Good afternoon! :) 


I just dug into the most scrumptious lunch:


I had two blue corn tacos stuffed with kidney beans, cheese, and sprouts.  Held in place with shot glasses!  🙂


Plus, Stacy’s chips and salsa.  I have a salsa problem.


And a Clementine:


I can’t even tell you the last time I ate lunch so late! It’s 3 PM, and I’m just chowing down.  I had a banana around 11 PM to hold me over:


PS – Does anyone else feel extremely bad-ass when they wear a baseball hat with aviators?  I swear I feel tougher.


(Tough face)


Responsible Spending Challenge Tip


Lunch was so late because I was out doing Responsible Spending Challenge homework. 


I needed to buy Drain-o to unclog my sink, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and a shower curtain.  Prior to my newfound frugality, I would have bought all those items at the grocery store.  I figured a big box store like Target would be cheaper, so I drove there.  After buying the items, I went to the grocery store for some food items + to compare prices.


The result?


My grocery store is pretty much the same as Target!  The shampoo and deodorant was 25 cents more expensive, but the toothpaste was 25 cents cheaper.  The Drain-o was more expense at the grocery store, but the shower curtain was cheaper and made up the difference. 


We buy all of our toilet paper, trash bags, etc. at Costco, which I know saves us a lot of money because it’s a bulk price!


Another thing I compared was the cost of organic food versus conventional food on three of my “must buy organic” items:


  • My organic Greek yogurt costs $4.29; conventional Greek yogurt is $3.99.  Regular plain conventional yogurt is only $2.49!
  • Organic half and half is $3.29 and conventional is $1.99.
  • Organic eggs are $3.79 and conventional is $1.79.




Do you go to multiple stores in order to get the best deal?  Is your grocery store reasonably priced for non-food items?



  • missmolly December 2, 2009, 3:26 pm
  • Tracey@tropicalhappiness December 2, 2009, 3:29 pm

    Multiple stores is the way to go! Target is a trap (especially super target with a grocery section). They have great prices on some things, but other things are more expensive. I have started splitting my list- one for Target (where things like cereal are soooo cheap!) and one for Publix (for produce). And I’ve been trying to price shop- sometimes Publix is cheaper for random things, like contact solution. Go figure!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 2, 2009, 3:30 pm

    My Target is much cheaper than our Giant Eagle. But Sam’s Club is still the best deal. We do go all over!

  • Tracey@tropicalhappiness December 2, 2009, 3:30 pm

    PS- Thaaaanks for your tip on the wheatgrass. I think I’ll be buying some apple juice tonight! LOL! Do you use an entire scoop in your *shot*?

    • caitlin December 2, 2009, 3:31 pm


  • katie December 2, 2009, 3:31 pm

    this makes me want to go to MOES for some reason!!
    i love target. never been to costco but ive heard WONDERFUL things

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life December 2, 2009, 3:33 pm

    ahhh I always use to do this.. and then I would spend so much money on gas…

    Now that I live in Hoboken with no car.. I have a CVS and A & P 🙂

  • Julie @savvyeats December 2, 2009, 3:33 pm

    I have a pita chips problem…

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) December 2, 2009, 3:33 pm

    I definitely go to multiple stores. But it’s mainly because some stores have some things I want, and other stores have the rest. Or one store will have better pineapple while the other will have better kale. LOL. My husband says I’m obsessed with grocery stores.

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite December 2, 2009, 3:35 pm

    So far Target has the best prices. To save money, I’m selective as to which food I buy organic. It’d be nice to buy all organic… but let’s be realistic… it freaking expensive!

  • Lesley December 2, 2009, 3:35 pm

    I buy fruit/produce and things when they are on sale at public. Otherwise, I go to Wal-mart. You can’t beat the prices, and as a grad student with plenty of loans, it is what works.

  • Kat (Kat's Daily Plate) December 2, 2009, 3:36 pm

    Your lunch looks awesome. I need to buy blue corn tortillas because every time I see them here I want a taco now. I love that you add sprouts!

