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Improve Your Grocery Strategy Month and Giveaway!

As I stated in my announcement on Friday, I am working with ConAgra this year as an ambassador.   I’m celebrating the partnership here with a big promotion/giveaway for readers.

Like most moms, I can definitely improve my grocery shopping strategy.   From finding the best value, to figuring out how to bring the kids, to making sure I buy healthy foods (especially snacks – that’s our biggest issue), I know that everyone can use help.   Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, is going to help by recording video responses to YOUR questions!   So ask away (by commenting on the post), share your favorite tips, and let’s improve our grocery shopping strategy together!

I especially like Phil’s tips about how to bring your children grocery shopping, AND use it as a learning experience.   You can click here to read the whole article, but these are my favorite points:

  • The most important thing – don’t force a trip to the store when you and/or your kids are cranky, tired, or hungry.
  • Let your kids choose a new fruit or vegetable each shopping trip – even encourage them to talk to the produce manager of the store to learn more.
  • When your kids beg and plead for something they’ve seen advertised on television, show them how you read the nutritional information and compare different items for the most healthy option

What questions do you have for Phil about strategies for grocery shopping?   Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a Guru Goody bag which includes the following:

·                 Reusable ConAgra foods tote bag
·                 Coupon for 1 package of Free Hebrew National Hotdogs
·                 Hunt’s 100% Natural Ketchup (with no high fructose corn syrup)
·                 Orville Redenbacher popcorn
·                 5 Coupons for Marie Callender’s Frozen Meal or Pot Pie
·                 Coupon for 1 Free Healthy Choice Frozen Meal
·                 Coupon for 1 Free Banquet Fruit Pie

You’ll get one entry for leaving a comment with your question, and can get a second entry for Tweeting your question with the hashtag #FoodsILove (leave a comment here letting us know what you did). Contest ends at 11:59 ET on 10/20.

Disclosure: This post/giveaway is part of my on-going partnership with ConAgra Foods as one of their Blog Ambassadors for FY2011. I’ve been compensated for my work with the brand.   As always, all thoughts and expressions are my own.


  1. My best advice is to go either early or late on a weekday to avoid crowds. We have planned our meals, I have a specific list, and I plug in my IPod and just cruise around the store. Makes it so easy!

  2. This sounds very helpful especially for someone like me with two babies and a six year old! My question is how can i bring all my kids shopping and keep them happy while chosing healthy brands and food??

  3. My best strategies are to not go while hungry…I am pregnant, and if I shop hungry, I spend WAY too much money. I also give the hubby the evil eye so he doesn’t throw 100.00 worth of junk food into the cart!

  4. Do you think it’s safe to buy the cut-rate groceries at stores like Ocean State Job Lot or Christmas Tree Shop?

  5. As a family we shop early on Saturday mornings. We make a game of reading labels. Who can find the cereal with the least fat. Who can pick the soup with the lowest level of sodium. We look out for one another, keep one another’s
    back, and at the end of our shopping trip we wheel our cart out of the grocery with the most nutritious and least expensive purchases.

    • This is a wonderful suggestion. High blood pressure is kept in check with reading labels and keeping the sodium in line. We all love cereal for breakfast, fast, easy and can put tons of weight on you if you don’t look at calories and sugar and fat content.

  6. What do you recommend as good sources of calcium that aren’t too fatty or sweet?

  7. I shop two stores and always have a list and meals planned out for the week. One store has has the best prices on most items but there is another that has better prices on meat and fruit and they have weekly coupons that are great so between the two stores I save a lot of money.

  8. Are store brand products as good as name brand products?

  9. Is one day better than the other to get special deals?

  10. My strategy would be to stay to the middle of the store as at the end isles you may find displays and gimmicks to get you to buy when you dont really want to. Steer clear of the junk food isles like the candy, chips and pop isles where you can really rack up unwanted and non-nutritional purchases.

  11. Lauralee Hensley says:

    Question: What strategy does he have for someone that only grocery shops every two or three months (note I do have a large freezer) because we shop out of town at a commissary?
    Comment: I think buying larger packages of meat and dividing them up is generally cost effective.
    lfhpueblo at msn dot com

  12. I always use coupons with BOGN. Are low sodium canned or frozen food the best buy?

  13. shannon Baas says:

    when is the best time to go shopping

  14. I put my kids to use. They push the cart, help me “hunt” for items, etc.

  15. EMMA L HORTON says:



    some grocery stores will not take computer generated coupons or even coupons from companies how do you handle that tactfully???

