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Fail – Multiple trips to grocery store every week, wasting time and money.
Flip – Saving over $100 at the grocery store every month.
Do you cringe when it is time to go to the grocery store? I used to, but that was when I was disorganized and going to the grocery store multiple times a week. Food is a category in your budget that you can definitely make small changes that will make a big impact. Here are my 10 grocery store tips that will help you change your habits so that you can win at the grocery game yourself!
10 Grocery Store Tips that Could Save you Hundreds
Start with a meal plan – Have you ever created a meal plan? For my simplest version, read here. Once you have the meal plan, create your grocery list and stick to the list, only getting items you need. You can get a free meal planner with list of 100 meal ideas here.
Go one time a week – Multiple trips every week leads to extra purchases that aren’t necessary. Yes, occasionally you may forget something and when I do, I then send my hubby to the store. He is much better at getting in and getting out without the extras. Not only does this organization save you the gas money on these multiple trips, but it also saves you the time wasted.
Take stock of your freezer and pantry – Look around your house. What do you already have for meals? I sometimes even have enough ingredients for an entire meal or two. Include at least one meal a week that you have ingredients for already in stock. This is less that you will need to purchase at the store.
Watch for sales and coupons – At my store, the sales usually happen on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I make my meal plan and grocery list based on the coupons that come out in the paper. Going to the store on these sale days are an easy way to save money.
Meat specials – Every week there is usually one kind of meat that is on sale. Try to plan a meal around that. My meal plan always has one basic meat that is easy for me to substitute out. When I go to the store, I also check on the manager’s specials. These are the meats that are only good for one more day before you have to cook them or freeze them. I can usually pick up something that I can easily fit into the week, or else freeze for the next week.
Vegetarian meals – Let’s face it, meat is expensive. And living in the Midwest, we live on our “Meat and Potatoes” meals. Try to plan at least one or two meals a week that have a protein alternative or are meat free. I like to make different bean soups that will last the week for leftovers.
Use fresh ingredients – Have you heard that it is expensive to eat healthy? It is actually more expensive to eat unhealthy. The price of processed foods like crackers, chips and cookies is increasing all the time. Stick with fresh ingredients. They are not more expensive, and because you are organized and have a plan to eat them, you won’t waste them.
Buy in bulk – Make sure to price compare when buying in bulk. I have done a lot of comparison shopping to determine which of our items as a family are best bought in bulk. A few items we have found cheaper are laundry detergent, toilet paper, and meat (on sale). When I purchase meat on sale I make sure to divide it up into smaller portions and freeze what I am not going to use that week.
Don’t overbuy – This may sound contradictory after I just mentioned buying in bulk, but I am talking about items that you won’t be able to save or may expire. Here is an example….the salad kits are on sale so you decide to pick up a few for the week, but they aren’t part of your meal plan. By the end of the week, you haven’t had a chance to eat them and now the lettuce is turning brown. It is simple, if you don’t know when you will eat it…don’t buy it.
Go alone – The more people in the store, the more you will buy. Now instead of controlling your own impulses, you are trying to control that of other people. If you have a hard time saying “No” to someone else, then it will be stressful, because you know they will want something. It is just easier, don’t take your kids or your spouse.
Simplify and Organize
By following these simple grocery store tips, I have been able to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars throughout the year. I have less stress around groceries, planning meals and I enjoy the time I have recaptured from having to go to the store multiple times a week. Getting organized and staying simple are the keys to an optimal life!