  • Dizzygrl05 December 2, 2009, 3:36 pm

    Ohmygoodness, yes! My family and I shop at at least 4 different grocery stores in order to get both the foods we need and good deals on the other stuff. My mom and I must eat gluten-free which has probably at least doubled our grocery bill each month, if not more. We save on whatever we can, wherever we can. I’m a coupon clipper at heart, and proud of it 🙂

    We don’t usually buy non-food items at the grocery store though. But I haven’t ever price checked. We buy concentrated versions of our products in bulk – saving money in the long run.

  • Lesley December 2, 2009, 3:36 pm

    I buy fruit/produce and things when they are on sale at publix. Otherwise, I go to Wal-mart. You can’t beat the prices, and as a grad student with plenty of loans, it is what works.

  • kay (eating machine) December 2, 2009, 3:40 pm

    if you’ve got a walgreens near you coupons can get you most of that stuff for free. i pay under $1 for toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, deodorant, etc. you stock up when the sales are good, and then you have ’em on hand when you need them. does a good job linking up coupons with sales… it takes a few weeks to get it all figured out, but i have a box of toothpaste/brushes/etc that i got almost all for free… saves me a ton

  • Bree December 2, 2009, 3:40 pm

    We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of both our local supermarket and a Super Target. It’s nice for comparison shopping and coupons. We buy the majority of our paper goods, meat, dairy, and snack type foods at Costco, so the grocery store is usually just for produce and other on-sale items. I also get my Fage Greek yogurt fix from Trader Joe’s, which is only a few minutes away, too! Target is always cheaper then our supermarket for non-food items.

  • brandi December 2, 2009, 3:41 pm

    My grocery store (Kroger) is pretty good price-wise, but I try to buy those things when they’re on special and stock up, too. I can often get toothpaste for $1 a tube, so I buy a few that week and then I don’t have to buy it when we run out and they’re back to $3!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! December 2, 2009, 3:41 pm

    Target vs. Publix are pretty close as you found, HOWEVER “Walmart” vs. Publix is a whole different story on MOST items!!!

    Like my spagetti sauce is $.50 cheaper and household items are as well, I would say I could save $10-$20 by buying certain items (never meats or dairy or fruits/veggies most of the time) at Walmart vs. Publix!!!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! December 2, 2009, 3:42 pm

    P.S. Publix can have some GREAT sales & buy 1/get 1 free’s so I always watch out for those!!!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat December 2, 2009, 3:47 pm

    I go to at least two stores a week, sometimes three depending on who has what on sale. Typically, places like Target and Walmart are cheaper than my grocery store, but sometimes they have good deals, it all depends on the week. It’s random too, you can’t even guess what items are cheaper at which place, you really have to do the research yourself and check the ads.

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner December 2, 2009, 3:47 pm

    Certain things (like contact solution) are always cheaper at a place like Target. I do find myself going to lots of different stores, but also because its fun:-)

  • Julie December 2, 2009, 3:50 pm

    wow that is a HUGE difference in the prices. I wish organic food would come down in price, most of my money goes towards my food bill 🙁
    Do you ever use coupons? Those can be helpful.

  • Laura December 2, 2009, 3:52 pm

    I absolutely know that you DON’T want to hear this answer, because I definitely didn’t want to tell myself it – but go to Wal-Mart. Seriously! The prices on personal hygiene/home good stuff is a world’s difference from Target. You can easily save $1-2 dollars on the exact same products between the two stores. I can’t stand Wal-mart but because of the prices I force myself to go at least twice a month for my grocery staples (bread, rice, pasta, etc. etc) and I try to buy all of my personal products there if I can.

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) December 2, 2009, 3:54 pm

    Haha, you are certainly a tough cookie 😉

  • Sarah Jayne December 2, 2009, 3:54 pm

    I am a MAJOR deal shopper! I always hit up at least three stores in search of the best price…things on my do not care will pay whatever i have to list:

    Organic milk
    Organic eggs
    Whole wheat grains of all types
    Organic/fair trade coffee

    basically the things we go through truck loads of every week!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels December 2, 2009, 3:54 pm

    At our house, we’re really guilty at not looking at prices at all ever, and then we get to the check out and we’re like darn that’s more than we wanted to spend.

