Oh my gosh! We can't believe Tuesday got away from us like this. We GREATLY apologize for getting this week's issue of Tightwad Tuesday posted so late! Dave and I have both been putting in so many work hours that we haven't gotten to see much of each other lately. Talking on the phone every night is great, but that in-person time just can't be beat! Opportunity arose for us to spend the last 24 hours together and we grabbed it. We were enjoying our time together so much that we forgot it was Tuesday! Okay, so on with the post....
Believe it or not, Dave and I really enjoy going grocery shopping together. I have never enjoyed shopping with my fella as much as I do with Dave. What is even better is that we agree so much on our choices and shopping styles. We are both tightwads and both look for the most natural and healthiest of products we can find. It works out very well.
Today we were shopping at our favorite economy grocery store here in the town I live closest to. The bargains were great [Sun Butter - 99¢ (like peanut butter only with sunflower seeds), big glass jars of all-natural mandarin oranges (no sugar) - 39¢, marinated artichoke/olive salad - 59¢, Mexican wedding cookies - 39¢] and the list of great savings went on and on.
Then we came to the meat department. They were running the best of specials on frozen, battered, ready-to-cook Chicken Livers. Yes, it was pre-packaged and had a bit of ingredients that we usually try to steer clear of, but it wasn't a major thing, we do fudge on an occasional treat once-in-a-great-while, and the price this time was just too irresistible. The 5-pound bags were only $1.99. NO... not $1.99 a pound.... $1.99 a 5-pound bag!! Fried Chicken Livers is something that both of us usually make from scratch, but at this price, Dave was standing there thinking of getting a bag. Then I said that I thought I was going to get a bag. So Dave suggested that we get the 10-pound box (which contained 2 bags) and split it. So why would be do it that way? Because the 10-pound box was only $3.49 (yes, that's only 35¢ a pound for meat) - a total savings of 49¢. That may not sound like much of a savings over 10 pounds, but if you do that on enough items, the savings really adds up fast! And as an added bonus, I got a good, strong, sturdy box to use at the flea market. That may not sound like much, either, but when you have a customer come up that wants to make a big glassware purchase, having that sturdy box on hand could easily make or break your sale!
Occasionally, buying in bulk isn't the way to go. You have to really know your prices and watch those figures closely because some stores really play on people's tendency to buy in bulk, and if you look closely, sometimes the bulk price may even cost more per unit than the smaller bag price! So make sure you take a calculator with you shopping, then take the time in the store to figure the per-unit cost of your items, both in bulk and by individual packages. The results of your figures may surprise you!
Most of the time, though, buying in bulk can save you LOTS of money. If you are a large family, buying in bulk simply for your own use saves you lots of money, and also saves you shopping time by not having to repeatedly go back to the store for items. But if you are a single person, a couple or simply live in a very small space, buying in bulk may appear to have its downsides, such as not enough storage space and/or you aren't able to use it all up quickly enough. But these problems don't need to always hinder you from buying in bulk to save money. Get together with other family and friends in the same situation, or start and organize your own group. Make up lists of the basic grocery items, cleaning products, and basic staples you use throughout the month, check out how many people in your 'group' use the same items, then designate one member of the group to purchase the item(s) in bulk. Meet back up, divide up into agreed upon portions and also divide up the cost accordingly. Everyone saves. Often times I get 50-pound bags of potatoes that gets split up amongst me, Dave and my mom, which results in big savings for all of us. Later this month I may try it with fresh carrots, too. (I learned that, besides getting a per unit lower price, I can also get a better quality of carrots by purchasing them in the BIG, restaurant-sized bags). Sometimes co-ops are started this way and are also a great way to save. But the main suggestion of this post is simply to get together with a few like-minded people who want to save money but don't want large quantities all for themselves, yet wants the savings of the larger quantities. Very rarely will you have to look far for people that would like to share in a bulk purchase with you, as everyone today is looking harder than ever at ways to save money.
And now, I am going to go fry me up a pan of those wonderful looking chicken livers for a late dinner. Who would like to join me?