Eat Well, Spend Less Round-up and Giveaway!

This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Lynda, our winner of the Kroger card! A big thank you to all who entered.

Last week in our Eat Well, Spend Less series, nine of us bloggers shared a close look at where shopped for groceries and how we made things work for our particular area of the continent. Many things such as budget, proximity to markets, time and location all factored into our decisions and it was very interesting to read about the various approaches to this everyday task.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of you enjoyed our virtual shopping trip and had lots of fun showing you my local haunts in my post, Simple Bites Goes Shopping. I do feel fortunate to have such fantastic grocery shopping resources so close to where I live.

In this post, I’ll give a quick recap of Eat Well, Spend Less Part 3: Making the Most of Where You Live. I encourage you to visit the post of the blogger closest to your area, as they give shopping tips specifically for their region.

Also, we’ve got a great giveaway for you, so don’t go anywhere before you comment for your chance to win.

Eat Well, Spend Less: Making the Most of Where You Live

1. Our Texas contingency, Alyssa, showed us how to save money on groceries in Texas, including a couple of great resources for buying locally or buying in bulk.

“I realized we were spending more money on groceries than ever before. How does one go from a modest Southern California grocery budget to a Texas-sized disaster? It all came down to a lifestyle shift.”

Alyssa shared how she learned to shop intentionally and use coupons. It’s an inspiring read!

Read the rest: How I Eat Well & Spend Less in Texas.

2. Colorado Carrie gave readers a fantastic overview of how she shops at up to 10 different stores to get the best deals.

“Colorado is probably not the place that would initially come to mind when you think of places to get great grocery deals. Yes, we do have a lot of great local producers of beef, dairy, produce, and more, but we’re not exactly famous for a fabulous growing season…For whatever reason, though, we do seem to have a lot of grocery stores that are fairly competitive with each other.”

Carrie shops a lot like I do, hitting up everything from the ethnic markets to Costco to get what she needs. This really works for us.

Read the rest: Eat Well, Spend Less: How I Shop 10+ Stores.

3. Jessica lives in the state with the highest cost of living, California.

“We can’t determine what the store charges, but we can decide how to cook and how to eat. If our family, living in an expensive state, can spend less than the national average, you can, too. Really.”

An impressive numbers geek, Jessica shows us how she frugally feeds her family of eight and shares strategies for saving money in her expensive state.

Read the rest: Saving Money on Food in Southern California.

4. Ever the practical one, Katie G shares her two-store strategy and dishes up whip-smart shopping tips that apply to everyone.

“Now that I am essentially a “working mom,” I’ve realized how precious my time is. I don’t even want to spend an extra minute at the grocery store if I don’t have to.”

Read the rest: Eat Well, Spend Less: How I Shop to Save.

5. Over in Michigan, Katie K shares a super awesome strategy for taking advantage of all four seasons.

“I live in Michigan, where we have all four seasons, sometimes three in one day…My reliance on the Farmer’s Market in our city has vastly increased as I’ve committed more and more to eating real food and buying locally.”

Katie details how she preserves the harvest and finds ‘real food’ super deals.

Read the rest: Food Sources in Michigan and the Midwest.

6. Mandi is on the East Coast like me, but lives much more rurally.

“Because we live 25-30 minutes from the closest grocery store, we probably spend more time preparing for our grocery shopping than we do actually grocery shopping. Forgetting a key ingredient throws the whole meal plan out of whack, so I try really hard not to let that happen!”

She’s got some terrific strategies for keeping the grocery budget low even as food prices rise that are applicable no matter where you live.

Read the Rest: Grocery Shopping When You Live in the Boonies.

7. Shaina shops in the Midwest to feed her family of six and offers solid, practical advice to other families in this area.

“Living in the Midwest poses a few challenges as you start thinking about grocery shopping. The first and probably most prominent challenge is that of local food availability during the winter months. These definite seasonal shifts also lead to seasonal shopping differences for our family.”

Don’t miss Shaina’s farmers’ market shopping tips and precious vlog of the family’s outing to the market.

Read the rest: Eat Well, Spend Less: Shopping in the Midwest.

8. Tammy detailed three important things about the way she shops in the Pacific Northwest and openly declares her loyalty to Costco!

“I love shopping at Costco. With a growing family, we just don’t have trouble using those 5-pound bags of organic veggies or big bags of dried beans. Is Costco frugal?  I certainly think it can be, and I’ve been getting the majority of our groceries at Costco for a couple years now.”