  • Matt December 2, 2009, 3:57 pm

    I buy certain things at certain places to save money. I even go to Wal Mart for some things because it is cheaper and they are the same things as Publix for example.

  • Sarah December 2, 2009, 4:00 pm

    You can actually get Drain-O and other generic cleaning supplies at the dollar store! It’s crazy cheap and works just the same. You can also make a lot of that kind of stuff yourself, instead of buying it!

  • Lizzy December 2, 2009, 4:02 pm

    Hey Caitlin. I was just reading an article on Glamour.com and i’m pretty sure one of your motivational tips was featured. If you already mentioned this and i didn’t see it i apologize, but this is so cool and i totally agree with you, just having the ability to run and workout is motivation in itself!!!!!

  • Ashley December 2, 2009, 4:06 pm

    I usually go to target for bathroom stuff and the farmers market for fruits and veggies- but other than that I don’t stray from Publix.

    I always see my TIME as being the most valuable thing. Driving everywhere to save an extra $1.00 or so hardly seems worth it for most things.

    PS- aviators are always bad ass!

  • Erin December 2, 2009, 4:06 pm

    I HATE HATE HATE going to multiple stores to shop. My grocery store doesn’t really have cheap prices on anything. I admit I used to do all my shopping at Super Walmart because I loved being able to get both groceries and household supplies for cheap. Except now we don’t have a Super Walmart where we live and Super Target is not that much cheaper than the grocery store and has fewer fresh food selections.

  • Brittney December 2, 2009, 4:10 pm

    For personal hygiene products I go to Wal-Mart because I find that they’re the cheapest for that stuff. I try to remember to compare prices between 2 of the grocery stores I go to, but I sometimes I forget. I live at home with the parents so I don’t really do full scale grocery shopping, but I do go out and buy a few groceries for myself since I know I will be the only person in my family to eat them.

  • megan December 2, 2009, 4:12 pm

    I only go to one store, but it pretty much has the cheapest stuff around (except for maybe aldi’s). I always shop at meijer (which i had never heard of when i lived in PA!).

    do you ever get frustrated saving one or two dollars at a time? sometimes it feels kind of pointless when I pay my mortgage bill, etc. but i guess it all adds up right?

    • Kristie Lynn December 2, 2009, 4:20 pm

      I miss Meijer so much! They’re in MI, but not in WI where I live now. Seriously good prices and all in one place.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) December 2, 2009, 4:12 pm

    That is interesting! I often find it depends on teh city I am in.. back home in Las Vegas, Target’s pretty much a solid buy, but here in NYC, EVERYTHING is expensive- doesn’t matter if you’re in a small grocery store or a big Kmart.

  • Kristie Lynn December 2, 2009, 4:18 pm

    Salsa problem? There can be no such thing! Blasphemy! 😉

  • Stacey December 2, 2009, 4:21 pm

    I bought a reusable, washable shower curtain liner for $10 at Bed, Bath and Beyond (then used a 20% off coupon of course). I think it is called a hotel shower liner and it is fabric but keeps the water in. Works great, just toss in the wash every once in a while. Saves money and the environment – no more vinyl in the landfills!

  • alli December 2, 2009, 4:25 pm

    interesting trial! i usually go to walmart for personal hygiene. i’ve signed up on different websites for coupons, too. yes! i do go to multiple stores for the best deal. if i dont have a long workout planned, then i will go bright and early saturday morning. i check the local grocery ads and compare prices that way. my walmart here ad matches which is wonderful, but sometimes it makes it more difficult at the same time.
    i only buy stuff if its on sale (well, except some things i only get at trader joes) if there is a good deal on something (bread, meat, beans, apples, oranges) i will freeze and/or can/bottle. and i dehydrate the fruit. oh, and when bananas are on sale i get a lot to freeze for soothies or banana soft serve. also, i recently found that sweet potatoes freeze well! i slice them into strips then freeze them on a cookie sheet then i bag them and they are ready to throw in the oven anytime (i freeze the bananas the same way)
    i think its important to plan weekly meals around what is on sale that week or use what’s in the freezer 🙂 i finally bought a freezer off craigslist so i can buy more foods to have on hand.
    i get my organic bread at a local bakery here. they sell them for 50 cents a loaf when the expiration date approaches. i freeze them and they last so long! i’d suggest seeing if there’s anything like that near you. we eat a lot of bread, so it really helps us by saving upwards of $3 per loaf.
    sorry for the long comment! i’d never think to go to target, i might have to compare their prices to the grocery store.

