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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Grocery Shopping in Between the Holidays

This came up in discussion, here, recently.  In my area, I have found better sales a week or two outside of the holiday week, for those special holiday foods.  This week Fred Meyer (a Kroger affiliate) had Hebrew National hot dogs, potato chips, and graham crackers/marshmallows all on sale. These items are all what I think of as BBQ foods (graham crackers/marshmallows for s'mores).

Memorial Day was over a week ago, and we're still 3 weeks out from 4th of July week. My thinking is that the stores know they "have us" just before the holiday, but want to entice us outside of the holiday period, with season-specific sales, during those weeks when we might not be thinking cook-out.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. I used this week, along with my discount for Senior Day, to grab some bargains to save until the 4th of July.  If I find these same items for less than I paid this week, it won't be by much. And if I don't find them at these prices, then I'm ahead of the game. Like with other treats, the potato chips and graham crackers are hidden in my "other" pantry, and the Hebrew Nationals have been designated "do not touch" and are in the garage fridge.

For some price comparisons -- with senior discount, I paid $1.35 for each box of graham crackers. when compared to Dollar Tree's graham crackers in a 10-oz box, the equivalent amount of Kroger's grahams (in a 14.4-oz box) were 93.75 cents, over 6 cents per box cheaper.  The Hebrew Nationals I am willing to spend as much as $3.99 per package. So I saved $1 per package.  The least expensive potato chips I can buy at Dollar Tree have 6 ounces in a bag.  The Kroger ones have 11.5 ounces in each bag.  I paid $1.69, with my discount.  A 6-ounce equivalent of the Kroger brand cost 88 cents. what I did not buy -- I did not buy the marshmallows. I can get a better deal at WinCo than $1 for the small bag advertised. And I make our own ketchup and buy mustard in gallon jars, so I save on those items outside of shopping Fred Meyer's "in-between" sale.


  1. I think you're right. The good grocery deals aren't the week right before the holiday any more. Maybe it's because they know people will buy the stuff anyway when they are so close to the actual holiday?

    I picked up 8 packages of Hebrew National hotdogs at Grocery Outlet a few days ago. They were $2.50 each. I rarely shop there. It's out of my way (although I happened to be in that area of town a few days ago). Also, I'm always tempted to spend more than I should there. But this time I went in, bought the hot dogs & 4 bottles of Welch's sparkling white grape juice (99 cents/bottle) & got out. I'll set aside the juice for Thanksgiving. The expiration date says this August, but I'm going to take my chances.

    I'm taking care of my niece & nephew for the summer (their mom is going through chemo) and I discovered last week that they really like hot dogs. So I bought a bunch to sprinkle throughout the summer.

    In other bad news, our Walmart has decided to stop price matching :( I totally get why. It's a hassle for them and I've seen people outright lie about prices & the cashiers had to match it anyway. It's too bad a few bad apples spoil it for everybody. But onward & upward! Have a great day, Lili! Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Good score on the Hebrew National. Having hot dogs here and there will likely add cheer to your time with your niece and nephew. I am so sorry that their mom has cancer. It's very loving of you to take care of the two of them, so their mom can just recover.

      With the white grape juice, you might want to keep it in the fridge until Thanksgiving. When I've done that with other items that would normally be pantry-safe, but went past their expiration date, they did fine. It's what I wished I had done with the large unopened jug of lemon juice. I wish I had a need to go by Grocery Outlet. It's out of my way, but if I get the need to be over there, I'll stop in. That 99 cents per bottle on the sparkling juice sounds awesome.

      Have a great day, Melissa!

    2. Great idea! I will definitely do that.

  2. I have a big problem with advertised "sales". I just can't shop by a flyer that says "sale" anymore. It is so strange but sometimes the sale price is higher than the normal, everyday price. A smaller stores sale price is often higher than the big store sale price too. And it can be the other way around. So my shopping is minimal and what is on the "list" and I often go to Aldi or SaveALot where the prices are often cheaper. I can get a whole cart for $45 where the big store it's almost double.


    1. Hi Alice,
      I am waiting for Aldi to make its way across the country . I'm glad you have it, though. I'm sure that store has saved you a ton over the years.

      What I have noticed about the sales flyers is the sales are not always great, just like you said. And the actual items I might buy are not on the cover any more, but buried deep inside. Some stores sales are not even worth my time, either. What matters is the bottom line, how much did I spend.

      Have a great day, Alice!

  3. Our one grocery that is a part of Kroger always has some buy five, save so much. Well, it can be very confusing and not well marked. Sometimes I end up paying full price when I think I have gotten the buy five savings...or they are out of one of the five different things I intended to purchase.
    I find I do most of my shopping at is consistent. Our WM has also stopped price matching. And the Kroger affliate....may well be discontinuing the 5% senior discount on!
    It is very frustrating! Do others feel the same at times?

    1. Hi Linda,
      I know what you mean. My other pet peeve is the way that the receipts/cash register transaction rings up. They sometimes take the sales amount off at the point of sale, and sometimes it doesn't come off until the end of the transaction. I am constantly asking the cashier if something will have the difference taken off at the end, and I know she or he gets annoyed with me asking. I am just trying to watch the register and make sure I get the sale price.

      Oh, I hope they don't eliminate the discount at your Kroger. Every last little bit helps. I think that you are not alone with feeling frustrated about grocery prices going up, with fewer of the ways to save that we've become used to using. The food industry is changing. I think we need to find alternate ways to save. Do you have farm stands in your area during summer? What about Grocery Outlet or other salvage stores, or low-cost stores like Aldi, or ethnic markets with a produce section? We need to think outside of our usual methods to save. I agree, it is frustrating.

  4. I've been taking advantage of BBQ themed sales, stacking coupons on top (they double face value around here, up to 99 cents to double to $1.98). I now have several extra mustards, ketchup, mayo, hotdogs, etc.

    1. Hi Carol,
      this is a good time of year to stock up on things like ketchup and mustard, to use the rest of the year. I'm so glad that you can find good coupon deals with doubling there. That off-sets the high cost of groceries in your area, a little.
      Enjoy your weekend, Carol!

  5. I haven't noticed especially good prices on grill items except grills. Apparently, they are a big item for Father's Day.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I haven't priced grills. I guess that makes sense that they are a big Father's Day item, along with ties (do men wear ties very much any more?). Will a new grill make it to your new yard this year?
      Have a great weekend, live and learn!

    2. Nope, our current grill is still good. The only bad thing was that it was awkward to move. But it's here now and working fine.


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