Lesson: In the past, grocery shopping has been one of my least favorite things to do! On top of that, I have been a notorious over spender at the grocery store! 🙁 I enjoy food and I love to cook so when I’m in the grocery store my cooking wheels start spinning and meal creation is in full effect! Not the best thing when trying to stick to a list and a budget. In addition, grocery shopping takes up so much time! I always felt like I was missing out on valuable time that I could be spending with my family. Thankfully, my husband took over grocery shopping for a while so I didn’t have to deal with it but now that I am not working full time I gave myself the goal of taking back the grocery shopping again, with the added goal of sticking to a budget while I do it. 🙂
Here are 4 things that I started doing to stay on budget and make grocery shopping less painful!
1-Plan your weekly meals: I write out exactly what I am going to be cooking for a two-week time frame and all the ingredients I will need to do it. When I’m really on top of the game, I look to see what’s on sale and I plan meals around that. For example, if I know that lamb chops are on sale at my local grocery store, then I’ll go to my recipe box or one of my recipe resources to find a creative meal that I can build around lamb chops.
2-Don’t buy too much produce at once: This was something that I did way too often. When I would try to buy groceries for a two-week period, it never failed that I would have to throw out some produced that spoiled. So if I’m planning meals for a two weeks and I know I’m going to need fresh mushrooms or peppers the 2nd week, I’ll just run to the store and grab them when I need them so that I’m not wasting anything.
3-Buy meat and seafood in bulk: I know my mother is smiling at this one. 🙂 My mom and dad used to go to the local meat market and buy everything in bulk. My mom would separate the meat into smaller portions, store it in freezer bags and put it in the deep freezer. I have to admit, I am doing this now and it saves time and money.
Bonus Tip- Shop online: Online grocery shopping is one of the best inventions ever in my opinion! Why didn’t I come up with this idea? 🙂 The local grocery store in my area let’s you shop online and they deliver it right to your doorstep! Delivery is only $9.95, a small fee considering I would easily over spend $50-$100 when I was shopping in the store. Pick-up is also an option if you don’t want to pay the delivery fee. Shopping online allows me to see exactly what I’m spending as I put things in the cart which eliminates the possibility for mindless over spending. It is also a huge time saver! Now that I have a basic list of our normal items saved in the system, I just add and delete based on the items I need for the specific meals I’m cooking for the next two weeks. It takes me 15-20 minutes to shop for two weeks now!
Woodman’s, Pea Pod, Sam’s Club, and Fresh Direct are just a few of the online grocery shopping options available in my area. Do your research, read reviews, check delivery prices and determine if online grocery shopping might work for you. Once you pick one, I would suggest trying it out with just a small amount of things first. That way you can assess the quality of the food and delivery before making a big purchase.
Application: Determine if one of the above steps will work for you. If so, apply a step or two to your next grocery shopping venture and see if you save money.