  • MelissaNibbles December 2, 2009, 4:25 pm

    I’ve noticed that Target has increased their prices in the past few months, but what store hasn’t in this economy? I go to the Dollar Store for items like the one you bought today. I’ve even found cute plates and bowls at the dollar store!

  • Jessica December 2, 2009, 4:27 pm

    I go in between- sometimes, if I have time I’ll go to different stores, but other times if I don’t feel like it, I’ll just go to one store. But I agree with the first commenter- Target is a trap. I very rarely buy toiletries from them- I get my shampoo, soap, toothpaste, even razors from Sam’s Club- it’s such a better deal.

  • Jessica December 2, 2009, 4:29 pm

    ooohh, yeah, Walmart and the dollar store are good places to get that stuff too- especially the shower curtain/liner

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances December 2, 2009, 4:34 pm

    I usually just go to one store, and it’s usually Kroger since it’s just 1.8 miles from my apartment. I actually do pretty well there with my Kroger card – the savings add up! I try to avoid Target because, like others that have commented, it can be a bit expensive. Plus, wheneve I go to Target, I end up buying stuff I don’t need… like new clothes and makeup!

  • Evan Thomas December 2, 2009, 4:37 pm

    I always question what I’m buying organic and if its worth the difference. A good rule I go by is the more the product’s animal related the more important it is to go organic. Meat and fish is always organic or wild, as are eggs. Dairy products get a bit iffy, and then fruit and vegetables depend on wether or not they’re the “dirty dozen”

  • Valerie (College Girl Eats) December 2, 2009, 4:39 pm

    I do the majority of my shopping at Whole Foods because it’s the closest grocery store to me. And I’d rather not walk more than a mile with loads of groceries! I hate the stigma that WF gets though. People assume that shopping there means I’m a grocery snob (okay, partially true!) and that it is always more expensive. NOT TRUE. It’s all about being a smart shopper! If you don’t mind buying their own brand, then Whole Foods is actually cheaper than my closest major chain supermarket!

    • Catherine December 2, 2009, 7:26 pm

      Ditto! I love Whole Foods and feel the same about people’s perceptions. I also go to Trader Joe’s for some snacky stuff and try to go to the local co-op for grains in bulk (soooo cheap when it’s out of the bins).

  • Missy Maintains December 2, 2009, 4:39 pm

    I usually go to one store. It is pretty much laziness because it is annoying to get on a subway to go to more than one store! There are no Costcos around either!

  • Leah @ L4L December 2, 2009, 4:41 pm

    I go to multiple stores. Usually 2-3 every Friday.

    Why not get shampoo, draino, and toothpaste at Costco as well to save some more $$? We do!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 2, 2009, 4:48 pm

    I buy as much as possible at Bj’s and then get things at Target before the grocery. It works out and saves me money as long as I was going that way. If not the gas just cancels it out.

    Even buying toothpaste at Costco might save you money because you won’t have to buy it as often and you have the discount. I tend to buy stuff where the sale is and I have a coupon to combine. So I have a shelf in the closet of stuff to use when I run out. More money up front but saves in the long run.

  • Laura December 2, 2009, 4:53 pm

    If it’s helpful, here are a few personal finance blogs that I frequent:
    Get Rich Slowly:
    The Simple Dollar:

    They all have really great tips for making budgets, paying down debt, saving, etc.

  • Yasmin December 2, 2009, 4:57 pm

    Yeah, for the basic food items I go to a Walmart superstore. WAAAY cheaper than Target (makes me sad, because I love Tarjay). Costco for the bulk, and Trader Joe’s/Wegman’s for specialty items. I avoid Whole Foods at all costs.

  • Sarah S. December 2, 2009, 5:15 pm

    I absolutely feel badass in a hat and aviators. Wouldn’t want it any other way, yaknow? 🙂

  • Katie December 2, 2009, 5:15 pm

    Purple tacos, delicious!

