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Discussion Starter #1
Okay. We really need to go grocery shopping, nothing big, but staples and meats. We are out of pretty much almost everything. I'm wondering from the people who have experience with the commissary, which would be more bang for your buck, commissary, Save-A-Lot or Aldi's? I need to get the most out of what little money I have to spend on groceries till next week as I can, and even next week when pay period rolls around, because school starts next week, I'm kind of screwed on grocery money then too. I need to be able to stretch this money out as far as I possibly can on this shopping trip.
 

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I'd vote Aldi's

you had mentioned earlier that the time/travel distance to base wasn't worth the gas -

also: have you looked up Angel Food Ministries in your area??

take a look, it may be something that will help - it is NOT based on income, so there is no need to feel "weird" about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, it's not worth the drive from out here, but I could have DH stop on his way home from work, which it's right on the way. I was shocked at the prices at the commissary, they're half if not more off Kroger prices. But since it's not as convenient, we've only been a handful of times. I can't get DH on the phone to find out if he would stop there after work today or not...But then again, he might just blow me off about grocery shopping again like he did last night...lol
 

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so your comm prices are less than half of Kroger's prices?? did I understand that correctly?

wow - I'm impressed!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pretty much, on almost everything the prices are a good 50% off Kroger, give or take a little bit...Brand name cereals for $1-something a box, when they're $3 and $4 at Kroger, for one...That's a huge savings, especially with the cereal eating kids I have. The savings are endless and nothing there is off brand, it's all brand name, yet the prices are so cheap. And tax-free, which helps, too.
 

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we have generic brands here - few and far between, but they exist -

prices are not that different from the grocery store - so it's easier, closer, and I can spend less with doubled coupons at Kroger or Ingles.

so ......... did you check out the Angel Food thingy?

maybe you can talk hubby into going to the comm every two weeks (yeah, payday!) with a list - if not, you should make it a habit to go yourself -

I go on the 1st and the 15th of each month - it's become a habit - but it works much, much better this way - for me at least....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm going to have to do something...I don't drive, my car is out of commission and I can't drive his car, it's a stick. I need to figure out some kind of budget for grocery shopping every month. This month we are extremely strapped for cash, we had to do one of those check advance things the other day for $200 till payday. And we're down to $130, which DH spent 17 bucks on lunch today (I told him no more eating out!!), and we live about 25 miles from post, and he has a racing car which takes premium gasoline and he spends 40 on each fillup, so we have to take money into consideration for that. And he smokes, so that's more money. He filled up this morning, so he should need half a tank again till payday. So, let's say we have about $75 to spend on food, if he lets me go that far. And he gets paid Tuesday. Stretch stretch!

I'm exhausted trying to think about this.....
 

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ohhhh yeah - step one: need to pack his lunch!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was packing it, then we let our food supply dwindle to go to Michigan for a week, then we got back and haven't had the money to go shopping...We were on a whole grain/no white flour, everything from scratch, no frying blah blah blah healthy diet, since I'm pregnant and he needs to lose some lbs for the Army and I had to pack his lunch or he would stray from it. Then we because broke and couldn't keep it up, so he's back on not eating all day till he gets home or eating stuff he shouldn't be. Bleh.
 

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First off, you totally shocked me when I saw the city where your from. I work in E'town and live in Glendale. Since I'm right in your area, I'd say stick to Aldi's. That's where I shop mostly but do double coupon at Krogers. My mom and I got to commissary about every other month or so. She refills her meds and I get extra benefit of commissary. They have good prices on some things, but still hard to beat Aldi's. I'm not a big fan of Sav-A-Lot here. Aldi's has the best prices on eggs/milk and produce. I don't buy the fruit there becuase it always seemed to go bad fast, but there veggies are great & very reasonably priced. If you ever need a ride, let me know.
 

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If you already know what is cheaper at the commissary than Aldis (I'm not familiar w/ the chain), then get those items there. If your dh drives near there everyday send him with a list and coupons.

Our local commissary here is much cheaper on dairy, meats, and cereals...

Also I've noticed that some of the cereals have been less than a dollar w/ special coupons here...the coupons were in the store.

I hardly ever buy meat anywhere but the commissary...it's so much cheaper.
 

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I go to the commissary about once a month or every month and a half. The prices are good but what I find myself doing is buying things that I don't really need because the price is good ~ I have NO willpower :dis:

If you can do it, I would figure which things are cheaper where and wither go to both stores or pick the one with the lowest overall pricing.
 

