to bed, cause I can do it much faster that way.
I live in Illinois and I also shop at multiple stores – one day a week. I usually go to IGA, County Market, Schnucks, and Aldi. Walgreens and CVS if there’s a good deal.
I find it easy to go to 4 different grocery stores, because it’s always great to find the best deals possible. I’m a stay at home mom too, so I have the opportunity to check other people’s blogs to find the best deal. I look over the store ads each week and match up with coupons.
We’ve lowered our grocery bill to $40/week, because you’ve inspired me to keep it simple. I love following your blog and will continue to do so. Thank you so much!
I have a weekly Wags budget. I make it a game to see how much stuff I can get with store deals and coupons and RR while staying within the budget. The rest of my grocery money goes to Winn Dixie. The Wal-Mart in town is notorious for running out of staples and doesn’t offer much organic food, so I usually skip Wal-Mart altogether. If Wal-Mart is having a deal that is too good to pass up, I’ll go to the one in the next town over.
I absolutely shop at several stores! Mainly Wally World (W-M) b/c they price match, but definitely hit Target, Aldi & Sams as well.
I am so LOVING your Blog! You are able to put into words everything I’ve always believed in…THANK YOU!!!!!!
Kelly Hess says
YES – I always do weekly trips to Giant Eagle, CVS, and Walgreens. I then have certain items I go to Aldi’s and MARC’s for. They are all within 5 mile radius of my house!
I definitely save money by shopping more than one store. Generally I spend an hour going through ads, clipping coupons, meal planning, reading blogs about “deals,” and making my list. An average week I price-match at Wal-Mart, grab cheap staples at Aldi, and sale shop at Kroger. I save about half of what I used to spend and it really works for me.
I completely agree with shopping at multiple stores- when I have the time to do so. But wouldn’t you save $48/hr with your scenario? 🙂
Lynette S says
There aren’t a lot of grocery chains where I live – oh how I wish we had a Publix nearby! I “mainly” shop at Kroger. However, I do check the Bi-lo ad each week and if they have several good deals, I will make a trip there. I make a monthly trip to Wal-Mart for the things we’ve run out of that just haven’t been on sale anywhere. (That’s less and less these days as I have built up my stockpile). I also shop at CVS and Walgreen’s, usually weekly.
I have found that when I plan ahead and shop my list, stopping at more than one store does not take much any longer than when I used to do weekly shopping without a plan. In fact, my list saves me time- even my kids talk about how quick I get in & out of the store.
When I lived in PA up until about a year ago, I shopped only at Giant (and I was very fortunate to have a real Giant). I mean, I would occasionally go to Sam’s or Walmart or this awesome local discount store when I needed to stock up on a few things that I knew they had the best prices on, but my main weekly grocery shopping was done only at Giant. When I moved to Columbus, OH a year ago, I tried to find my ONE store to shop at only to realize after trying several that I could not get everything I wanted at one store. I really tried to like Giant Eagle, but it never really was able to live up to Giant, so I stopped trying. Anyway, I ended up finding that between Meijer and Kroger, I could find pretty much everything I want (with an occasional trip to Marc’s to get our favorite brand of Pecorino Romano cheese pretty cheap) and get the best deals that each store has to offer. And now I can’t imagine NOT shopping at more than one store, since grocery prices really do vary so much between chains. And I also can’t imagine how I ever lived without Meijer. LOVE that store!!!
I shop at multiple stores, but not really from a price standpoint–instead, from a selection standpoint. Every week we go to the farmer’s market (for sustainable meat/eggs/produce), the local health food store (for organic milk/bulk spices and grains, etc) and Kroger (for everything else). Occasionally we’ll drop by Target or another place if we need something specific to that store or priced drastically lower.
The Working Home Keeper says
Same here! We buy local, grass-fed and pastured meat and eggs, local fruits and veggies, local honey, handmade soap, etc. from our farmer’s market. Then onto Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for bulk items (organic brown rice, organic dried beans, etc.). For non-food items (paper products, pet food, diapers, cleaning supplies), I shop ALDI or Costco.