    Check out my blog for a new GIVEAWAY and SONGDOWNLOADS of the DAY!

  • Erin December 2, 2009, 5:35 pm

    I also buy things like TP, paper towels, etc at Costco and save a lot there. Trader Joe’s usually brings me the best deals, especially on organic or natural products.

  • Mama Pea December 2, 2009, 5:39 pm

    I’m scared of you…so scared that I need to mop up my mess with some paper towels I buy at Costco.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 2, 2009, 5:54 pm

    Yum…we’re lunch twins 🙂 (I had basically the exact same lunch on Sunday).

    I probably should shop around, but I hate running errands, so if I’m out, I’m doing as much one-stop shopping as possible.

  • Mel December 2, 2009, 5:56 pm

    I’m a Wal-Mart shopper. They almost always have better prices than our grocery stores or Target. That said, there are days I just can’t take going to Wal-Mart. Sometimes I just want bright, fresh, clean (store AND patrons).

  • Lauren December 2, 2009, 5:57 pm

    Be careful with Costco toilet paper and paper towel prices. I brought a calculator with me one time and compared them to grocery store prices and it was actually the same, and sometimes even higher! I had a random question though…what does negative splits mean when you are running? I see them on your blog sometimes, and have no idea what it means.


    • Caitlin December 2, 2009, 7:05 pm

      it means the second half of your run (per mile) is faster than the first.

      1: 10:15
      2: 10:00
      3: 9:30
      4: 9:15

  • kilax December 2, 2009, 6:22 pm

    We do go to ALDI to get the best price, then Target is the next cheapest. We’ve really cut back on our shopping expenses in the past few months. It’s crazy!

  • Stacey December 2, 2009, 6:23 pm

    Our grocery stores around here totally suck! The produce is always going bad and they hardly have anything healthy to offer. My boyfriend and I end up going to Trader Joes, Harris Teeter AND Bi-Lo to complete our shopping. It’s exhausting but it’s worth it!

  • Stephanie December 2, 2009, 6:26 pm

    I do my grocery shopping on Sundays and I hit 3 different stores every Sunday for the 2 people in my household!
    Costco first for milk yogurt and sandwich thins (SO much cheaper) plus the produce we eat constantly like bananas and apples. The publix for basic staples and whole foods for specialty and organic products not available anywhere else. I do not take the fiancee, just me and I LOVE IT! It is my “me time” every week!
    So I totally support the multiple store shopping for many reasons!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale December 2, 2009, 6:38 pm

    Totally! I hit up a number of places. First, we buy many things in bulk at Costco, but usually not perishable food since it goes bad before the two of us can get through it all.
    Then, I hit up Trader Joes – when I started shopping at TJs, my grocery bill got dramatically CHEAPER!
    Finally, I go to the regular grocery store to fill in any gaps.
    I love grocery shopping though, so the inconvenience of going to multiple stores doesn’t bother me at all!

  • Allison December 2, 2009, 6:49 pm

    I get most things at Publix, unless something I need is on sale at Target. Publix is a very short car ride or bike ride, while Target is a 20 minute drive in the car. Any small savings would therefore be eaten up by the gas costs! I find that Publix has comparable prices.

    We don’t do bulk shopping because our house is tiny. 🙁

  • Jenna December 2, 2009, 6:53 pm

    i love target, it is the way to go. but i must say i do both, target and then the grocery store!

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama December 2, 2009, 7:07 pm

    I go to a few different stores but usually never on the same day. It’s hard with a little one as he gets fussy being put in and taken out over and over. I buy personal hygiene items at Target, food at FredMeyer or Central Market and hit up Costco, too. I refuse to go to WalMart – that place FREAKS me out and there is no amount of savings that will course me there! lol
    I also don’t like going from store to store because of the gas consumption – I feel it evens itself out between saving a few cents here or there vs. pollution, miles on our vehicle and the chance of being in an accident.

  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) December 2, 2009, 7:19 pm

    Your lunch looks fab! I also have a salsa problem. So yummy!

    I do not go to different stores to find the best deal. I usually just shop Wal-Mart for most supplies but if I’m not planning on going that week and we are already at the grocery store, we just buy it there. Why waste gas or time? Time is money to me!