Read the rest: My money-saving, time-saving, healthy-eating method.

$50 Kroger Gift Card Giveaway

Kroger, our sponsor for this series, is giving away nine $50 gift cards, one on each of the Eat Well, Spend Less blogs, so head to each of their sites below for multiple chances to win!

The Kroger Co. operates grocery retail stores under the following banners:
  • Supermarkets: Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith’s, King Soopers, Fry’s, QFC, City Market, Hilander, Owen’s, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker’s, Gerbes, Scott’s Food & Pharmacy
  • Multi-department stores: Fred Meyer
  • Dillons Marketplace, Fry’s Marketplace, Kroger Marketplace, Smith’s Marketplace
  • Price-impact warehouse stores: Food 4 Less, Foods Co

Note: Don’t have one of these stores in your area? I’ll provide you with a $50 Visa card instead.

Enter to Win

*This giveaway has now ended*

Every reader has four methods available to enter this giveaway:

1. Leave a comment sharing how you eat well & spend less. Do you coupon? Shop multiple stores? Do you break your budget down by category (i.e. produce, meat, staples)? How does where you live affect your grocery budget? What is your favorite frugal meal?

2. Follow @KrogerCo and @simplebites on Twitter and tweet the following:

Enter to win a $50 @KrogerCo gift card from @simplebites  #eatwellspendless

Be sure to come back and leave a separate comment letting me know you’ve done so.

3. “Like” Kroger on Facebook. Be sure to come back and leave a separate comment letting me know you’ve done so.

4. Enter 8 more times on the other participating blogs:


(1) $50 Kroger gift card

This giveaway ends at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 28. The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email, and this post will be updated with their name as well.

Wait! You can still enter our Queen for a Day giveaway! One lucky winner, eight special prizes – don’t miss it!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Deb Frost says

    I “liked” Kroger on facebook! thanks Tsh!

  2. I love to price match!

  3. I try to meal plan so that I use similar things during a week (ex: if I’m going to buy cilantro I want to make sure I use it all).

  4. We can and freeze things when we can get them at a bargain. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat well and spend less, since it often means eating frozen raspberries and blueberries while watching the snow fall 🙂

  5. We eat well and spend less by my actually cooking our food. We have also started planting our garden, but the rain and cold weather has stalled us for a while now.


  6. I use coupons and buy things on sale as much as possible.

  7. I try to meal plan so I know what to buy and not buy things at the store that aren’t on my list. I also coupon a little, but am NOT a pro!

  8. I still go back to the method that I learned from The Frugal Zealot- buy food at the lowest price and plan meals from your pantry and freezer. We also have at least one egg/meatless meal a week.

  9. I coupon, stack coupons, shop sales and use coupons to expand my savings, stockpile, grow my own small garden, buy half a beef every year (or a little longer, depending on various things), am willing to accept anything someone wants to give me…. We are also trying to eat “cleaner” – which to us means that we are trying to stay away from covering our foods with sauces and trying to eat food in it’s more natural state (okay, with the exception of meat, ‘cuz that would be gross!).

  10. I do a little bit of couponing, but also shop sales, buy in bulk, get fresh food from local farmer’s market-type store, and grow a big garden!

  11. misty gorman says

    i like to shop the target ad and their online coupons, then i build my grocery list around coupons i can match with target coupons and what is on sale. this has helped us save on toothpaste, diapers, feminine products, meats, etc.

  12. I coupon and match coupons to sales… Also, Meal planning is huge! 🙂

  13. I use a combination of tips. I do coupon, but when my schedule is hectic and I don’t have time, I just stick with simple meals and shop at one store primarily, to take advantage of their rotating sales.

  14. I am following both now & tweeted the giveaway

  15. I like Kroger on FB

  16. I make a monthly meal plan and have cut my grocery shopping to every other week – this has helped save money by reducing my opportunities for impulse purchases. We mainly shop Trader Joe’s and Costco as they have the best prices in our area.

  17. I plan for meals for a month then budget to buy all of it in the first three weeks, and take the last week of the month off of spending or shopping. It helps me clear out my pantry and fridge, from all the things that didn’t get quite used up, and it helps me feel like I’m spending less money when I take that last week off. I also shop King Soopers and Costco and Safeway, usually one on a different week, checking grocery store ads, and I know Costco well enough to know in advance what things will cost there.

