Do you love standing in long, slow-moving lines at the grocery store? Do you enjoy weaving your way through crowds of pokey shoppers? Are you happy to be 41st in line at the deli counter?
I spend a lot of time in grocery stores researching this column and shopping for my family, so I’m adept at minimizing the time I spend in each store and maximizing the shopping experience while I’m there.
Here’s some tips to speed up your shoping:
- Don’t shop during peak times. Try to do your shopping as early in the morning as possible or after everyone already has had their dinner at night. Shopping during Bears games is also a good idea (Afraid of missing a play? Two words: Ti Vo!). Stay out of Aldi’s right after church lets out and on the first weekday of the month.
- Don’t shop if you are already in a hurry. Being anxious in the store will only make the experience more frustrating. If you are feeling uptight, stay home. If you must be there, take a deep breath and try to find your inner zen.
- Stay away from those lines with a lot of senior citizens, especially during senior discount days. No offense to seniors, but they really do have all day to spend at the store. Plus, those change purses drive me nuts!
- 15 items or less is a more of a guideline than a strict rule. Or, if you have only a few items, self-checkout may be a good option.
In the produce section, Tony’s Finer Foods, at 8630 S. Harlem Ave., in Bridgeview, has green cabbage for $.25/head. Pete’s Fresh Market has California bosc pears, Mexican honeydew melons, Michigan golden apples or Florida juice oranges for $.48/lb.
Pete’s Fresh Market has Florida grapefruit for $.20/ea. Tony’s has 6 oz packages of blackberries for $.99. And Ultra Foods has Hass avocados for $.83/ea.
In the meat department, pork prices continue to be low, which may be why McDonald’s has reintroduced the McRib sandwich. At Pete’s, whole pork shoulder roast is $1.48/lb. At Tony’s, pork shoulder country ribs and end cut pork chops are $1.49/lb, and pork butt roast is $1.69/lb. Freshline Foods, at 5355 W. 95th St., in Oak Lawn, has pork steak for $1.59/lb.
At Pete’s, chicken leg quarters are $.48/lb and bone-in chicken breast are $.98/lb. At Ultra Foods, 73% lean ground beef is $1.88/lb if you buy it in the 5 lb pack or more.
In the grocery aisle, both Freshline and Pete’s have Centrella pastas and jars of pasta sauce for only $.88. That’s dinner for 4 for $1.76, or $.44/person. Freshline also has Centrella macaroni and cheese or select canned soups for $.29/ea. At Tony’s, select cans of Del Monte vegetables are $.50/ea, and 6 packs of Dutch Farm whole grain English muffins are only $.99.
Family Dollar has Jifffy corn muffin mix for $.50/box. Ultra has Wonder bread for $.88/loaf, 5 oz cans of Bumble Bee tuna for $.59, Campbell’s Spaghettio’s for $.89/can, and 8 oz cans of Goya tomato sauce for $.25.
In the dairy section, Tony’s has Country Delight milk for $1.99/gallon, limit 1.
In the frozen foods section, Tony’s has Orv’s assorted 12″ pizzas for $2/ea, an inexpensive way to feed hungry teenagers.
In the deli section, Ultra has Hormel deli boiled ham for $1.99/lb, and Freshline has 1 lb packages of Bar 5 jumbo franks for just $.99.
Finally, for this week’s Bargain of the Week, we head to Jewel (Hear that? That’s the sound of hell freezing over!) where 12 packs of Nestea iced tea are only $1.99/ea.
If you see an exceptional value at the grocery store this week, please take a moment to share it with everybody in the comments section below. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend and I’ll see you at the grocery store!