  • whitney December 2, 2009, 7:20 pm

    I am a crazy person who goes to multiple stores to get the best prices. I will grocery shop at 3 different grocery stores sometimes if there are better prices on vegetables or fruit etc. Target is my staple for home products though. I always buy my shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, sponges, etc. there.

  • Tay December 2, 2009, 7:36 pm

    I eat salsa by the spoonful, so don’t you worry 😉

    I scour the ads weekly, and then head to usually 2-3 grocery stores (sometimes 4!) to get the best deals. Luckily, they’re not all super out of the way, so I’m not driving all over. It’s worth it!

  • Emily December 2, 2009, 8:06 pm

    I thought of one of the things I do that actually saves me a lot! Any cash that is less than or equal to a five dollar bill gets put into a jar (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, one dollar bills, five dollar bills). This does a couple things…
    …I no longer have to carry around change. And change is heavy!
    …if I have the small denominations easily available (read: in my wallet) I find that I am more likely to go to Starbucks or a juice joint because “I have the money here, and what else will I use it for?”
    …stop by the bank and ask for papers to roll coins. They are usually free. Then, every couple of months, dump out the contents of the jar, roll the coins, put everything into a ziploc bag and deposit it at the bank within twenty-four hours. Put it into a savings account that you rarely access. You didn’t use it when it was in a jar, you want to put it somewhere it will work for you (gain interest) but you still won’t touch it.

    It has helped so much! I find that I save about forty to fifty dollars every six months by doing this!

    Additionally, I actually use my credit card for almost everything. It is one of the rewards cards and, dependent on what I purchase, I earn 1-10% back in dividend format. I then use that dividend at my favorite store, REI. REI is the store I go to when I need anything outdoorsy, and I only shop the clearance racks, the online clearance section, or when they have sales. I also use all the coupons I can get. If I can get it at that store, I do it using my dividend. And that is my “treat” to myself. Since I charge everything and don’t use my debit cards or a lot of cash, I rack up a decent dividend each year. Totally worth it!

    • Caitlin December 2, 2009, 8:19 pm

      these are good tips!

  • Angie December 2, 2009, 8:18 pm

    My time is too valuable to scour over ads and try to figure out the best deals. A friend told me about this website: and it is seriously the best money I’ve ever spent. All you do is clip the coupons and check this site once a week and it will tell you what to buy and what to wait on b/c as I understand it, grocery store pricing is cyclical. It has really changed the way I shop and I’ve seen a big difference when I am actively using this site and when I’m not. Of course, ymmv. Thanks for the information. I signed up yesterday and am obsessed now. Not only that, but I found out I spent enough on groceries last month to feed at least a family of four (and I’m single!)

  • Teacherwoman December 2, 2009, 8:26 pm

    I don’t go to different stores to buy different things, but I have been more concious about using coupons and buying things on sale, even though I don’t need them. Prior to doing this, I often wait until I HAVE to get them, like toilet paper and then realize I could have saved 25 cents or more… and that all adds up over time!

  • Lizzy December 2, 2009, 8:27 pm

    if you reallllly want to save some bucks, sometimes i get necessities at the 99 cent store haha. I know it sounds totally cheap, but hey, everythings 99 cents:) some items are totally worthless there, but things like dish soap and laundry detergent are just the same, with off-name brands.

  • Julia December 2, 2009, 8:29 pm

    FORGET Wal-Mart…DOLLAR STORE!!! Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, whatever…they have the BEST cleaning products!! brand-name and heavily, heavily discounted.

  • Julia December 2, 2009, 8:32 pm

    Oh yeah, and I love salsa probably as much as you love twlight, britney spears, and your husband put together (well….). But I never buy chips or crackers so my dipper of choice is baby carrots. You’ve mentioned maybe getting a wee bit more veg in, so maybe that’s a way? Just an idea!

    • Caitlin December 2, 2009, 8:34 pm

      ooo must do tomorrow!

