As I’ve mentioned before. I have two teenage boys in my house, also a seven-year old who goes through spurts where he eats like a horse. And of course my hubby and I… that’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed.
We go through a lot of food.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that food prices are not headed down so finding creative ways to save money is super important. Now I love a coupon, love them. I know that not everyone loves them, and I know how time-consuming they can be. I go through spurts where I won’t buy anything without a coupon, but then there are some where I don’t have time.
No matter whether I’m going through a coupon spurt or not there are some rules I try to follow to save me money at the grocery store no matter what.
#1- Don’t Shop Hungry– This one is key. I don’t know about you but if I walk into the grocery store hungry all of a sudden the budget doesn’t matter, the list doesn’t matter, I want to buy All. The. Things. and eat them right now! If I realize that I’m hungry as I’m walking in I have no problem grabbing a box of granola bars and eating one while I shop (of course paying for the open box when I check out). So fill up your belly before you shop, you’ll be better focused and stick to your list and budget.
#2- Plan Your Meals- I did a post on meal planning and why I do ( you can find it here). One of the other things I like to do is write my menu on the back of my list. That way before I leave the store I can double-check and make sure that I have all the ingredients for all the meals. It also keeps you from getting home from shopping and not having any idea what’s for dinner.
#3- Go by Yourself- I know this is a hard one. For moms who have small kids and busy lives, it’s hard to get time away. But if you can that makes it much easier. You don’t have little people distracting you, asking for lots of stuff, or just throwing extra things in your cart. So if you can, head out when you have time to yourself.
#4- Set the Rules– If you can’t go by yourself make sure any little people tagging along know the rules. Let them know you have a list you are sticking to, that they can’t get everything they see. You might consider letting them pick one or two things that aren’t on the list so that they can get something special and not bug you for more. But make it clear if you have a spending limit how much or how many things they can pick. Another great way to reward cooperation is to let them pick a treat at the register, it’s a nice incentive to behave through the store.
#5- Take Your Time– I hate to grocery shop when I’m rushed. It always results in forgetting things (which results in another trip to the store, and spending even more money) or over spending. So try to schedule time in your week to shop when you have a space of time that you won’t be rushed. Even if you have to go later in the evening or early in the morning, you’ll be better off.
#6- Shop Once a Week– This one is so hard for me. I’ll go on a big grocery shopping trip and inevitably the next day or day after that we’re out of something so I run back to the store. Now I don’t know about you but there are very few times that I can run in the store for one thing and only come out with one thing. There is always a little extra spending. So if you can make sure to check your staple items before shopping, and try to get everything at once you’ll do much better with staying on budget.
#7- Take a Picture of the Inside of Your Fridge– I just recently learned this trick. Actually my middle man Nathan saw it on Instagram. Snap a pic of inside your fridge with your phone before you go. That way when you have that, “do we need milk?” moment you can see what’s in your fridge!
#8- Shirk Your Brand Loyalty– I know there are some things that you like, there are certain brands that work or taste better than others. But for other things? Try the store brand, or grab the one that is on sale. Chances are you’ll like it just as well as your usual brand, or maybe even more, and you’ll save some money!
So there you have it, my best tips for saving some money at the grocery store. What are yours? Any great ones I missed?
Looking for more ways to save? Check out these posts
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