Save Money On Groceries!
Need to save on your grocery bill? Each week I’m sharing one simple tip that you can implement to start saving on your grocery bill right away.
Many of the tips will be familiar, but if you take the Save Money on Groceries Challenge with us, you will actually take the steps each week instead of just filing them in the “I should do that” file. 🙂
[Click here to see all the tips in this series.]
Today’s Tip: Commit to Plan
We all know that we should make a list before heading to the grocery store, but many times we get busy with other responsibilities and “forget” about our need to keep our families fed. Suddenly it’s five o’clock and we realize there is nothing in the house for dinner. This means: (a) ordering pizza; (b) making a quick run to the drive through; or (c) making everyone go to bed hungry.
By making a conscious decision and a specific time to plan your shopping trips you can save money and frustration, and avoid the guilt of feeding your family junk food for the third time this week!
The very simplest form of planning is making a grocery list, and once you have determined your shopping day for the week, it’s easy to schedule a time one or two days before shopping to make your list. The best way to make sure you stick to your planning time is to write the time on your calendar or schedule each week, or schedule it in your phone with an alert.
Why It Works:
Remember the time you ran into the store for milk, and left with $30 worth of groceries? Grocery store execs are pros at arranging the shelves so that items catch your eye, which in turn causes you to throw them in the cart.
By committing to plan your trip beforehand, you are much less likely to grab those impulse items and to leave the store with exactly what you need for your meals for the next week. It may not seem like fun to plan, but I promise it will save you big bucks!
I will talk more about planning in detail in my next post, but in the meantime, here are a few resources to help you.
See how I plan my shopping day here (This is a long post, so don’t get overwhelmed if you are just beginning to plan.)
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For more ideas to save money on groceries, check out my ebook Save More–Clip Less: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half Without Extreme Couponing.
Click here to see what others are saying.
If you’re joining us for the Challenge, leave a comment with the day or time you will commit to planning your shopping each week.
(or if you have to choose a different day each week because of your schedule, tell us what day you plan your upcoming week.)
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Angie Y says
I do all of my planning on Wednesday afternoon before I go shopping on Thursday. By Wednesday, it’s usually easy to see what we are in need of as with two growing boys, the shelves are getting bare by then. Also our local store sales paper start on Wednesdays. Which makes life easy for me since I grocery shop that very next day.
Julie C says
I’m already a planner, but to make it easy, I split up the planning over a few days, so I’m not having to do it all at once, which can sometimes feel overwhelming.
On Mondays, I figure out my meal plans for the following Saturday through Friday. To make it easier on myself, I eat the same breakfast and snacks on weekdays, and always have a few options for these in the house for weekends. So, all I have to worry about is lunch and dinner. Then, when planning my dinners I always plan to make extra for at least a couple of the meals, so we can eat those for lunches. So, when it comes down to it, I only cook 5-6 meals per week (we will usually eat out once on Friday nights or weekends). I make my plans based around what I already have on hand, since I keep a decent “arsenal” of stuff in the freezer and pantry that I purchase when it goes on sale.
Then, on Tuesday I write out a list with each meal, and write underneath it what I need to buy to make it. Usually it’s only 1-4 things per meal. I have another column to write random things that don’t necessarily pertain to food, or stuff for my snacks, like granola bars. Also one of the stores I shop at puts their ad on line on Tuesdays, so I go through the ad and write down the items that either apply to what I’ve planned to make, or if it’s just something that’s a good price. I do the same thing for my other store on Wednesday.
Then, on Friday I write out my final list, one for each store. I organize them in the order I walk through the store. I ask my SO one last time if there’s anything he wants at the store and add that if he does. I shop at one store on Friday either on my lunch or on my way home from work, and the other store is either Friday night or Saturday morning.
Sounds like a lot of work, but really it’s only about 30 minutes max on Monday, and less than 20 on the other days. And shhh, don’t tell my boss, but I do it at work.
Great idea Julie! I previously divided my planning up over the week, and it is a great way to make sure the planning gets done and you don’t get overwhelmed. Thanks for taking the time to share. 🙂