Thursday, August 12, 2010

99 reasons to love $.99

All of this fresh produce seen here cost me exactly $9.87.  I bought it at my local 99 cents store.  Really.  The cost for these exact items at Albertsons would be approximately $28.00.  No joke.  I have been doing quite a bit of cost comparison shopping lately, because we have to survive on a tighter budget...and it is changing my life!  Seriously!  In the last 3 weeks, I have saved my family $300.00 in grocery costs by purchasing certain items from the 99 cents store.
Here is how I did it:
 David took me into the 99 cents store and I started making a list in my iPhone of things I WOULD POSSIBLY buy.  I went up and down every single aisle and made a list.
Some things I took off of my first list.
More things have been added to my first list.
Here is my list:
Baby shampoo, vaseline, Q-tips, cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, shampoo and conditioner for David (most guys don't need the fancy stuff, plus they have a huge variety of wonderful scents), Pepto-Bismol, Nyquil, Comet, Palmolive, tortillas, spices (they have ALL varieties), salt, pepper, dressing, Kraft mayo, cans of tuna, beans, Campbell's soups, crackers, chips, candy (bars and bags), cookies, lettuce, bags of onions, garlic, bags of potatoes, shredded carrots, frozen corn and peas, italian squash, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, oranges, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, jalapenos, mushrooms, celery, cans of kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, white beans, pasta, Shasta soda, Gatorade, bleach, plastic tableware, band-aids, and spinach.  The only thing I may take off the list are baby wipes.  They come 80 to a pack for 99 cents but they are not the best quality.  Actually, the quality is fine, but they do not pop up automatically and this drives me insane.  I have found that the pink packaged Care Bear brand wipes are the best of the bunch though.  And that change alone has saved $10 compared to the wipes I buy from CostCo.  
I then went to CostCo and Albertsons and now have three lists, one for each store, of things we buy from each place.  It is so much easier and healthier for my family to plan meals now.  I use Costco for the big stuff-chicken, steak, salmon, diapers, dog food, etc. And I still go to Target and Albertsons occasionally for the specialty stuff.  
But a quick trip to the 99 cents store is also easy because it is never too crowded and the check-out lines are very fast.  Plus, I only need Kindergarten math to figure my total, count each item and that is how much I will spend!  Here is wishing you Happy Shopping!


  1. You are my hero. My question they ALL carry fresh produce?
    I know they Have peanut butter cups, that's enough to get me there.

  2. I am with you. I was going to call you thother day and tell you that I took your advice and tried my local .99 only store. I was so impressed.I got all of the following for .99 each: a dozen eggs, a seedless watermelon, a package of 8 roma tomatoes, a bag of 10 small peaches, a bag of a apples, bags of salad mix, 24 slow melt popsicles, soups (2 for .99), a 3 pack of microwave popcorn, cans of canned chicken breast. I couldn't believe it and I was leery of the quality of the produce but everything has been extremely fresh and yummy. I am sold.

  3. YEAH JENNIFER!! I was skeptical of it all at first too, but the produce is fresh and yummy!

  4. I also have a nearby 99 cent store and check in often to stock up on the occasional double-sided scrapbooking tape that I use tons of when making cards. I've often walked through the produce and been amazed at how good it looks. And you definitely can't beat the prices on their spices (ooh, a poem), especially when it's something that you don't use regularly. All in all, it's a pretty fun place to shop when you've got a lot of time. I've found that some of their all-purpose cleaners work well, too. But ours is ALWAYS crowded so the check-outs are really slooooooow.

  5. Yeah Shalimar - way to be a resourceful mommy:) I think I will try it too - although, I am not the shopper in the family. Jay will have to try it;)