I thought I would post where I do the majority of my grocery shopping. This may surprise some, but the most of the best deals I get are at our local, small town grocery store. We live about 9 miles away and it is in a town with a population of 2535 residents. It is also the town where I work. This community is very lucky to have a family owned (nearly 50 years!) grocery store. They are part of the Affiliated Foods Network, so they do have some buying power. Each week on Wednesday a new sales flyer comes out. I go through the flyer and list the items that are a great deal. I then check my pantry and decide who much of the items to buy. I try to buy at least three months worth when it's on sale. For example, recently glass jars of spaghetti sauce were on sale for $0.99 each. I bought 16 jars. When we make spaghetti, we use two jars of sauce and one jar of the tomatoes we can each summer, along with 1.5 lbs. Of hamburger, a can of mushrooms and some seasonings. I also use the spaghetti sauce in some casseroles and lasagna.
Most of our groceries are bought at this store and, like I said, the community is very lucky to have this store. They employ a large number of local residents and students, offer a large selection, great sales and wonderful customer service.
One of the other place I occasionally shop is Aldis. The closest is about 40 miles away, so I don't go there frequently. Plus, the last time I was there, the prices were the same or only marginally better, so I doubt I will go there very much in the future.
About 30 minutes away we have a large Amish and Mennonite community. There is a number of Amish stores that have great prices, wonderful produce, bulk herbs, spices and food items and unique items. They also have a discount grocery outlet that buys scratch and dent, close to expire date, and slow sellers from major grocery chains such as Meijer. We have been trying to go here about every 60 days. One of the great buys we found here was 124 assorted juice boxes in a big box. They were one brand, but many different flavors. The total cost was $12.50 for all. My son takes his lunch every day and takes one juice box per day. We don't drink them otherwise because they are more expensive than mixing our own juice, but very handy for lunches. Normally we pay about $0.20 per juice box, so this was an awesome buy! The reason they were selling them like this was because stores get some containers that have one juice box leaking, they remove the others and tris out the leaking one. This outlet buys the loose boxes, repacks them in large boxes of mixed flavors. A few were sticky, but that's an easy fix. Great deal!
As for meat, I purchase pork when it is on sale at our local grocery store. We raise two calves each year. We keep about 3/4 of one for our own freezer and sell the other 1 1/4 beef to friends and family at market price. They pay their own processing fees and pay us for the beef. We usually make enough from the sale of the 1 1/4 to pay the processing and at least part of the cost of raising them for our portion. So, for only about $100 per year, we have all the beef we need including hamburger, roasts and steaks. And it is wonderful quality and we don't use implants or excessive antibiotics.
We have chickens for eggs, plus I raise about 20-30 chickens for our freezer each spring. Is year I may raise closer to 50 because I have some friends and family that want to buy some. We have part of them left whole and part cut up. The processing facility is about 10 miles away, so we are really lucky! The chickens cost us about the same as the cost in the store, but the quality is so much better.
I purchase paper products,household cleaners, personal items at Target. I try to use as many coupons as possible and match them with sales. We have a Costco opening next summer, so I will check out their prices at that time.
I've learned that the most important part of grocery shopping is planning and buying what is on sale. After stocking up for a few months, I don't buy what we are going to eat that week, I buy what is on sale and build our menus from what is in the pantry.