UNITED STATES—Are you someone that shops and multiple grocery stores? I know I am and people sometimes question why I do so. Simply put every grocery store is different. Some have items that are better than other stores and if you choose to shop at more than one grocery store you’re not doing anything wrong. I know people in my life who are geared to doing all of their shopping at a single store. Rather that is Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, or some other unique retailer, if that is your cup of tea, so be it.

In my defense, I have never been a proponent of that. I firmly believe you need to shop wherever helps your dollar stretch and with the inflation this country experienced in the past 3 years, every single dollar matters. I mean, hello, eggs are still clocking in at over $6 a dozen. A gallon of milk at some places range $5 to $6. If the price of a food product goes lower on one item, it jumps for another item.

I shop at two different grocery stores at least once a week. I’m not that big on bulk buying because you don’t need 20 gallons of mustard or potato salad people. You just don’t. If you’re hosting a massive cookout, party or event, that might be the only exception to the rule. Things like paper towel and toilet paper are the exception because let’s be honest you can never have too much of that.

I’m an ad person; yes there are retailers who actually release an ad each week to let the consumer know what items are on sale. That is a driving force for me in particular when it comes to where I shop. I like to know where I can get the biggest bang for my buck and as a result that is where the shopping for essential items begins which include essentials like milk, bread, eggs, water, juice and pantry staples. Yes, there is more than one store where you can purchase such items, and there are those who love name brand and those who are ok with generic.

I am the same way people, but I have to point out those generic versions of condiments, pantry staples and things you put in the fridge are ok. The only thing that I don’t do variations on is butter. Butter is not the same thing as margarine people. I know people think they are, but trust me try butter on a piece of bread and try margarine on a piece of bread. You will be able to tell the difference.

Now produce, I go to a separate retailer for. I visit my local farmer’s market each week, where I do pay a bit more for my fruits and veggies, but I’m so picky when it comes to produce. Produce doesn’t have a long shelf life. Most produce last about a week. Where I shop my bunch of bananas last a little over a week, whereas if I purchased the same item at a local grocer those bananas would be old within 4 to 5 days; that is a 3 to 4 day difference.

I DO NOT LIKE WASTING OR THROWING AWAY FOOD AT ALL! When you’re tossing food out, you’re throwing money away and I don’t like that. I’m the same way when it comes to purchasing meat. I go to a specialty market to get my meat because I like to see what I’m purchasing. Rarely will I purchase meat that is already wrapped up. I like to go to a meat counter where I can see all the fresh cuts of red meat, pork, chicken, seafood and any other proteins in front of me. Yes, you might pay a bit more, but you know what is, what looks and what smells fresh. That is a major difference. If meat smells rotten you shouldn’t be purchasing it. If the seafood is fishy smelling, not a good sign people.

I noticed by shopping at multiple retailers I am easily saving around $30 to $40, versus if I did all my shopping at one place, I would overspend, purchase items I didn’t want or need and find myself tossing food in the trash because I didn’t utilize it in time. Yes, does it take a bit more time to shop at more than one store? Yes, but to me going to the grocery store is one of the most peaceful things. You just get to clear your mind and purchase the items you want without focus on anything stressful or annoying happening in your life. Every penny matters right now, so whatever you can do to save a buck you do it. If people don’t like it, that is there problem not yours.