Friday, January 18, 2013

Did You Do Your Price Book This Week? & Newbie Grocery Store Tips

Just a reminder to get those Price Book Week 2 prices recorded before the Sales week at your store(s) is over.

I did 1 store so far this week but I still need to get the prices at Weis "PMITA" Markets recorded.

**A quick note in regard to sales cycles at the store for newbies**

As you go through these weeks jotting down prices you may notice that at your store there is 1 week per month where your store is advertising "house brands" mostly and not the name brand products.  House brands are the store brand equivalents of all those name brand products they carry.  Your store may have 1 house brand or they may have lots of house brand names they use.  For example,  my local Shursave affiliate market carries Shursave or Shurfine branded products.  These are the brands that are always lower than the identical products that they carry under a name brand.
But if I shop at Weis or Price Chopper, both of these chains feature more than 1 name for their house brand.  And then there are stores like Aldi's that only carry their house brands and Sav-A-Lot which carries their house brands and a very limited selection of name brands.

Some people can taste a difference between name branded and store branded items.  I have found the quality of house brands vs. name brands range from identical to "are you kidding me?!".  8-)
You really need to try a house brands before you dismiss it as not worth buying because it tastes bad.
House brands of basic items like canned tomato products, flour, sugar, etc. are usually on par in quality with the name brand ones.  Once you are into the higher priced coffee, frozen veggies, the ingredients in the house brand may be far below that of the name brand equivalent.  Sometimes it IS all about "you get what you pay for".

In order to get the lowest priced of identical items, and without shopping the weekly sales and/or using coupons, you are probably buying the house brand(s).  House brands don't go on sale very often usually, compared to name brands.  A store will push their house brands in their sales ad 1 week of each month.  Around here, that week is usually the 3rd week of the month.  The "house brand week" generally will fall in your area when the majority of employees who are paid monthly or twice a month are at the end of a pay period.  The assumption is that everyone runs out of money the closer to payday, so they push the less expensive brands, the house brands.  "HBW" might be the last week of the month instead, as the govt. sends out support checks at the beginning of the month.

Usually, again in my area, advertising of house brands does not mean the house brand items in the ad are on sale.
If you are trying to figure out when to buy/what to buy to get the best deal, take note of when your store pushes the house brands, and when they feature the house brands in their ads, if they are actually a better deal that week compared to the rest of the month.
A favorite "trick" of grocery stores is to feature an item in a sales ad at the regular price if they need to unload extra stock of that item.  You see the item in the ad and assume it is on sale, yet it is not.  The store will try this trick to sell items it is overloaded with first, before it reduces the price.  So when perusing your sales ads, it helps to know the regular prices of items.

I'll be back tomorrow night with my Price Book Week 2 prices.



  1. I only like Quaker Oats. However, one day the store brand was so much reducted that I decided to try it just once. I figured the hens will like it even if I don't. I rushed home and made a bowl of oats. It was the same! as Quaker! So, I am forever a convert.

    Another thing one grocery does around here is have a fantastic sale on Miracle Whip or whatever. Now, I will buy four quarts of MW and use the last one up just as the "use by date" passes. One day, I looked to see when was the $1.98 quart of MW. It was in 8 days.

    Now, I am not against using a product after the "use by" date, but I am not going to purchase it to use later when I know it is expiring.

    There was a great Starkist tuna sale on cans of tuna that are good through 6-2015. That's great, but these cans were dented on rims and rusting.

    Now, I am wary of a good deal and try to figure out if the store is just passing off things that soon must be discarded. Those cans of tuna will be eaten before the ones with a 2013 date. I just try to eat things before they expire or soon after, except for MW.

    Check the "use by" date if it matters to you.

  2. I am not brand loyal in any regards... but there are some things that the store brands can't seem to get right. For example, Crystal Lights (which constitutes 90% of the non-water drinks I drink). I've tried all store brands or equivalent, and found them to be nothing more than over-colored koolaid with tons of sugar. So I stick to the brand. However, for most other things, I go with the cheaper alternative until it has proved to be of poor quality.

  3. T goes back to school this sunday so can you give me an idea of water, cereal(any on sale shes not picky), and oatmeal at weis. This is the closest market to kutztown. She downgraded her meal plan because she wasted to many meals last year so instead of 19 meals a week she has 14 I just want to see if those items are any cheaper there then here. Most of her stuff I already have but she has a problem with the water up there because she is used to philly water

    1. Weis is always running cereal deals, tho usually they run them just before or after corresponding Qs come out in the paper. They are running oatmeal(Quaker)this week on special. The house brand oatmeal at Weis is pretty good too(and cheaper). I don't buy much bottled water so I can't say on that, tho they do run Nestle Cats pretty frequently that include nestle brands of water.

      Google "Amelia's Grocery Outlet". They have 15 locations in PA from Lancaster to Allentown. Discount grocery outlets....they carry loads of brands near sell by dates for real cheap!!! Also oatmeals, canned goods, pasta, etc. You can stop on your way to school and load her up. Also everything else you could want, even frozen and dairy and meats. Take a cooler and load yourself up too!lol I hit Amelia's whenever I get down to Pottsville, which isn't often enough.
      Weis just started eCoupons too so tell T to get a store card so she can load Qs onto it.

  4. I love reading this, Sluggy! Great information for people trying to save money. We are all about store brands at my house. I don't find most things to be a any lesser quality than name brands.

    I am surprised at Tanner's comment about store brand "Crystal Light". I, personally, like Kroger brand better than the name brand. (No sugar, no calories. I make the peach tea by the gallon!)


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