Yes, many of us have our favorite stores – maybe the cashiers are nice, the stock guys go above and beyond to get you extra stock or it’s simply the one that is closest to where you live. But if your goal is to save the most money possible, you can’t practice store loyalty.
You need to get the weekly flyers for all the grocery stores in your area. Specials tend to revolve through the different stores – a product on sale at one store probably isn’t on sale at the next. And those fantastic door crasher deals that are often partially sponsored by the brands as loss leader sales won’t be offered at more than one store at the same time – if it is offered at another store at all.
If you have a coupon for a particular brand of ketchup and your stockpile has gotten low, you need to scan all the different grocery store flyers to see where it is on sale this week or next. Then check your coupons to see where has the best deal for the coupons you already have.
Before you start thinking about the gas you waste driving between grocery stores, there are a couple of ways to think about it. You could spend an extra $50-100 because you are buying products on sale but not wasting a dollar on gas. Or you can plan your shopping trips based on when you are already in the neighborhood of each store, such as after driving carpool or dropping the kids off at an after school activity.