To get started I studied Merchant Ships Mentality which is full of information. There are other letters on saving money, pantry building, making the most of food and much more. We were also lucky enough to have new money saving grocery shopping tips from Laine (written especially for us!) a fortnight ago which can be found here.
I don't know how many times I have read Proverbs 31 and read vs 14: "she is like merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."
Not just one ship she is like "ships." That is really busy! Merchant ships carry cargo from far away lands, basically never stop, they set off well stocked for long journeys, face storms at sea and the pilots mission is to deliver the goods to where they are needed. There is so much in this verse!
It was Laine who helped me put this verse into the here and now and understand its meaning in terms of my own shopping. I am still learning, that is for sure, but the last weeks have shown me some of the potential of travelling further afield and considering a wider range of ways to shop.
Laine is working on another money saving post for us. I notice I have to read and re read these kinds of posts to actually put it all into practice so I can't wait to read the next one! She always says to keep learning. This is true. We can learn so much each week!
It is funny how we can "know" things or have heard them before but not fully understood them or put them to work. Also we are creatures of habit. We tend to establish strong habits and grocery shopping is no different. I tended to go to the same two shops, park in the same row if I could, shop the store in the same order ... week after week. When we got Aldi I was pretty quick to change over to their store though!
Since then I decided to try shops out of my area, discover different shops altogether and start from scratch basically! I wrote down everything I currently have on hand that I can use in meals and everything that we need. Mostly I buy the best deals then come up with a menu plan from this point. I also started to pray the night before, pray on the way and pray in the shop!
Well, I have to say the results have been AMAZING.
I am not the only one! Cookie wrote to me a few days ago and told me the same thing!
"This trip I prayed while I shopped per Laine. Annabel, I am in awe of how effective this is! I shopped for one month like Laine does and without coupons the grand total came in $110 under budget! The only place I want to go now is a family owned grocery in town to bulk buy cherries and cauliflower as these are their loss leaders at $1.99 a pound for the local cherries and $1.99 per cauliflower..."
Thanks Cookie for sharing your good results!
For me it is not just finding cheaper prices it is adding to my pantry as well. If I can do both I am very happy.
From two main supermarkets my grocery shopping has extended to:
Aldi, usually once a week. Mostly for the special buys and best buys on meat and staples.
Franco's Fruit and Vegies...
This is where there was a harmonica player out the front the first week! I'm not sure why he has a cow on top! But you can't miss it! 😊
Specialty Foods for the best meat wholesale specials. We get the weeks deals emailed to us on Sundays.
Romeos Foodland at Morphett Vale.
Lettuce Inn at Southgate Plaza. (good name)
Cheap as Chips
Browse and Save
The Reject Shop
Adelaide Fresh, Morphett Vale.
I don't go to all of these every week. I try to check the specials and decide where to go and then do as many as I can in one trip.
Happily there are some amazing op shops in some of these areas as well!
Before I started travelling further afield and trying new stores I had reached the stage of having enough basics at home to only look at buying them on really big specials. This included things like shampoo and conditioner, laundry power, toilet paper, rice, pasta, tea... the very basics.
But it did not extend to meat, cheese, butter etc.
Now I have found myself ahead with everything. This means there is nothing I need to buy unless it is on an absolutely awesome deal. This is a much better position to be in!
The last weeks have been fun, interesting and really have paid off. Totally worth it.
If you are in grocery shopping habits there is a chance things have changed in recent times, it might be worth a look in other areas, different shops, markets... who knows what is near by! Many things I just assumed were wrong! Somehow something quietly happened.... supermarkets are no longer cheap. I suspect we were lured in until we were regular and reliable and then slowly this change happened!
These are the changes here where I live. Everywhere will be different and we will have different stores, prices, distances etc. But the grocery bill is something that can vary enormously. Our whole household, health and budget are hugely impacted! If we are like Merchant Ships we can do much more with much less money!
Have a wonderful week! xxx