Most people hate grocery shopping. They see it as a chore, like doing laundry or scrubbing the toilet.
But, not this girl.
I LOVE grocery shopping. I always have and always will.
But, just because I enjoy it doesn’t mean I have endless amounts of money to spend. A few of you have told me that you don’t either. So, I’ve compiled five tips that I use every time I shop to help keep the cost down. At one point I was spending over $100 per week on my groceries (JUST FOR ME!). I’ve been able to cut that in half by following these quick & easy tips.
1. Set a Budget
Every month, I sit down and make a budget for myself. If I don’t, I go crazy and spend more than I can afford. Even if you don’t keep track of everything you spend money on, it’s a good idea to set a limit for yourself at the grocery store. For example, maybe you want to pay $40 a week on your groceries. When you receive your first paycheck of the month, take out $160 in cash and set it aside for your groceries. Each week when you go to the store, grab $40. Only having the amount of money you budgeted will hold you accountable. It will also prevent you from mindlessly throwing items into your cart without checking the price.
2. Skip the Fancy Stuff
I’m a marketing team’s dream customer. Pretty packaging and clever slogans captivate me like no other. “TAKE MY MONEY!” I cry as I shell out $17 for a jar of small-batch, special roasted almond butter. But, when you’re on a budget, you don’t have that kind of money to spend on some ground-up nuts. Stick to the essentials. If you’re on the fence with a product, ask yourself, “Do I REALLY need this?” Asking myself this question has saved me loads of money. Most of the time, I don’t need the organic chocolate bar that was harvested by baby goats. I may still buy chocolate, but it will be the one that’s on sale or isn’t name-brand.
3. Make a List
I can’t stand going to the store without a list. Whenever I do, I come home with popcorn, waffles, and grapes, but nothing to make meals with. So, before I go to the store, I sit down, and think about what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that week and make a list accordingly. This way, I only buy what I actually need. I also try to make the list when I’m at home and can see what’s in my kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a new carton of eggs only to get home and find that I already had a full one in the fridge.
Need new ideas for breakfast? Try this!
4. Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry
If you get anything out of this post, know that going to the grocery store hungry will destroy any chances you have of sticking to a budget. When you shop hungry, suddenly everything sounds delicious, and the answer to “Do you REALLY need this?” is always “YES! YES, I DO!”
Eat before you go to the store. Trust me on this. You’ll make better decisions and be able to resist the temptation of pizza rolls and mac and cheese.
5. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags!)
Okay, this will probably save you about 30 cents. But, hey, when you’re at the parking meter and in need of some change, you’ll thank me. Not every store provides bag credit, but most of them do these days. I have a million tote bags, and I keep a few of them in my car, so they’re handy whenever I need to run to the store. Bringing your own bags also cuts down on the use of the plastic bags. So, you and the environment get a win for this one!