      • Jenny December 2, 2009, 9:29 pm

        Carrots with hummus! Awesome combination 🙂

  • Katie December 2, 2009, 8:34 pm

    I get a lot of stuff at HyVee, but my produce only at a WHole Foods type place. I am pretty adament that thing be organic EXCEPT Sweet potatoes. Why? Because I can buy them in bulk at Costco and eat them daily versus one or two a week. Since I LOVE sweet potatoes I would rather have them non-organic every day vs organic every once in a while.

    I’m bad about saving money. I just buy… I do price shop on gas though!

  • Amanda (modernation) December 2, 2009, 8:35 pm

    We always go to two stores for our groceries – the super market and Trader Joes. The savings are significant and allows us to get more for our budget. I will also probably start adding Costco to the mix for certain things.

  • maria December 2, 2009, 8:35 pm

    Without a car, and only my laziness to blame, I try to get the best prices, even if that means visiting multiple stores.

  • Marissa December 2, 2009, 8:52 pm

    Organic food is soooo much more expensive than normal… my family just can’t fit it into the budget! I have to either get the normal (usually the cheapest: store-brand) kind, or do without. I’ve always wondered how all bloggies seem to be able to afford the good stuff? 😕

    • Caitlin December 2, 2009, 8:54 pm

      most bloggers dont have kids, so that makes it easier… but also, its a priority for the husband and i, and we do have the ability to spend more in certain areas. but i know that it hasnt always been like that us for! and i’m sure it won’t always be!

  • sue-ellen December 2, 2009, 8:54 pm

    You should try coupon clipping. It really does save a lot of money. Try going to, that’s how I got started. You would be surpeised how much you can save!

  • Susan December 2, 2009, 9:00 pm

    Yeah, I used to by organic yogurt and eggs until I realized I was paying double for them than the regular stuff. I had to draw a line and start buying the cheaper goods. I can only be ethical to a point 😛

    I also used to try to go to the Bulk Barn for some items, but they are really, really sub-par. I came home with moldy prunes the other day and it grossed me out of ever going back.

  • Pam December 2, 2009, 9:40 pm

    I go to the Dollar Tree/Dollar Store for some basics – I’ve found regular-sized Lady Speed Stick and Adidas deodorant; a 6-pack of generic toothbrushes; and Crest brand full-size toothpaste there! All for $1 each! Lady Speed Stick costs at least $2.50 at a Walmart!

  • Jolene ( December 2, 2009, 11:36 pm

    I don’t usually go to multiple stores – just superstore and costco … sometimes walmart.

  • Hethir December 2, 2009, 11:48 pm

    The extra cost for organic is so worth it.

  • Whole Body Love December 2, 2009, 11:59 pm

    I always go grocery shopping at 3 stores. I go to Whole Foods for most of my organics because of the 365 brand (great price)! I go to Kroger for steam-in-bag organic veggies and Wal-Mart (gasp) because no one else carries Naturally More PB

  • Julie Loses It December 3, 2009, 12:24 am

    Those tacos look delish!

    I shop at Costco for most toiletries, pantry staples and even produce we’ll eat a lot – they actually have great deals on stuff like strawberries and romaine lettuce (even organics!). Then Target, then my grocery store. My grocery is pretty basic, I’m sure I wouldn’t find a shower curtain there. And then there’s Trader Joe’s for some specific items. I’d love to add the health food store for bulk stuff, and the local international market for more hard-to-find international stuff, but I just can’t. Too frustrating, too much time, too much driving, too many lists to keep track of….

  • Laura December 3, 2009, 6:08 am

    We’re really lucky to live a super-fast subway ride from Trader Joe’s; it’s SO MUCH cheaper and they have such a good selection of organic options that I try to get as much as I can there – including hand soap, toilet paper, and some cleaning products. driving is kind of a hassle (it’s the parking, really, but all the same) so when we need things like shampoo and toothpaste I generally just head over to CVS or Rite Aid, since I can walk to either. We’ve definitely learned to avoid target and other big box stores because of the in-for-one-thing, out-with-thirty phenomenon – it’s a huge money pit for me.

  • Jordan @ Salt Sweat Sugar December 3, 2009, 8:05 am

    I have a Stacy’s Pita Chip problem. ha.