  17. How can I be sure the store brands labels are accurate? I trust name brands to be truthful, but I am wary of store brands.

  18. Vickie Couturier says:

    My question would be,when is the best time to shop for the bargains,(marked down meat,produce,etc)?


  19. Vickie Couturier says:

    I tweeted my question

  20. My question is “Are store brands as good for you as National brands?”.

  21. Can you really save alot ofmoney coupon for name brands or is it better to go with store brands?

  22. Denise B. says:

    I can’t think of any questions I would have. I already know how to get things for free, next to nothing, or even make money on products through rebates.

  23. Heather Turner says:

    Is it safe to buy marked down chicken?

  24. Mary Marlatt says:

    Question: How do I convice my husband that it REALLY IS a meal, even if it doesn’t have any meat?

    Comment: I think it’s great to use a trip to the grocery as a learning opportunity for kids — I did when mine was little. But for the SAHMs out there — please, please don’t do it at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday.

  25. Are there certain days that seem to offer better deals/higher discounts on high cost items, like meat?

    I’d love any tips on getting my hubby to stick to a list too! :)

  26. Never go hungry eat before you go.
    I always have a list.
    And always use coupons.

  27. Monique Rizzo says:

    How do you find meals that are quick and delicous for dinner when you work and don’t get home until 6pm?
    Thanks for the chance.

  28. What is the best day of the week to shop?

  29. what is the best time of day to shop to find reduced perishables?

  30. Janna Johnson says:

    What is your best suggestion for buying low fat and low cost?

    Awesome contest! Thanks for entering me!
    Janna Johnson

  31. Theresa H says:

    never, ever go when you are hungry or stressed. I also like having a menu fo suppers ahead of time

  32. Penny Snyder says:

    Be organized – have a list with the different grocery categories & coupons arranged the same!! grammypenny@frontier.com

  33. how do I know when a watermelon is ripe?

  34. pat roberts says:

    How can you get teens interested in cooking – especially healthy dishes?

  35. How do you stretch your budget to the max?

  36. Linda Lansford says:

    What is the best time of day to shop?

  37. susitravl says:

    Are generic brands much different than brand name products?


  38. If a store doesn’t do double coupons or accept internet printed coupons, what is the best way for a family to save the most with a tight budget?

  39. What is Phil’s favorite grocery tip? Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  40. jennifer W says:

    My best suggestion is to go on a Tuesday or first thing Wednesday. The sales usually start on Wednesday, but some stores will already have things marked at sale prices by Tuesday afternoon.

  41. How can you tell if stopping at 5 different stores to get all the best deals is really saving you money in the long run?

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  42. What are the best ways to get good deals on fresh produce?

  43. Tammy Darling says:

    How do you keep up with the computer to be sure you aren’t being overcharged? Many times I get home and realized that an item scanned at a higher price and it’s very frustrating!

  44. i always do my grocery shopping on Tuesday–you seem to get a good deal on dairy products on that day of the week :)

    tristatecruisers at yahoo dot com

  45. Richard T. says:

    Are store brands as nutritious as national brands ?

  46. How do compare fresh fruits to frozen or canned as far as value and nutrition?

  47. Sweet blog and thanks for the giveaway!
    Would love, love, LOVE to win this!

  48. My question for Phil is “is it better to buy pre-ground packaged coffee or to grind it in store?” My tip is don’t do your shopping during the first few days of the month because the store will be crowded with people who just got their monthly checks.

  49. Is dollar store food the real thing or counterfeit?
    Is it safe to buy?
    tattgiff at centurytel dot net

  50. Is it always a good deal to buy in bulk?

  51. My question is are there sometimes of the month when the sales are better than others.

  52. Melissa B. says:

    Which chain supermarkets have the best prices on fresh produce?

  53. is it really cost effective to pring your coupons online?

  54. Alisha Eiler says:

    if you have a Pick N’Save in your area,they have double coupon days on wed.and sat.I am looking for an easier way to carry my coupons,because I never shop without them…

  55. Ed Nemmers says:

    What places have double couponing?

