Money Saving Tips for Grocery ShoppingMay 11, 2018
Tips on Planning Ahead
- Plan Meals for the entire week (or month). Make sure to plan for Quick Meals on those days when you’re running late and just want a fast meal. When you know what you have planned and ready, you will be less tempted to eat out.
- Take leftovers into account (using cold turkey from the night before for sandwiches)
- Clean out your pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator at the same time your planning so you know what to purchase. Knowing what you have and what you need will save you from buying multiples.
- Create a Shopping List. This is a must.
- Check the weekly ads for the grocery stores AFTER you create your list. Don’t let them influence the way you shop or eat. There are also great apps for saving money on items you already buy. Check them out.
- If you stock up, rotate your food and watch the expiration dates. This saves you from throwing out expired foods that you could have used.
- Food Savers are great for repackaging large quantities of meat. We got ours at a thrift store and it works perfectly. It seals and removes air from items placed in special plastic bags.
- Make meals in bulk and freeze them for convenience. For instance, make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce and freeze the rest to easily warm up for meals later in the month. You can even shred and freeze cheese. It freezes well.
- Spend time once a week washing, chopping, and cutting up fruits and vegetables. This will speed up dinner and lunchtime preparation, as well as provide healthy snack alternatives for the kids.
- If you buy large packages of meat, you can pre-cook them or marinate the meat and freeze it to speed up the meal-making process.
- Buy snacks in bulk and place them in baggies for lunches or snacks. You can do this with juice, too. This also prevents overeating.
- Buy less canned and pre-packaged foods and make your own. This will not only save you money but gives you the option of making much healthier choices.
- Save money by hosting friends and/or family once a month. Each family picks a night, hosts the other families, and provides the main course. Every other family is in charge of providing another course, like vegetables, salads, or dessert. Cooking in bulk is less costly and you’ll have a great time doing it.
Always Keep Your Budget in Mind When Shopping
- Shop with a list…ALWAYS and stick to the list. Don’t buy gifts or extras when grocery shopping. This is grocery shopping time only.
- Shop once a week, if possible. The more times you visit a store, the more you tend to spend.
- Don’t go shopping hungry or tired. We’ve all heard this but it’s true. You’re more likely to go over budget and buy things you don’t need that are usually unhealthy when you’re hungry. When you’re tired, you are less able to focus and make smart choices.
- Shop in familiar stores. The more you wander, the more you see and the more you are likely to spend. Go to stores you know and are familiar with. You’ll be able to stick to your list much more easily.
- Bring a calculator or use your phone. Add things up as you place them in your cart. This is a great job for kids. It keeps you from guessing how close to your budget you are.
- Check the prices. A smaller size can sometimes be a better deal. Do the math.
- Use cash when you go grocery shopping. This way, you can’t go over your budget. Learn to put items back when it causes you to do so. Be a disciplined shopper.
- Buy your non-food items, like detergent and garbage bags, at Costco or another discount store.
- Store brand items, especially Costco’s Kirkland brand, can be a great deal. Some store brands are made by Name Brand Companies. Don’t overlook them. They can be just as good and cost less.
- Only buy what you can afford. Do not fall for those 3-for-1 deals or “buy 10, save $10” unless it’s in your budget to do so. Even sale items are no good if you don’t use them.
- Don’t buy snacks on the run. They are often less healthy and more expensive.
- Get creative and try new healthy foods. You can find healthy, less expensive items for nearly anything.
- In some parts of the country, you can turn in cans and bottles for cash on the deposits you have paid for them. This is another great job for kids.
What About Eating Out?
- Take advantage of dollar days at restaurants. Café Rio is a popular restaurant by my home that has $1 tacos on Tuesdays. Great day to choose to eat out!
- Take advantage of coupons and “kids eat free” days if you’re going to eat out. It’s important to save money in every part of your budget. Eating out is usually a huge part of most family’s budget in America.
Michelle R Russell
© The Prosperity Process, LLC
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