Monday’s Money Saving Tip: How I Grocery Shop
I wanted to let you know how I prepare for grocery shopping that helps reduce our bill, at least a little. This is one area I believe I can improve in, but it’s a work in progress. Read here for my detailed tips on grocery shopping.
I have been lazy with grocery shopping lately and it showed in our October budget! Yikes. We were almost $100 over budget (around $400). That makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth.
I looked back on what I’ve been doing and realized I’m making these following mistakes:
1. Planning TOO MANY meals…too many “good” meals. I LOVE cooking, but can’t make 5 course meals every night. It calls for too many ingredients that hike up our budget!
2. Not writing in our budget book. I’m not blaming this on my husband, but he had the budget book a lot this month at work, so I didn’t physically write what I spent (he did) in the grocery category, therefore, I wasn’t always aware how fast we were approaching our budgeted amount.
3. I bake too much! I LOVE baking too, and I usually decide I want to bake a special treat in the middle of the week, which puts me in the grocery store more often, where I usually buy other things we “need” while I’m there.
So what will I do differently this month?
1. Plan 1-2 “Pintrest” meals a week. I plan about 5 meals a week (leftovers or eating out on the other nights), so my weekly menu will look similar to this:
Day 1 – Salad Meal (with beans…we always have a pot of beans made)
Day 2 – Pintrest/Good Meal (this week, Mexican chicken)
Day 3 – Pintrest/Good Meal (this week, Chicken tacos & corn on the cob…it’s on sale)
Day 4 – Protien & Veggies Meal (this week, tilapia, baked asparagus, and skillet potatoes)
Day 5 – Protein & Veggies Meal (this week, steak, potato, asparagus)
These days will vary depending on my husband’s schedule, but this will allow me to buy fewer ingredients and eat a little healthier.
2. Make sure the budget book is at the house with me, unless he needs it a particular day. The more I write in the book, the lower our budget is. Remember, you should be in this book of yours daily! I just proved last month, even the “budget minded” person like myself needs to continue to be in the book often.
3. Plan on ONE baked good for the week. Not only will this be healthier, it will limit my grocery runs! This week, I made chocolate chip cookie dough, so I can pop a couple in the oven whenever we want some.
HERE’S HOW I PLAN FOR GROCERIES EACH WEEK:
1. Look through all the store ads!
2. Write down all the deals each store has that pertains to our likes. Not every “deal” on the ad is really a deal. Start memorizing a good deal. For example, a good deal on grapes is .99 or less/lb; 1.69/lb for chicken; 2.99 or less/lb for 93% lean ground beef; .99/lb for apples, etc… This just takes time to learn. If you want (and now I might do this too), create a spreadsheet on your computer and every time you see deals, write them down so you know what is good and what is not for the future. Ryan is the expert at this…I’m always asking him if it’s a deal. This week I got blackberries, AS toilet paper, catfish, and avocados at Albertsons. I’ll also get grapefruit, apples, pears, and cherry tomatoes at Tom Thumb. Since there is more than 2-3 things at those stores, I’ll visit them. Otherwise, I usually price match at Walmart if the produce looks good, unless it’s a high priced item at a particular store (i.e. meat)! Since corn is the only thing at MS that I want, I’ll just see how much it is at TTH, A, or W and buy it there.
|I’ll either price match at Walmart or visit different stores.|
3. Write down my grocery list and meals! The checks mean I have all the ingredients for that meal. I added a few more items to my list here, but it was a small list this week. The deals on the back from the ads are not on here.
4. Look at my coupons and see if there is anything on my list I have a coupon for. In these pencil bags I have my receipts, gift cards, store coupons, restaurant coupons, and grocery coupons. It has helped tremendously keep all our “free money” organized! This is the one step, I can’t seem to get good at. I feel coupons can sometimes get you in to trouble – either making you buy items you wouldn’t normally or buy MORE than you normally would. I wish there were more coupons for produce and meat! 🙂 Coupons are good, I just have to be weary!
5. Go grocery shopping! The fun part, well for some at least!
6. Oh and don’t forget to come home and write your grocery bill in your budget book!
There you have it…how I buy groceries! A bunch of my friends were talking about all sorts of coupons and deals you can use with groceries, so I’m going to find out more and let you know about them. If you know of those coupons (digitally) or other deals, leave a comment and help us out! Thanks!