September 17, 2007, 7:00 am

Failing to Be Frugal Again; a Grocery Store Story

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Frugal
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Being frugal is certainly one of the hardest things to do for me! Once again, filled by good intentions, I decided to go to Maxi to buy my food. For those who do not know Maxi, it is a very-cheap-large-surface-with-no-service type of grocery store in Quebec. Basically, you can find you need at a smaller price. Well… this is how they advertise this brand anyway!

Do people know how to live?

First things first, people seemed uneducated and without manners. I guess I should not expect more than a cheap grocery store located in a poor area of my city… Anyway, I almost got ran over by a car on my way to the store (you know those big yellow stripes on the parking ground are not for design purposes!). Then, I pick a cart and go to the entry, there is a 50ish lady with her cart going out the store and taking all the place in the world to go through. No way in for me until she took off. The entry of the store gives to the fruits and vegetables. I saw more peaches on the floor than on the rack… nobody is around. I guess nobody cares period, it’s only good perishable food rotting on the floor after all!?!

Where is the good food?

Fruits were only good for pies and vegetables for soup! Most of their perishable products were on the line of walking away from the store by themselves. Usually, we buy a lot of them. That day, I had to stick to some grapes and salad. There was nothing too fancy as well… the most exotic fruit was the oranges! Overall, we had a very hard time finding our usual healthy products that we buy on a regular basis.

The World of Fried chicken, Chips and Ice Cream

Instead of good stuff for health, I found alleys full of fried foods (I swear, they fried almost the ice cream!), chips, soft drinks, cookies and ice cream. While I love these things, I am trying to find food that is better for my health than for the growth of my belly!

Was it cheaper?

The company was advertising a cheap place where you can find a ton of food. They were right. The food is not so good quality and unhealthy, but damn cheap! Most stuff I bought was on sale. I found great bargain on peanut butter and other non-perishable food. So we did save money on these articles.


I do not know if it was because I did not eat before I went to the grocery store or because all the junk food was on sale, but my grocery bill was not smaller than usual. In fact, I bought more junk and I still had to go back to my regular grocery store to my more fruits and vegetables. In the end, I did not enjoying the experience of shopping there, I bought less healthy food and probably ended up by paying more for food this week than usual. I learnt my lesson; I will not try to save on food anymore. My health worth more than trying to be frugal!



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My wife knows all the tricks to be frugal in a grocery store; starting by keeping me away from it while she is buying stuff!
I believe you have to plan your grocery in advance and buy only what was on your list. Then, you can buy cheap stuff according to the present week coupons.

Are you familiar with spending dollars to save pennies?
How about driving for miles just to save the ABM fees?
Standing in line for 15 minutes for a $1 price adjustment?

That’s what trying to save money on food feels like sometimes.

Quantity doesn’t always equal Quantity.
I like shopping at our grocery store, RCSS. It’s clean, fresh, close by and food prices are reasonable. The $1.69/lb grapes do taste better than the $.99/lb Special.
Although I shop there sometimes, I trully dread the shopping experience at Walmart and Costco. Too many low class, rude and fat people. I don’t hate fat people, just the fat and their attitude.
Ever noticed the higher than normal rate of obese people at Walmart and McDonald’s? It’s as if Fatties gravitate towards cheapness. This might prove that people become what they consume.
Disclaimer: I’m far from perfect, and so is my family.

I know your feeling, FB, I feel like that whenever I shop at some Food Basics or some No Frills, or some Price Chopper as well
Customer attitudes, customer hoarding specials, garbage on the floors, people fighting over items, etc… It’s only grocery, man

I do appreciate RCSS besides my house, or Sobeys. They are so much cleaner, and you just feel better, even though prices may not ALWAYS be the lowest.

I dread the day I have to move away from RCSS, how will I survive….

by: The Financial Blogger | September 17th, 2007 (2:03 pm)

“I truly dread the shopping experience at Walmart and Costco. Too many low class, rude and fat people”
I could not explain it better! I tried to save on food but it was a total failure. So I’ll try to save money on something else!

SNB, I think I found something else to save on food. I’ll write a post on it in a week or two (I need some time to figure if it worth it or not!).

Hey FB; here are my top ways to save on food:

1. Meal plan

The fiancé and I will line up suppers for the week in advance. We’ll buy a breakfast food (english muffins, croissants, etc.) and then we both handle lunch. At the end of the day, we know what products we need (or how many meals we’re cooking), so we don’t end up buying extra.

This leads to…

2. Eat less (think European-sized vs American-sized portions).

The truth is most of us eat too much food. This is part of the slow “rounding of the tummy” that happens as people age. The people who stay thin are just better at adapting quantities of food as their metabolism and activity habits change. Having less food also generally means you’re eating less b/c the temptation is reduced.

Which leads to…

3. Waste less

Along with eating too much we often simply “have too much”. It’s like we’re worried about starving even with the grocery store across the street 🙂

The truth is, good food costs good money and you really are what you eat. The “fat” comments ring a certain truth b/c the mentality that leads people to being overweight is the same basic mentality that has people buying more crap than they need and going into debt. Here’s one of my favorite links on the subject.

Point is, good food and good health cost a fair amount of money, that’s just the way it is. The average person actually needs to reduce their food consumption while increasing the cost of the food that they are consuming. So trying to “trim” on food is a tough deal (no pun intended :))

I shop at Maxi also and do not find it too bad. There are junk food aisles but all the cans, dry, meat, and basic vegetables are ok. For veggies, it depends when you get there. I find everything to be under-ripe so we buy only potatoes, onions, lettuce, that kind of thing. If you get there after the hordes then everything has been dropped 500 times and picked through.

It isn’t gourmet that’s for sure.

by: The Financial Blogger | September 26th, 2007 (5:58 pm)

CR, I had notice that Maxi have not necessarily the same outline. The one closed to where I live is really old and not well situated. I’ve been to other that we not so bad.