The Working Home Keeper
Since we only have an over-priced Dillons in our small town, I drive 30 miles one way to the closet Walmart. There is also a Walgreens and Target in that town. But since it’s an hour just for the driving, I rarely shop all those stores in one trip. I’ve found that focusing on the sales at Dillons when they’re really good a couple times a month and then make one (sometimes 2) trips to town for the others. I rarely have enough time to get to all the stores.
Marianne @TheNewFrugalMom.com says
I think one of the best tips for people who are hesitant to adopt the “more than one store” attitude (and I used to be one of them B.C. – Before Coupons) is to spend a week noticing which stores they pass during their daily or weekly travels.
If you’re driving to work, to school (you or the kids), to church, to one grocery store daily or weekly, you’re likely passing by stores (drugstores, especially) that you could easily shop if you adjusted your schedule and planned your shopping trips.
And when you’re getting stuff for super cheap or free, it’s definitely worth it to shop more than one store!!
@Marianne @TheNewFrugalMom.com, I agree with you! I make my list as the store flyers come out and keep it and my coupon tote bag in the car… then when I am out and about I can zip into a store that is on my route. Usually takes only a few minutes and saves me a lot.
Grocery shopping is a bit more time consuming, but not that much. I usually shop Aldi’s and pick up items at the other stores as I drive by.
I do one fell swoop at Aldi, Walmart, Kroger in that order (in case Aldi doesn’t have something) every 2 to 2 1/2 weeks. However, now that Aldi has raised prices on most everything, I’m trying to rethink my plan and see if I want to start doing the serious coupon thing. The main reason “holding me back” is 5 children in 4.5 years.
I go to http://www.southernsavers.com to plan my grocery shopping. She lists everything on sale at most grocery stores in the South and under each item, posts links to all the coupons that can be used on each item. Much easier than shuffling through sale papers. It’s completely free, which is awesome! I print personalized shopping lists off the site for Kroger, Publix, and Target each week. Every week I think I’ve found a great deal at one store only to find that one of the others has it for less. I do the bulk of my shopping at Kroger, which I’ve found to have the best non-sale prices and get special deals at the other two.
I definitely do and get great deals that way. I am blessed though to have Farm Fresh, Harris Teeter, Target, and Walmart all within 5 minutes of my house. Kroger is just 10 min away and right across the street from my son’s gym. I don’t hit everyone each week, but at least once a month if they have great deals.
For right now I only shop at 1 store mainly, but that’s because the 2 closest stores to me are both Kroger. I do find that one has better markdowns than the other, so when time allows I go to the one that’s a little further away. Unfortunately the absolute closest is WalMart which I only go to when I have to. The closest Randall’s is 45 minutes away so I don’t bother with that one. Occasionally I’ll go to HEB which is about 15 minutes away on a bad day but only if the meal deal is decent. I really wish there was a closer Randall’s.
Shannan Felix says
I may have missed this while following your series so I just thought I would go ahead and ask! How do you know how much you should spend for your budgeted weekly amount? We have 5 kids, for a total of 7, and I don’t know what I should be using as a goal.
a.k.a. Chubbie Chica
@Shannan Felix, Everyone’s budget is going to be different. The best place to start is figuring out what you currently spend. Then, set a goal to cut it by 10% the next month. Then see if you can cut it again. Repeat the process until it gets painful and your kids are going to friends’ to eat (just kidding!). When you find a number that’s a bit challenging but enough to feed everyone, then stay put. You have to keep tabs on how it works for you, since the kids will eat more as they get older.
I have 5 kids(ages 13-3) as well.
Like Sherri said, everyone’s budget is going to be different. Just to give you some idea what I have done, I have my grocery budget so that we are spending between $20-$25/day for food. I know to some that might sound high however that includes 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day. You also have to consider that we are meat and potatoes family so we do not do many meatless meals. There are no food allergies or special diets that we need to follow, however, I have several who are picky eaters.
So as you can see, there are can be lots of variables to consider when making a grocery budget that is why I agree with those that say to do what is best for your family.
i “shop” 5 stores every week, though may not actually GO, per se. i go thru ads, online or paper flyer, and my coupons, to see where the best deals are for what i need.
