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Shopping can be a chore and expensive if you don’t have a plan. The worst thing to do is go to the grocery store hungry, that will cost you an extra $50 in snacks and things you didn’t need. Try to eat before you go to keep you from buying everything with icing on it which is what I end up doing. Not all tips work for everyone, but there is always a way to make someone else’s plan work out for you and your shopping needs.
It’s an exhausting cycle and can cost you money, time and energy in the end if you don’t have a plan. Try to plan ahead, open all the cabinet doors in your kitchen and see what you have, don’t have, are low on, need stocking up because everyone is eating it. Create a shopping list as detailed as possible for your meal plans for the week. Check your grocery store circulars, clip and print coupons, be prepared to get those deals!
It always seems to be so much easier to go through a drive through or pick up a pizza but that ends up costing us more money in the end. The grocery store is staged to lure us in with their pretty packages and eye level “deals” that are usually items we did not go there in the first place to purchase.
One very important tactic to beat the grocery store game is to make your list and do your best to stick to it when you get there. Of course you are going to add a couple of things to go with something else if it looks good or is on sale and something you cannot pass up. momAgenda offers great planners for the busy mom to write down lists, appointments to keep life in order. They also have notebooks, journals and pads that you can special order.
Whenever I go to the store and ask my husband what he wants he always says “the usuals” which to him means milk, chips, snacks, lunch meat, bread. Well that’s not enough to feed 4 people for the entire week so I have to get working on a meal plan for the week or everyone is having turkey sandwiches and chips for every meal with a glass of milk. I try to keep the list focused on the necessities because when I buy those extra boxes of cupcakes and cookies and crackers with cheese because I went hungry I notice it when I get my total.
If you really want to avoid the craziness of the store and avoid impulse buying try out Instacart.You can choose from your local stores when you sign up, pick your items and pay and have your groceries within an hour without leaving your home. It is a good reliable grocery delivery service for all of your grocery shopping. Check it out!
You have to buy different ingredients to go with multiple meals. I will buy potatoes, carrots, lettuce, apples, bananas and an entire chicken to roast that can be made into multiple meal planning ideas from hot dinner to cold sandwiches, soup, hamburger can be eaten on buns, a casserole, spaghetti sauce, shepherds pie and anything else you can find on Pinterest.
When I go to Aldi’s I love how they have remodeled and placed all of the fresh produce right when you walk in the front door. Their foods are reasonably priced and give you a good base to start your meals. Try to buy foods with color, they are more nutritious and Rice and beans are great add ins to every meal if you are on a tight budget.
Prepare gallon bags with freezer meals to throw in the crock-pot for the day. If you buy your vegetables and meats and sauces and spend your Sunday afternoon cooking them up and putting into gallon bags and labeling them you will have your meals set for the week and save money not having to run back to the store multiple times or ordering out. If you can, leave the kids at home when you go grocery shopping. I understand this is not an option for everyone, we all know that things are placed at your child’s eye level on purpose to help add extra items to your cart.
Coupons and sales are your friends. The grocery store circular will help you find the local deals, use your store’s digital coupons on their apps if available. I save a ton of money with store apps and their coupons. Just watch that the circular isn’t trying to con you into buying stuff that is overpriced or not really “on sale”. Match up your weekend coupons with the circular sales and buy in bulk whenever you can.
Anything that is bagged or already cut for you will have hidden added costs. Cut up your own vegetables and salads and you will save in the long run. These are made for convenience and you are spending money on the packaging and pretty presentation of something ready to grab and use. All of the processed foods are in the middle of the store aisles, everything fresh is on the outside and they lure you in with their cleverly placed displays and need to go in to get your “go with”items that are surrounded by everything you don’t need but consider due to their strategies.
Costco or Sams Club are great places to buy in bulk. Once a month is really all you need to go and get your bulk food or toiletries, diapers for the little ones, trash bags and other paper or cleaning products to save you time and money at the grocery store.
The biggest money saving tip I can offer honestly is to bring only the cash you need for your list. If you know that you can swipe your debit card you will not be as savvy filling up your cart. If I know I have $50 or $100 and that’s it with me I will stick to my budget and list and not make those impulse buys at the bakery, deli or snack aisle which is so easy to do and I’m completely guilty of doing this. Buying the store brand is also a money saving idea. Unless you’ve tried the store brand and do not like it, most store brands are just as good as name brand. I save a lot of money buying the generic store brand.
Use your calculator on your phone, go to double coupon stores and buy fresh whenever you can. There are so many ways to beat the store’s increased prices and impulse buying. Try to avoid buying things sitting at the checkout when you are standing in line. If you grab a bottle of your favorite drink it will usually be almost $2 for that bottle when a six pack of the same drink can be around $4. Do not be lured in!
Send me a message with your grocery tips and I will be happy to share them with my readers. Beat the grocery shopping game, plan your meals and save that hard earned money!
Have a great week! Kelli