  18. I coupon as best I can which gets better and better. I have learned to only buy meat on sale unless something is coming up I need meat and can’t find anything good on a good enough sale. I’ve learned how to buy in season when possible.
    One simple meal that my kids love and is cheap and healthy is what we call “noodles and cottage cheese.” It started as just whole wheat pasta, some cottage cheese (which melts!) and a little salt and pepper. It has grown up a little as now we add a little garlic powder and flax oil when it is in the dish! Protein, fiber, omega 3, and the health benefits of garlic! Pasta goes on sale a lot and I stick to cottage cheese with less than 5 ingredients … Daisy brand is the one I get.

  19. Melissa G. says

    I follow KS (and Kroger) on Facebook.

  20. Melissa G. says

    I use coupons and shop at multiple stores when things are at their lowest prices, but I think it’s also helpful to have a plan (for shopping, couponing, and meals). That way I don’t spend more when life gets stressful (as it inevitably does) and I always have something healthy on hand to throw together when we have an “off night.”

  21. I use coupons and shop multiple stores.

  22. I like Kroger on facebook.

  23. I use some coupons, but only online. Now, we live in a rural area that doesn’t get any major newspapers and the local one has hardly any coupons and the prices of the paper are crazy! So, we rely on some internet coupons, but really, for me to save money, I search the ads, and stock up when things are on sale, go to multiple (three…that’s all we have!) stores, and make things from scratch.

  24. I “liked” Kroger on Facebook!

  25. Jennifer P says

    I try to use coupons whenever possible & shop the sales.

  26. I eat well and spend less by doing coupons, going to bargaining blogs and shopping at multiple stores when it’s worth it (when I see great deals or free items). I especially love to watch for deals on anything organic as I would like to eat healthier but it gets pricey! I do not tend to shop by strategy and am not overly affected by where I live. I love to eat anything with pasta that includes a side of veggies!

  27. I’ve [email protected] and @simplebites on Twitter and tweeted the message

  28. Liked Kroger on Facebook

  29. We grow our own fruits and vegetables and raise chickens for eggs!

  30. i shop multiple stores and farmer’s market

  31. “Like” Kroger on Facebook (gala yA)

  32. I use coupons, Plan to eat, and shop local for our meals.

  33. I approach our shopping in multiple ways. I do use coupons–although not a lot. Most of the coupons we use are for household items as we don’t eat much processed food. I also compare the ads for the two closest grocery stores to see what’s on sale. Very often I’ll shop at both stores picking up the loss leaders and then filling in with whatever we need to complete our menu for the week. My husband and I love to eat beans and rice, but the kids would rather go hungry! So we’re still working on a compromise. However, I did see Jessica’s post today on a taco salad (meat free) that each person could assemble themselves. That would definitely appeal to my kids as they love salad! Thanks for the chance to win!
    jlenahan73 at insightbb dot com

  34. We try to save money by stocking up on things when it goes on sale, occasionally using coupons (that we get from my grandmother’s paper, b/c she doesn’t use them) when there’s something we can use, and sometimes going to the three stores in town to get different things (they are all on our way to the main place we shop, so there’s no extra driving) where they are least expensive/best quality. We also buy in bulk some of our cleaning supplies on, which we can’t get locally and it’s cheaper than in stores when we go elsewhere.

    We just sent off a deposit for our first meat share (1/4 cow, 1/4 pig, 24 chickens, and a thanksgiving turkey) which will save a good chunk of money when compared to buying cuts individually. I’m also probably going to make an order from Azure Standards next month and stock up on some things, and on that same trip (the drop off is an hour and a half away) I’ll be stocking up on some things I can’t get locally.

  35. I “like” Kroger on facebook 🙂

  36. like Kroger on fb Julie S Laws

  37. I use coupons-Dollar General is cheaper in staples…I also buy our meat fresh
    from the meat market

  38. Katherine C. says

    I coupon to spend less. I also try to not go overboard when shopping.

  39. i use coupons and price match- using the blogs online
    tcogbill at live dot com

  40. Rebecca R says

    I eat well and spend less through the use of coupons….i’ve cut my grocery bill in half!

  41. I’m following Simplebites & KrogerCO on TWitter!

  42. I “Liked” Kroger on Facebook!