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Beating the Cost of Eating

Stock up on 'loss leader' deals to save money.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been grocery shopping lately that food prices are on the rise. So what does one do when income has decreased and the cost of eating increases? Frugal Family jumped on this question to seek answers that will save you money.

One tip is to recognize a store’s “loss leader” specials. A loss leader is an item that's been so drastically reduced in price that it's sold at a loss to the retailer. Why take a loss? A promotional loss leader can draw customers into the store, where they might buy other items at regular prices. 

Loss leaders can be used to your advantage to stock up on that particular item. The best first step is to simply be aware of the specials. Those fliers in the Sunday paper and Tuesday’s mail are tickets to awareness—and savings.

Don’t get the Sunday paper? No problem. These stores also have online alerts and often include unadvertised specials and store coupons.

Don’t let those high food prices beat you. Fight back–and win–by having a “leader” strategy.

  • Albertsons, Vons and RalphsAlbertsons has $1.88 Kellogg’s cereals, Oscar Mayer Lunchables for $1 each and, with coupons, three cans of StarKist tuna for 99 cents and Tombstone pizza for $1.99. Vons has General Mills cereals at $1.49, 18-count cartons of eggs for $2.50, and Oscar Mayer Deli Creations and bologna for $1. Ralphs is featuring Hamburger Helper for 97 cents, Dreyer’s ice cream at $2.88 and Granny Smith apples for 77 cents a pound. Prices are good until March 8.
  • Walgreens and CVSWalgreens is providing 24-packs of Pure bottled water for $2.49, Scott bath tissue 12-packs for $6.99, and, with Sunday flier coupon, Arm & Hammer laundry detergent for $2.99. CVS has 2-liter bottles of Coca-Cola and Sprite for 88 cents and 5-pound bags of Gold Medal flour for $1.99. CVS also is is selling Crest toothpaste for $3.29—not a huge bargain on its own, but you also receive $3.29 worth of Care Bucks for a future trip. Prices are good until March 5.
  • Smart & FinalSmart & Final is offering two Stouffer meals for $3, cantaloupe for 39 cents a pound, and, if you spend $40 on marked frozen foods, you will receive a $10 coupon good toward your next purchase. Prices are good until March 8.
  • Fresh & Easy—In this Tuesday’s flier, Fresh & Easy is showing $1.99 per pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 50 percent off a variety of frozen foods; and two-bottle of Ajax dish soap for $2. Generally, Fresh & Easy also offers a $3-off coupon for $30 purchases, but if you sign up for regular e-mail notifications online, you will receive a $6-off coupon on that same $30 purchase. In this week’s flier, that $6 coupon is already there. Prices are good until March 8.  
  • Del Taco—We all have those days when we’re tired and the thought of being able to pick up dinner sounds wonderful. But eating out generally increases our cost of food. There is a compromise. Fast-food stores have competed and each has its own reduced-cost selections, similar to a loss leader. Del Taco has 49-cent burritos and tacos, and it’s an everyday price. Combine them with chopped fruit and vegetables from home and a  super-cheap dinner is on the table in no time. Check your favorite fast-food restaurant’s menu. You’re sure to spot that deal.

Household Tip of the WeekCouponMom.com is a Web site worth mentioning again. This site offers links to the biggest online grocery coupon sites as well as links to the above drug and grocery stores. Combing coupons with sales doubles the advantage. MoneySavingMom.com is another site that is big on resources. Both sites offer free tutorials on organizing your time and how best to search for deals, support forums and links to freebies—and it’s free! To save on your fast-food cravings also look at 1fastfoodcoupon.com.

Diane March 02, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Now this is a useful article. Can you share the local loss leaders weekly? That would be a great benefit to your readers. Thanks, Diane
Stacie Wheeler March 02, 2011 at 05:19 PM
http://www.afullcup.com/ is also a great site for grocery coupons and other deals.

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