I don’t know about you but I am always looking for ways to cut my grocery bill. At times the grocery store seems overwhelming, too many choices, too many pricey foods, and definitely too many people. So how do you do it? How do you not spend a fortune on groceries but still eat healthy? I’m going to share a few things I’ve tried, and ask you to please please bestow me with your words of wisdom on this as well.
An article I read recently said that there are different types of grocery shoppers. I was somewhere in between an “organizer” and a “minimizer.” Meaning, I like to plan my meals before I go, know how much of each item I’m going to get, and have a list. BUT I don’t like to coupon. I would much rather do without something than sort through the oceans of coupons. I know you couponers out there are gonna hate me, but that’s just how I am. SO, here are a few things I have learned to do that work for me. These might not work with your personality, but I think it’s also good to share, get new ideas and perspectives…so please, PLEASE, feel free to comment with helpful hints and suggestions. I think it will help a lot of people out there.
1. Everyone knows this hint but sometimes we don’t always practice it. DO NOT GO TO THE GROCERY STORE HUNGRY. Have a power bar, grab a snack, but it’s just going to ruin the whole trip and rid you with guilt when you buy a 40 pack of jalapeno poppers and there’s no party. Except in your stomach. Stick to the golden rule, eat before you leave.
2. Get organized. Find what works best for you. Are you a once a weeker? Once a monther? Either way plan your meals. Figure out what you need, how much, and what you’re going to use it for. I even try to group similar items on my list so I can be more efficient in the store. Make a detailed list.
3. This kind of goes with number 2, but I also like to make a list of the meals I’m going to make in the order of what food will go bad first. So if I’ve got something that doesn’t freeze well or uses a lot of fresh veggies, I make that sooner rather than later.
4. Keep yourself accountable. This one is a tough one and kinda depends on how tight you are on your grocery list. I have a hard time of not convincing myself that I deserve a treat. So what I do is when I pick something up, I cross it off and beside it right down the price. If I get something “extra” I write down that price too. Before I get to checkout I add it all up, if the total is higher than my goal for spending that day, then I put the extras back. Like I said, this one is a tough one but it really helps keep me accountable for what I need and don’t need.
5. This tip isn’t one you use in the grocery store but it will help you use more of what you buy. Since right now there are just two of us, it’s hard to eat all the veggies we buy. Also because chocolate is way more enticing than veggies, but I digress. So, that moment right before veggies turn bad, you know when you don’t want to throw them out but you don’t necessarily want to eat them? I chop them up and put them in a container in the freezer. They are perfect for a quick soup. You can put anything in there, onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and any other veggie you’d like.
6. If you have an Aldi’s grocery store, try it out. Aldi’s is a grocery store with all off brand items. The great thing is that everything is really cheap, the bad thing is that what they have is always changing and they may not have what you need. But if you’re doing a pretty big trip then it’s a good idea to stop there, get some bargains, and then finish up at your regular grocery. Tip: be sure to bring your own bags because you bag them yourself there, and also a quarter to “rent” a cart. No worries, you’ll get your quarter back when your done.
7. Use technology. There are so many coupon websites, apps, and other options for your phone or even to be saved to your personal grocery savings card like at http://www.cellfire.com. So do a little homework and just google coupons, see what comes up and what works best for you.
That’s all I’ve got for now folks, as I said before, let me know how you shop! Together we can bargain shop with the best of them.