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I grocery shop almost exclusively at our commissary. They simply cannot be beat. Not when the grocery stores charge $1.99/lb for 75% lean ground beef (on sale) and the commissary's regular price is $1.29/lb for 80% lean. Even the 95% lean isn't $1.99/lb! Cereal is easily HALF what it is in the grocery store.
Case in point: I love Raisin Nut Bran. I priced it at our local grocery store (Price Chopper - a northeaster chain). It's $4.69! At the commissary I got it for $2.39

Check out my FV blog to see what all I got for $151 yesterday.
http://www.villageblogger.com/YankeeMom/
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys! I ended up at Save-A-Lot last night. I didn't feel well, had my first bout of being sick this whole pregnancy, I thought I was gonna die. I know their layout and since it's small, I needed to get in and get out. I didn't want to get caught up in looking at everything and it's momma at the commissary, I have no willpower either. I do, however, need to send DH there next week after payday to get meat, that's the only place I buy it. Usually the only place I get cereal too. I about crapped my pants the first time I went in there and saw the prices. I haven't been to Aldi's since I was little, so I don't remember what their prices are like and they surely have different products than they did back then. I'll explore that another day. So, you think I should just make a list and have DH go on his way home from work, huh? Sounds good to me. I need to start getting a small amount every week instead of going myself with him and the kids and spending over $300 in one trip once a month. Then I won't be as prone to impulse buys. I did get almost a cart full of stuff at Save-A-Lot for $80 bucks, which was more than I wanted to spend and I got stuff I really didn't need, but as I said, I have no willpower. I need a shopping buddy who isn't DH and the kids lol That way I won't be hearing "Can I get this? Can I get that?" The kids aren't the only ones I hear that from, DH does it too. I'm guilty of picking up all kinds of little stuff too. I was disappointed they didn't have bread flour, in this day and age when people use their machines and bake their own bread so much now.
 

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Doesn't your commissary have a surcharge? I think 6%, right? And don't you tip the bagger? about 5%?

So that adds 10-11% to your bill.

Another downside to the commissary is that there are so many name brands, and the sales don't compare to grocery chain loss leaders. For example this month, we bought Frosted Mini Wheats at Kroger for $1.50/box. We hit a commissary sale and bought some sort of Fiber cereal for $1.57/box + surcharge + tip.

I'd think hard before having your husband regularly pick up groceries...especially if willpower is a problem.

All said, I'd pick Aldi. Our old Aldi had a wonderful produce section.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've never noticed a surcharge. And we don't tip a bagger, we bag ours ourselves and take them out to the car ourselves, to bypass that. They don't like it much, but I'm not giving money to someone for something we can do ourselves. Yeah, I know it's their job and that's what they're gettin paid for, but I'm just not doing it.

We get all of our cereals there for $1.50 or less. I've never paid over $1.50 for a box of cereal at that place. We usually buy what's on sale plus they have coupons on the shelf under items, which make them practically free sometimes. Willpower is only a question if we all go together. If I send him with a list, he will usually not stray from it, but maybe one or two items. It's all just a question of DH actually feeling like going after work or even getting off work in time to go, since it closes at 7 and he has to work late a lot.
 

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There is a 5% surecharge added to all bills at the commisary. They tell you you pay no tax but then they surcharge you according to them to help keep prices low at the commisary. I will NOT buy meat at the commisary. We have gotten too many pkgs of rotten, outdated meat. We go to the meat market. Much better quality and the prices are about the same. For the rest I can do as well as the commisary between Aldis and Walmart and I dont have to tip the baggers who only gets tips, they get no salary
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The 5% would still be lower than our state tax rate. I will only buy meat at our commissary, I've had nothing but the freshest meat from there, it looks better than anywhere else 100% of the time where I am. I have a very sensitive sense of taste and smell, meat at Kroger, Wal-Mart and Save-A-Lot have all had funny tastes to me and I gag when cooking it. I'm still not budging on the bagging thing. People may think badly of me for doing it myself, but 5% from my bill going to someone else for doing something I can do in a pinch, no way. I'm going to get flamed for that one, but I can't help it.
 

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commissaries .com
link : shopping
then link to: savings isle
...enter your local commissary and
see what's on sale.
Savings are listed in % , you need to have a general idea about what the regular price is at your local store.

Combine sales with coupons from your Sunday paper to get max saving
couponloop .com
has a preview of upcoming coupons
If the coupons will be good, it may be worth it to buy a second paper on Sundays!

Do any of your local grocery stores double coupons?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
jjay--I have no idea, I was going to ask about that. The only grocery stores here I can think of are Kroger, Wal-Mart, Save-A-Lot, Aldi's and Houchens (which I've never been to). Thank you so much for that link! That will help me so much, you have no idea. I'm tinking about squeezing the Sunday paper in my budget to get coupons and ads, so I can see what's on sale and the like. Also, there's a Meijer in Louisville, but that's a 40 minute drive and I don't know if it would be worth it. Maybe if we would be in town anyways, but that happens so seldom.
 
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