With a little planning, it is so easy to shop at more than one store. I realize not everyone lives close to several stores so it may be harder for them! I just plan and usually hit 2-3 stores all while I am out. I do go to Walmart for some things since it just seems like some things can’t be beat on the price but otherwise shop 2-3 local stores. Planning is key!
stephanie laubach says
I do. Like you, I have several stores that I look at & go to the ones that have the best deals or items that I’m looking for during that week. I never make all the stores, but by picking a few & stocking up on the good prices, I save. This way, I am not running out for a toothbrush & paying full price! Stocking up is the key. I have a very well stocked pantry, freezer, fridge & linen closet. I am able to donate so much to people in need & friends, that we are never for want. Once in a while we run out of bread or milk, but there are always options. I try to map out my trip to hit stores in a loop, so I’m not running all over town. It usually takes me less then 2 hours to hit 5-6 stores.
I am SO THANKFUL to live in a town now where I can shop multiple groceries/drug stores within 3 miles from my home. However, I remember a time when I had to travel 30 minutes with 2 babies (newborn and 18 month old) just to get groceries. In life, you do what you can do, when you can do it. At that point in my life, I couldn’t do much since family was far away. Now that the kids are older, I have found that couponing at the drugstores makes a major dent in my overall household budget–which has meant more for clothing, etc.
Don’t stress out if there’s not much around you. Do what you can! You’ll find shopping multiple stores (when available geographically) makes a major difference!
I definitely shop at more then 1 store. I try to just take 1 day and hit the best 3-4 stores for that week. I also try to pick the stores that are the closest to each other.
I look forward to seeing your post tomorrow with the tips!
Milk Donor Mama says
When it’s worth my time, I do. I live in Columbus Ohio and we have Kroger, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Walmart, Aldi, Marc’s, Save a Lot, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, a few independent markets and in the summer we have Farmer’s Markets.
I look at the flyers either online or in print, check my favorite blogs and decide which stores are worth going to. Lately I’ve only been shopping at Meijer. Meijer doubles coupons, price matches and issues rain checks. They’re also the most conveniently located to me, which is worth a lot in terms of avoiding unneccesary trips and city traffic.
I have done this for years; in fact this is how my large freezer stays full to the brim with meat. Each time I am in town I stop by a grocery store I am near to check out their marked down meat and to check out their produce department. I always have a variety of meat on hand that was purchased at a bargain price.
In my area we have 2 major grocery stores plus Wal-Mart. It only takes a few minutes to run in and buy the items on sale and check out any unadvertised specials. To me, it is worth the extra time. Recently I purchased Wrights brand thick cut bacon, normally 5.99 a package, at a marked down price of $1.50; it was well worth my time!
I actually check out the store ads and pick what we need or are going to purchase based on the price and circle these items with a marker. I then take my sales ads with me to Walmart as they match prices from different stores. Prior to leaving, I make out my list of groceries and make a note next to the items that I found in the ads. When I shop I place those items in a certain part of my cart to make it easy when I check out. This saves me the time of running to several different stores with 2 little ones, but still allows me to save money.
I so love this post! I have just started trying this…and I do have to say, you are so right about it saving me money. I was definitely one to snarl at the idea at first…due to what I thought was a lack of time. Now it has become fun for me…and is my little outting to find deals. I’m on a mission when I do this. I can’t wait to read your next post about planning shopping at more than one store. I could use all the tips and help I can get!
Loved how you put it into a salary perspective. You are so right on that!
I do this! I feel like a school kid needing praise. Basically, this way you can pick up the store’s lost leaders without falling into the trap of spending extra on other general food stuff. We have two stores near us – I check the deals out on the internet and type my shopping list accordingly. I ask my husband to fetch some of the stuff on his way home (saving on fuel as he passes the shop anyway). This has saved nearly £20 per week on my shopping bill. Unfortunately the UK is still in a recession and the future looks a bit grime at the moment – all bills and tax are likely to rise this year (including interest rates) so I like to save money wherever possible.
Sorry meant grim!
