Just the thought of grocery shopping can put a frown on anyone’s face! Can you believe the cost of milk these days? Grocery shopping as an adult is definitely not as fun as it was when I was a child. I never would have dreamt that planning would be a key factor in grocery shopping, especially for a family of five.
However, after spending more than $250.00 at the grocery store 2 or even 3 times per month, my husband and I realized that if we didn’t get control of our grocery store spending we were going to end up with $0 in our vacation savings account and we were bound and determined to not let that happen. We came up with 5 key steps to save money while grocery shopping:
- Create a list of the meals and necessary ingredients for the upcoming week. By listing out the ingredients you need to buy and noting an approximate price, you can determine whether a pre-made option would be cheaper than making it from scratch.
- Look through cupboards to see what kind of snacks you have around to get the family through the week. Once you knew what you have in the house, you can come up with the number of snacks each child can pick out while shopping. By letting them know their number before getting to the store, you prevent going home with a bunch of unnecessary snacks.
- Look for store-brand items. If there is a store-brand available, consider trying it at least once. Over time, you can compile a list of store-brand items that are just as good as the original and end up saving quite a bit of money.
- On you way to the checkout, look in your cart and pull out one thing that is not a necessity. Over time, by putting one item back, you’ll save a decent amount of money!
- Shop on a time limit. What I’ve found is that the more time I have to shop, the longer I spend scanning the shelves for new, exciting items to try. In fact, there are shopping trips that no time limit & ‘new & exciting items’ have almost doubled my grocery bill for the week.
Grocery shopping will probably never be my most favorite task as a mom but I’m able to stomach it a little more now than 5 years ago. It’s amazing how just being cognizant of what I’m buying and how much things cost has saved me lots of money each month.