  • Jo December 3, 2009, 9:11 am

    Salsa problem…. lucky you. I have one serious chocolate problem at the moment! Its COOOOLLLLLLDDDDD here (in the UK) at the moment (pack lots of warm clothes when you come over) – it even snowed this morning… not proper snow, it was rather wet and yukky, but still snow. But the cold weather makes me crave comfort food – NOT good!

    ps – I always buy the supermarket’s own brand stuff rather than branded makes, cheaper and does the same job!

  • emily December 3, 2009, 10:43 am

    Weekly I go to Albertson’s, Target, the local open air fruit and vegetable market (I also get rice and dried beans there), and sometimes hit up the Vietnamese stores. Monthly I go to Whole Foods for yogurt and bulk bin items + treats. And rarely I go to other international grocers. In my town we have about a dozen Mexican and Greek grocery stores. They have inexpensive and interesting food.
    I always forget about dollar stores. Dammit.

  • Amanda December 3, 2009, 11:56 am

    You might be interested in something like E-Mealz. You enter the grocery store that you shop at and they create a grocery list and meal plan for you for 5 dinners based on the items that are on sale at your grocery store that week. They give you the breakdown of exactly what the cost will be, plus the ingredient list and recipe instructions. Its usually about $35/week for a 2 person plan, and they have a vegetarian meal plan option. I love it!

    I definitely go to different stores to do my grocery shopping. Publix is my go to store for super cheap deals and I stock up on whatever is on sale at the time, plus I use coupons. I got pickles for $.44 a jar yesterday, scotch tape for free, Bob Evans Home Fries potatoes for $.30 a bag, Nestle Tollhouse cookie dough (gonna give for Xmas gifts) for $.44, etc. I stock up on these random items when I can get these kind of deals and I base my menu for the week on what I can get super cheap.

    If you have a Publix near you, you should definitely check out Another great site is, they will tell you exactly whats on sale, where you can print coupons for the sale items and how much the item will end up costing you.

    For all my other shopping I go to Walmart. The prices are waaaay better there than anywhere else I’ve found on almost everything.

  • Regina December 3, 2009, 12:03 pm

    Drano will eat your pipes!

  • Ashley December 3, 2009, 12:12 pm

    I find that supermarkets are so much more expensive. I usually go to Harmon, Target or Walmart.

  • Kelly December 3, 2009, 1:16 pm

    Admittedly, I hate Walmart. BUT, I buy all of our toothpaste, shower curtains, etc, there. I find it is cheaper than Target, which tends to be on par with my grocery store (aka a little more expensive). DH and I break it down like this…
    I make “grocery” lists for three places: farmer’s market, local grocery store, and walmart. DH goes to the grocery store (some meat, canned products, some fruits/veggies/organics i can’t get at walmart or farmer’s market, depending on season), then I go to farmer’s market (organics, including milk, eggs, some meat and veggies), and walmart (some organics — they’ve been selling local organic apples, for example), toothpaste, detergent, shower curtains, paper products…any of that stuff)
    I’d like to get a BJ’s membership (bulk store) but haven’t done it yet. 🙂

  • charise December 3, 2009, 1:54 pm

    I have friends who think I’m crazy for shopping the farmer’s market, a local grocery store, a national chain grocery store, Trader Joe’s, and sometimes Whole Foods, Target, or local specialty shops. I have certain things I like from certain places – whether it be selection, organic, specialty products, or of course price. But I like shopping so I prefer that to one large “convenient” trip to the nearest store.

  • Kendra December 3, 2009, 7:44 pm


    Have you checked Costco for yogurt and half and half? I find both to be much cheaper. I also purchase my bell peppers and grape tomatoes (I have a serious addiction to both!) at Costco.

  • Sarah December 15, 2009, 3:37 pm

    Next time instead of buying commercial drain cleaner why don’t you try a natural method using baking soda and vinegar:

    Pour a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Plug the opening with an old rag or a stopper and let it bubble away. After a few minutes, rinse with hot water and repeat if necessary.

  • Corinne June 5, 2011, 6:06 pm

    I know Im super late but what deodorant do you prefer?? I can’t seem to find one that doesn’t make me stink in the summer!!!

    • Caitlin June 5, 2011, 8:29 pm

      I like mitchum!

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