I meant I “shop” not “hope”. LOL dawn
I hope at several stores and watch their deals. I visit several website, such as this one and find it very helpful when it comes time to shop. Just today I shopped at Albertsons and Safeway (2 blocks apart) and spent $20 and saved $63 and received two catalinas for $13.50. I find it is helpful to check the websites and the ads. Oh, and yes I only bought products my family eats or needs. Dawn
Tammy L says
I can’t wait to hear your tips in the next post in this series! 🙂 I have several reasons for shopping almost exclusively at Costco… but I guess it really comes down to not wanting to go out late at night (since I don’t have use of a vehicle during the day — until “rush hour” traffic starts!)… somehow, taking 3 kids with me and making 1 or 2 stops (Costco and Rite-Aid IF they have FAR things we need) seems doable… taking 3 kids and making 3+ stops and waiting through countless traffic lights to get 3 miles down the street… 😛
Also, it seems to me (I DO watch ALL the grocery ads that come, about 7 stores/ worth at least!) that each store really only has 1-2 sale items that would beat Costco prices… this might be different if we had Aldi’s or Winco nearby. 🙂
My Giant Store doubles coupons up to a dollar! So, that is hard to beat. Every once in awhile I stop at Walmart or Wegmans’s after church (when we are on “that side of town”). I only go to CVS if there is a really sweet deal because we try to buy natural hygiene products with doubled coupons at Giant or online through vitacost.com.
I am fortunate to live within five miles of Kroger, 2 Walgreens, 1 CVS, Walmart, United Grocery Outlet and a produce stand! I shop mostly at Kroger, UGO, CVS, and Wags weekly. And at least twice a month I go 15 minutes away to Earth Fare. Although I like Aldi, Target, and some other places I rarely do deals there because it’s at least 30 mintues away. I do find it very worth it to pop into several stores even just for the freebies (which doesn’t take any time). But when my 5 children were younger I stuck to Walmart. So, for whatever season & location you find yourself in, just do the best you can! You can keep adding to your expertise and you might find you have more time and energy later to do more.
Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire says
Yes, I shop at more than one store. Everything is within 5 miles of my house, so it’s easy. I go through the weekly sales ads, circle the deals I want, look for coupons to match before I go, then head to the stores with circulars in hand. It’s quick and easy once I’m in the store, as all the time-consuming work of finding the deals and coupons is done ahead of time at home.
Now admittedly, in the spring when I tutor twice a week, I’m not typically as diligent about shopping the sales, so I totally get why women who work outside the home might not do this. It does take some time to prepare for this, and if you’re not home all day, there are other things that often take precedence.
I’m a huge fan of hitting multiple stores. The key though is to plan. Look at the ads and have a list. Some weeks one store has the hot sales, next week the other does. I hit two stores once a week, on the same day..granted they are only a few blocks apart. The funny part is I used to have to go to the grocery store at least every other day so I’m actually spending far less time as well as money shopping now. Yeah!
A tip for when you really don’t have time to go to more than one store. Wal-Mart will match the advertised prices of other stores in your area. I usually go to a few different stores, depending on what I need, but if I’m really busy or there are 5 stores with absolutely amazing deals, I just head over to my local Wal-Mart Supercenter with grocery ads in had and get it all in one place. I don’t do my “normal” shopping at Wal-Mart, however, because I’ve found that Food4Less is generally cheaper, and Ralph’s doubles coupons.
I usually visit one grocery store and CVS during the week while my son is a preschool. While I usually end up at the same grocery store each week, I always check the ads for the only competitor. If they have better offerings, I go there instead. I do have access to Aldi, Target, Walmart, but those stores are unfortunately not in a direction I usually need to travel.
I think the biggest factor in how many stores people shop is how many stores are available.
Amanda Fletcher says
I’m 30 miles from town, so I try to make the most of each and every trip. Every Sunday I go shopping in order to pick up newspapers from the big city (100+ miles away) because their coupons are easily 10x better than our local paper; it’s sad really. Anyway, before I go I always check for deals at CVS, Walgreens, Target, Albertson’s, and United. I get what I can get for a steal at the first 4 and everything else at United on the way home. This would be somewhat easier if I didn’t have to wait until that morning to check the Target ad, but at least everything else is available online beforehand.
You should check out afullcup.com or totallytarget.com on fridays/saturdays to check out sunday’s deals. While they are not able to post ad scans they will have the ad typed out for you.
