I have always been pretty frugal. Even in college, I had a budget that I stuck to no matter what. I love a good deal and I've been known to get very upset if a deal doesn't work out the way I would have liked. Just last night I lost out on a REALLY good deal because the cashier did not know about a change in Wal-mart's coupon policy and refused to honor some of my coupons.
Because of my frugal ways, I have quickly learned where I can find the best deals on certain products. I am not one to shop at 10 different stores each week. I like to minimize my errands as much as possible in order to maximize my time, so I seek the best deals possible at the places where I shop. Here is my list of where I've learned I can find the best deals on particular products over the years:
Grocery stores--I almost always buy my meat at grocery stores. Some people keep a price book where they keep track of regular and best sale prices for certain items. Ground beef and chicken are the two meat items I purchase the most. I know that $1.99/lb is a good deal on boneless chicken breasts or thighs, $.99/lb is my good deal price for drumsticks and $.79/lb is the best deal for whole chickens in my area. I also know that anything under $1.99/lb is a good price for ground beef. I used to purchase meat at warehouse clubs but realized that I could get a better deal on sale prices at grocery stores. When I find meat on sale for these prices, I stock up and fill my freezer. I've also been known to break out my calculator to find out how much I would be paying per pound on discounted meat that is about to expire. Sometimes the discount meat is a great deal--the other day I got chicken for $1.79/lb! But oftentimes the discounted price ends up not being a great deal.
I also purchase cereal, condiments and snack items at the grocery store using coupons. Since my grocery store doubles coupons up to $1 on Wednesdays, I often get these items for cheap or very inexpensive.
Warehouse Clubs--We shop at BJ's in our area, but many locations also have Sam's or Costco to choose from. I will occasionally buy meat from BJ's if my grocery store does not have what I need on sale. We stock up on cheese, milk, large bags of chicken nuggets/marinated chicken and large containers of seasoning at BJ's. I buy big containers of garlic salt, Montreal steak seasoning and Ranch seasoning in bulk because I use a LOT of these seasonings. Large cans of tomatoes for homemade pasta sauce are also a great deal at warehouse clubs.
Drugstores--I purchase nearly all of my toiletries from drugstores and spend very little money. I have 12-15 tubes of toothpaste in my cabinet and I have spent no more than $.50 for each tube--many have been free. I also have 5-10 bottles of shampoo and conditioner and a number of feminine hygeine products. I play the drugstore game by combining coupons, rebates and Extra Care Bucks (CVS) or +UP rewards (Rite Aid). I often purchase toilet paper and paper towels using these deals. You can find more information on Rite Aid's program by visiting Centsable Momma and CVS's program at My Frugal Adventures.
Amazon--Unless I find a great deal on diapers through drugstore deals, I almost alway buy diapers on amazon. If you register for Amazon Mom, you will receive a 15% discount on diapers and wipes. If you also choose the subscribe and save option, you will save a total of 30% (you can always cancel your subscribe and save account later--read more at my How to Save Money Using Amazon post). Plus, they are delivered directly to your door in just a day or two. Awesome deal!
Where do you find the best deals?