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45 jars of spaghetti sauce later…

45 jars of spaghetti sauce later…

spaghetti sauce

I went to the grocery store this morning to buy some orange juice. That was my entire grocery list: orange juice. (My husband was making pancakes, and they just taste better with orange juice.)

But I make it a habit to check the price of spaghetti sauce every time I go to the store. We go through 3-4 jars of it a month (making things like spaghetti, chicken parmesan, and lasagne) and so I like to buy it when it’s on sale. I figured I would pick up a few jars if it was at a decent price in addition to the orange juice.

But I’ve never seen a sale quite like this. Prego spaghetti sauce was priced at $1.20 per jar at Fry’s with an additional $3 discount if you bought 15, bringing the price down to $1 a jar. Hah, IF I bought 15? I bought 45. That should last us about a year. The jars have “best by” dates on them of 2010, so we’ll be safe. It’s normally around $2.89 a jar, with prices as high as $3.35. The lowest I’ve ever seen it before today was $1.50, so hey, I decided to stock up.

Stocking up like this is only a good deal IF:

  • It’s on products that you use all the time anyway
  • It’s on products that will not spoil in the time it will take you to use them
  • Stocking up won’t break your budget
  • You have room to store them

Now we have a smallish kitchen (maybe 8×9?) so the majority of our spaghetti sauce is now residing in our linen closet. There was plenty of room in there, so why not? I figure there’s no rule that says food sealed in glass jars has to stay in the kitchen.

The only way this deal could have been better is if I’d had some 50 cent off coupons for Prego. That would have made them free with doubling. But I’m very happy with my bargain. That’ll save us about $90 over the coming year.

Oh, and I did remember the orange juice.

View Comments (20)
  • Even at $2.50, you got a 150% return on your ‘investment’. And with an ‘average holding period’ of 6 months (you’ll use it up in a year) it’s even higher than that.
    I try to do a similar approach. As long as you pay attention to the dates, it’s great. I recommend dating bags when you are freezing things like chicken breasts or steak, and keeping a note on the fridge to remind you not to let those things age too long. I just ate a two year old steak, and it was fine, but I consider myself lucky it wasn’t freezer burned.
    Great post.

  • Nice work! That is a lot of money saved and really impressive considering you did it all in one trip to the store. Quite a return on your investment and your time.

  • You’re absolutely right. I find that if I stock up on “store brand” cola at 44p per 2l it stops me buying Coke or Pepsi which retails at £1.50 per 2l.

  • I figure you saved just over $85.00. That fills my car up twice at current prices. In turn gets me where I need to go for a month. Great savings, only I wish I had seen the faces of some customers and employees as you went to check out. :o

  • I did make more than one trip, so I didn’t have all 45 at once. I wasn’t sure at first if there was a limit, and I only had one bag with me, so I asked the cashier when I went through the line and she said it was fine.

  • My goodness! 45 jars of spaghetti sauce?!?!? I guess it helps that you guys use it so much. But wow! I thought I was bad for stocking up. Just curious as to how the clerk at the register re-acted… would be interesting to know.

  • Great find – I might have hesitated buying this much but you’re totally right only buy a volume amount if you’re planning on using the product.

  • Wow, this made me laugh. Buying that much makes perfect sense, it’s just funny to see that much spaghetti sauce anywhere other than a store shelf!

  • I had a similiar situation where I found a great deal on baby food and bought 90 jars at once. The clerk actually asked if I was stocking a bomb shelter. No one would get in line behind me either. Go figure.

  • I do the same thing, it was just how we were raised I guess. We had a big pantry room in our basement and it was always stocked up to capacity pretty much. When my parents saw a great deal on something that we used and didn’t spoil, they’d buy a ton of it. Some may think its odd that we’d have a hundred cans of something but then again they saved up a lot of money on just a working class salary in a pretty expensive part of the country.

    I live alone and I still will buy up a ton of things like pasta sauce or whatever if its on a really good sale. I live in an apartment building and have had neighbors see me carrying all these things in and being alarmed because they know I live alone. But whatever. I just bought two cases (48 cans each) of Bumble Bee Tuna that was on a super sale of 25 cents a can (normally a good sale hear has them at like 80cents to $1). But I make tuna sandwiches a lot, and even though these will probably last me a year who cares, for a year I don’t have to buy any.

  • Great deal but I bet the sauce lasts you less time than you expect. You say you use up 3 or 4 bottles per month, it would be interesting to hear in a few months how many you’ve averaged. You might end up using more since you have so much readily available. In any case it works out to be a great deal.

    You should’ve gotten some different flavors though! Those are all the same!

  • Target “Market brand” spaghetti sauce is 1.00 a jar. We stock up all the time whenever I have an errand in there. My kids only like the “traditional” kind, which means plain. No mushroom or garlic flavorings. I have six kids so this is a great and easy way to feed them.

  • Sounds like what I did with the Reynolds crock pot liners. One of the Krogers here had them for $1. They’re normally $2.50-2.75. I bought every one I could. I brought some to the ladies I work with and they were thrilled. Gave some to my new DIL, she had never used them, so I now have about 7 boxes for me. 4 to a box- it will last me a couple of months at least

  • Love this story. I have just such a story of my own — a few years ago I ran into a market closing out boxes of pasta for 25 cents each — every variety and shape imaginable. I filled a grocery cart to overflowing and smiled all the way home. I learned that pasta lasts way beyond the expiration date! My husband did something similar when he found 2-liter bottles of Coke on sale for about 50 cents each – he bought 20 cases!

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