I am one of those people that just doesn’t have always have the time or good health & energy to shop more than one store. I also have times I am half way through the store and have to call it a trip even though I am holding coupons for items that would be free. I used to try to do several stores, find it better for me to do one grocery store and focus on one drugstore. There are a lot of couponers like me who can only handle one store trips, for us those aren’t excuses thats life.
Christy is correct- If you can only do one store for whatever reason, learn your store sales & layouts and make the best of it 🙂 Do not feel pressured to get every deal in town, that way couponing stays enjoyable.
If you have a couponing friend that has poor health, works long hours, or has a housefull of little ones- offer to drive them sometime or shop a trip for them. Maybe they would pitch in for the gas next time you drive across town? or share inserts. 🙂
I also shop at more than one store. I have done this for a while and I have found it is essential when you are trying to eat natural/organic products on a budget. It is convenient to run into the one heath food store we have in our town and just buy everything I need but their prices are soo… expensive! I find that with a little leg work I can find many of the same products for less even without coupons at other regular grocery stores and even on Amazon!
I probably shop between 2-3 stores a week. Where I am in SoCal, I have a ton of options and its hard not to feel like I need to drive around all week getting deals (sorry for those of you that don’t, I don’t mean to make you feel bad. You can have too much of a good thing.) I did that for a while and it was really hard on my budget! I use my pricebook as a guide and my budget as a limiting factor, and usually only end up at 2 stores.
Lea Stormhammer says
I used to be one of those work-part-time-school-full-time-busy-mom-of-2 people who thought I just didn’t have time to shop at more than one store.
We have 4 stores – Target, Cub Foods, Rainbow Foods, and Walgreens in a nice line starting about 5 miles from my home. We hit them in that order in 1-2 hours on Saturday morning starting about 10am. That’s with all four of us going! If I’m by myself, I can do that in roughly an hour, depending on the length of the lines inside. I might hit just 1 or 2 depending on the sales and my list.
I discovered after watching prices that one store has great sales, and another has good everyday prices and occasionally great sales, so it has paid to hit both regularly. My grocery bill went from $250/wk to $12-$40/wk now ($75/wk when I had two in diapers). I think that’s worth a few extra minutes of my time!
Thanks for all you do, Crystal!
We only have one grocery store that doubles coupons- therefore that is the only grocery store I shop every week. However some weeks I skip the main grocery store and just stock up on staples at Aldi’s. We do not have a Super Walmart or Super Target- so I don’t find any other store worth it coupon-wise. I do also hit CVS most weeks. We have one other grocery store that I will shop only if they have a really good deal on something like meat.
I do! I shop at Costco for things I can buy in bulk, Trader Joes for organic frozen vegetables, and Giant Eagle for everything else, and my CSA and Farmer’s Markets in the spring/summer/fall. It helps that you can’t use coupons at Trader Joes or (usually) at Costco, so I only have my GE (and CVS/Rite Aid, if I’m feeling really ambitious) coupons to deal with. I struggle with how organic to shop (is off-brand organic milk as humanely-raised as Stonyfield Farm? I’m trying to buy our meat “off the hoof” now, which cuts down on my shopping trips as well. I do go to GE every week, but I am getting to where I do my other shopping only a couple times a month or less, which really helps. A freezer/pantry makes a big difference!
In my case, I have very little cash to deal with OOP on household items (we use food stamps so groceries are easier). As as stay-at-home-mom though, what I DO have plenty of is time! So I have time to check the ads, read several blogs, dig for coupons, and make a very detailed list of exactly what and where I am shopping. I try to go without the kids, and then it only takes me a few hours to go to 4-5 stores if I want to! I also visit my parents every week, and every store I could possibly want is along the way, so I try to make the best of my trips into town. And since I have started couponing and stockpiling, I rarely shop Walmart anymore, and I can skip weeks (except for produce and dairy) and we do fine!
The Saved Quarter says
I’m with you – using food stamps, but trying to make it stretch, and with little money for everything else. Still, I go to several stores for groceries to really make the food stamps stretch. I start out with a list for Safeway and Food Maxx of coupon matchups and loss leaders. Then I go to Grocery Outlet and do the bulk of my shopping there, where coupons aren’t allowed but everyday prices are rock bottom, comparing my match-up prices. Trader Joe’s gets a visit, as they’re cheap on some of my staples, and after that, Safeway across the street, where I get the loss leaders and fill in the gaps. If loss leaders are really good, I’ll go across town to Lucky or Food Maxx, but that doesn’t happen all that often.
