Foodie fanatic. That’s me. I love cooking, experimenting with new flavors and most of all, I love eating! Often times this gets me in trouble, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. Before I learned how to reduce the amount I spent on groceries, I was spending a car note (about $300), each time I went to the grocery store (which was about at least twice a month). And keep in mind that at the time, I only had a two-person household, and one of us was a pick-eating toddler.
Why was I spending so much to begin with? There were a couple of reasons:
- I’m a hugeeee snacker.
- I never paid attention to grocery store circulars, coupons, etc.
- I wouldn’t prefer a list ahead of time (and the few times I did make a list, I didn’t stick to it).
- I was a sucker for name brands.
- I shopped for whatever I had a taste for at the time.
How I manage to save so much on groceries now?
I make a list & stuck to it. First, I scour through the local store circulars to see the deals and specials for the week. I base my meal planning around what is on sale. After I plan out meals for the week, I then come up with a list of items needed to prepare said meal. I also throw in any essentials such as milk, paper towels, cleaning products, etc. Then, with my list in hand, I head to the grocery store…but here’s the catch: I only get what is on the list. I’m a real stickler about this these days. My rule of thumb: if it isn’t on the list, don’t get it. Sticking to your grocery list, is just as important as creating one.
I make sure I don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I’m sure you’ve heard this tip before, however I can’t stress how important it actually is. When you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to get more groceries than you need, and food items that you wouldn’t have bought, had you not been hungry at the time. Because of this, I always make sure that I eat prior to going to the grocery store. Trust me, it makes a world of difference and will ultimately stop you from overspending.
I don’t shop just anywhere for groceries. Prior to having an epiphany regarding my outrageous grocery spending, I would literally shop anywhere for groceries. Target, Walgreen’s, Walmart–whatever place was convenient at the time. Needless to say, you shouldn’t by groceries just anywhere. Not only for pricing reasons, but for quality reasons as well. Stores like Target and Walgreen’s aren’t grocery stores so their prices on food and drink items are typically much higher, however the quality and freshness tends to be lower. Stick with grocery stores that get in regular shipments of food items and that stand behind the quality of their products.
The truth is, being a working mom doesn’t allow for much spare time, so coupon clipping wasn’t an option for me. However, by implementing the practices listed above, I literally slashed my grocery bill in half within a matter of weeks–without clipping coupons. I hope you can do the same!