  56. Sue Farrell says:

    How can I spend less time in the grocery store when I need to read labels to make sure the products fit our dietary restrictions?

  57. Where can I get coupons for all natural or organic products?

  58. What can I do to brighten the day of the cashier who is serving me ?

  59. Amanda S. says:

    What are some healthy, quick snacks I can buy for my kids?

  60. Tonya Dean says:

    Are ready-to-eat meals like banquet really that bad for you?


  61. Phil, What is the best day of the week to grocery shop for sales?

  62. TRACY HEYER says:

    When is it the best time to go grocery shopping?


  63. when is the best time for a working mom to go shopping

  64. sheila k. says:

    I always check the clearance bins at the back of the store and in the meat department first and start coming up with meals to make with my “finds.”

  65. Kerrie Mayans says:

    My question is : Is there a calendar to let people know when to stock up on certain items at certain times of the year to get the best deals? Like I think there are more sales on flour and sugar in dec b/c of holiday baking.

  66. what time of the day, what day of the week is better to get special deals?

  67. Where is the best place to hunt for coupons?
    doctorwhomommy at gmail dot com

  68. diane Baum says:

    Is it really dangerous to eat the content of a dented can? Ie soup or veggie?

  69. How can I bring my daughter shopping with me without her begging for so many junk food items? suelee1998 @ gmail.com

  70. What is (are) the best way to tell if honey dew melons, cantaloupes are ripe? We eat them quite a bit :) thanks

  71. Susan Smith says:

    What time of year is best to get affordable fruit?

  72. Susan Smith says:
  73. Amy Delong says:

    how can you feed 4 for less money a week?!

  74. Kat Emerick says:

    We always read lables now for fat free and suger free items but it really fat and sugar free?

  75. My question – how can you keep two little boys from fighting down the aisles of the supermarket without resorting to bribing them with food and treats?

  76. Joanne Schultz says:

    I’d like to know if there is any time of year that sales on grocery food are the best, or if product sales vary for each store? I like to stock up on staples during sales.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  77. Joanne Schultz says:
  78. How do you feel about rewarding kids for good behavior while grocery shopping?

    josephthesweeper at gmail dot com

  79. Deborah Wellenstein says:

    Where are you likely to find the marked-down unadvertised bargains in a store? Thank you!

  80. kim byrom says:

    I’ve always heard to shop the perimeter of the store for the most natural foods, but most of my coupons for saving are smack dab in the middle! What’s you advice on saving $$ using the perimeter?

  81. My question for Phil would be how do I get the best value without having to clip coupons?

  82. kim byrom says:
  83. Chrystal J. says:

    My best tip is to search for sales and match with coupons to make great deals. Also, make a list before shopping.

  84. Rachel Higgs says:

    What is the best way to save with coupons. is getting the paper better or printing them online

  85. I would like to ask him how to shop frugally when you’re wanting fresh and healthy choices? It always seems more expensive. Thanks.

  86. Are store brand products as good as name brand products?

  87. never go to grocery store hungry

  88. Is one day better than the other to buy meats and produce?

  89. Why are locally grown foods usually more expensive at farmers markets then those from the supermarket? You would think they would be cheaper, since they are grown nearby. I usually shop where the store doubles coupons. This saves me a lot each week. Thanks for having the contest, I do buy a lot of the ConAgra products and love the Marie Callender dinners, pot pies and regular pies, they all taste homemade.

  90. I know organic is the healthiest type of food but it is also very exspensive Do you have any suggestions on how to give my family heathy food that are more affordable?

  91. Are the use dates on can food true or can you keep them longer?

  92. Thanks for the giveaway…”What is the best day of the week to go grocery shopping ?”, and “When is the best time of the year to stock up on (food) staples ?”.

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  93. Does it really make sense to buy multiple newspapers for multiple coupons?

  94. What is the best way to save on organic fruits and vegetables?

  95. Shaunda Eppes says:

    My question is when is it better to buy brand name and not store brand items?
    Shaunda.Eppes at gmail dot com

  96. Is there a place you can find out what stores double and triple coupons?

  97. Elle Thomas says:

    How do you find good coupons with distant expiration dates these days? They always seem to expire really quickly!
    Ellesjunkmail at gmail dot com

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