I’ve recently added the WIC store in our area to use our WIC vouchers – Safeway is terrible with them – and an Orowheat Outlet about once a month to stock up on cheap bread. Costco is good for some veggies and milk when we use up the WIC supply.
I also go to Rite Aid and occasionally CVS, although I prefer Rite Aid’s rewards program.
I shop at 4 stores. The military commissary is where I get most things. What a blessing! Usually everything is cheaper or the same as a sale price and they take coupons. I go there 1 day/week. King Soopers is next door to my boys’ TaeKwonDo studio so I go almost every afternoon to scout for mark-downs. Almost every day I can get 1/2 price milk. I also get marked down French or Italian breads or dinner rolls and freeze them. I like to find marked-down floral too as a little gift to myself. Then one day a week I make up my list and get all my coupons and just shop the ad for the things I know are less than the commissary and collect all the free stuff. The double coupons are what can make them cheaper. I also go to The Sunflower Market for their awesome produce deals. I go there on Wednesdays because the weekly ads overlap that day. I go to Albertson’s occasionally but only for a really good deal which is infrequent. Recently Safeway has had some good deals but there is not one nearby and I just can’t see adding another store.
I forgot to add that I work at home and homeschool my three (soon to be 4) young children. Coupon shopping with them is a nightmare so I do my big trips in the evenings after my husband has come home from work. It’s win-win for everyone. Kids get a little one on one time with Daddy and I get a few hours away from them! 🙂
Jen B says
I shop at more than one store. I try to go on Sunday or Monday, which ever one hubby is off, to hit all my stores without kids. I am lucky that the stores I go to are all on one street. So, if I drive two miles on this one street, I’ll pass all of them. 🙂 Quite convenient, I must say. 🙂 And now I have a goal for next year, Disney World. So I’ll really be looking for the deals. 🙂
Thanks for all you do to save us money.
I shop at multiple stores and I am one of those people who has to drive quite a ways to get the deals. We live in a teeny tiny town with no real options. The nearest town (15 min away) has a Walgreens and an Aldis that I go to when I happen to be in town for other business. The bigger city (45 min) has all the rest, Target, Jewel, CVS, etc. I spend quite a lot of time planning my trips to Jewel because it is the furthest away and because when has awesome Catalina deals I can get a lot of groceries for very little OOP with careful planning. Whenever I go there I also make stops and all the CVS and WAGS on the way (sometimes another 5 stores)! I have to resist temptation to do multiple trips to Jewel because of wasting gas and wear and tear on my van and I generally stay away when the Catalina deals are in an “off” cycle. I shop from my pantry year round by doing the following: growing a lot of my own produce in the summer to can and freeze, buying bulk meats from farmers, grains from health food stores and on line, and Aldis to fill in the rest. Thanks for your awesome blog!
Misty @ Frugalicious says
I have three kids under three and often have to take them shopping with me. People constantly tell me I am crazy for shopping at more than one store w/ all three of them. However, in some ways I find it easier! I would much rather spend 20 min in each store, than and hour in one. They are much easier to keep entertained for 20 min! After each store, they are able to get out of the cart, and help me put the groceries in the car. Then, we drive to the next store while listening to some music. It is a great break for them and allows me to get all of my shopping done. Whenever I try to do it all at one store, they just get bored and go crazy by the time I’m done!
Yes, I shop at 3 different stores each week. My husband will hit one on his way home from work & the kids & I hit the other two that are on the same block. My 2 yr old does NOT like to shop, so it works well to only spend about 20 minutes in one store, then head to the other. It seems to give him a break. This way I’m able to get all the loss leaders I can afford. We’ll also occasionally hit Super Walmart or Super Target on our way home from church if we need “basics” that weren’t on sale at the grocery stores. My actual grocery shopping time each week is probably only around 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
I am one of those people that just doesn’t have time to shop more than one store. I work full time and have a child. I actually took a couponing workshop recently where the teacher told us that it is not necessary to shop more than one store. She suggested Publix, which is my favorite store anyway, because they are so coupon friendly. She said that she occasionally checks the Bilo ad and will go to Bilo instead or in addition to if it is worth it. I have been couponing since June and have mostly only done Publix. Along with using the buy ahead principle, couponing just at Publix has dramatically reduced our budget. We do not have an Aldi or a Kroger.
I also CVS–don’t know if that counts since I only get a few items each time since they have limits. It puts a dent in the budget, especially for toiletries.
Occasionally, if I am going to Target for something, I will check the Target deals, but sometimes I don’t even have time to check the deals and pull the coupons together. It all depends.
I spend about 2 hours a weekend meal planning and planning my CVS/Publix trips, plus the time it takes to make those trips, so I really don’t want to invest any more time! During the summer, when I was off work, I would check for deals at Bilo, but that is our only other coupon friendly place.–and I tried WAGs during the summer, but didn’t really seem to be saving money like at CVS–they would never let me use my RR when I wanted to and it wasn’t worth the time and effort!
All this is to say that even if you only shop one store (or mainly one store), you can really bring your budget down!!
Jenni @ Life from the Roof says
I have two or three stores I go to regularly – two of them every Saturday morning (they are right next to each other) and one “bulk store” every couple of weeks. It’s easier for me to go there on the weekends when I can leave my kids home with my husband, but it’s also more crowded there, so I try to group my purchases there to make the most of my time.
Yes I shop at more than one store. I have 7 different stores(that includes Aldi and Save A Lot) within a 5 mile radius of my home so it makes it easy for me to sit down with the ads and compare the stores against my price list for Aldis and Save A Lot and then plan my shopping trip.
Today I just did the rest of my shopping for the month of March and I went to 4 stores and was done with my shopping within an hour.
I definitely shop at more than one. For example, Saturday I went to Walmart because I knew I’d get a few items cheaper. I did the majority of my shopping at Publix, getting the sale items.
I recently started shopping at three grocery stores fairly close by, that all double coupons. Occasionally I’ll hit Food Lion if they have a great sale, but usually just Harris Teeter, Lowes, and Bi-Lo. I also will buy some things at CVS or Target, based on sales and time. These stores are all within 15 minutes of my house. I have been surprised at the savings I have seen! It’s great!
Yes, I shop at more than 1 store. I buy the Sunday paper and scan the ads, then decide where I want to go that week. There are 2 chains within minutes of my house, and another on the way to my in-laws, so I stop when I happen to be going the right direction. Depending on the week, I may shop at 1-3 grocery stores, and possibly Rite Aid and CVS. It all depends on what’s on sale and what I have time to do.
In addition to Aldis, I go to 2 other grocery stores. Some weeks I visit all three, some weeks I just visit the one with the best deals. It all depends on where the deals are at and what kind of time I have that week. I also am a regular shopper at CVS and an occassional Target shopper.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to visit these different stores.
If I have my list and coupons ready, I can be in and out of CVS in less than 10 minutes. Did I mention that I spent $5 at CVS this week and got 6 packs of deodorant, 2 boxes of cereal and 1 box of granola bars, and $5 in ECBs to use next time.
Michelle K says
Yes, I do shop at more than one store. We have 3 large grocery chains within a few miles of my house.
I always look at the sale ads for 5 different stores (Aldi, Walmart, Publix, Bi-Lo, and Ingles). I always go to Aldi, and I pass 3 of the stores on my way back! (the 5th store is about 2 miles away from the rest) Looking at the different stores has saved me lots of money. A lot of times, two stores will have the same item on sale, but one store is cheaper. I don’t always go to all those stores–especially if there’s nothing good on sale. But I look to make sure I’m getting the best deal. Since I’ve done this since the beginning of our marriage, it’s almost become 2nd nature. 🙂
I definitely shop at more than 1 store. Not all on the same day of course. For instance, I try to plan certain shopping when I drop my kids off at piano lessons (4 kids taking piano lessons gives me roughly 2 hours of errand-time) – usually picking certain grocery stores in that area. Sometimes I just need a break and feel tuckered out with all the different shops though…there needs to be a balance between saving $ and saving time.