Wondering how to shrink your grocery bill while still filling up your cart? Don’t let three mistakes steal your money when you grocery shop this week. Below are tips we used while paying off 52K in debt and raising two small children.
Today is your day to take one small step toward a smaller grocery budget. It’s time to be proud of the amount you saved after grocery shopping instead of stressed out. If you can apply these three Grocery shopping habits that are stealing your money, you can do anything.
Buying Food You Don’t Eat
Check this out according to Consumer Reports we’re wasting about $1,500 worth of groceries each year.
It means many of us have the best intentions but we allow other things to distract us. We go out to eat a couple nights. We woke up late and do not have time to pack a lunch so we buy one. Then you look in your fridge and see the produce doesn’t look so appealing and ignore it. By the way, don’t toss your produce totally compost it.
Sometimes we buy things we just don’t need, even when it comes to food. We opened that container of sour cream and then decided not to make tacos. It sat in the back of the fridge for a week and now we want tacos, and it has mold.
It happens. Yet a habit to get into is to not go to the store multiple times a week.
This can happen even with couponers. You see a great deal and you buy a whole bunch only to find out your family hates it. Not only does it take up space, it took money that could have been spent elsewhere.
What to do:
Plan. When you are planning your meals take a good look at your calendar and what is coming up for the week. Are you having dinner at a friends or relatives house this week? Do you have a gift card expiring to a certain restaurant?
If you take a minute to really stop and think about what is going on for the week it allows your meal menu to align with your families schedule. Which will result in less waste and more money in your pocket.
Shopping on the Right Day
Many people tend to go grocery shopping on the weekends. It’s when most of us are off of work or our spouse is home so we can shop with or without the kids. The problem with shopping on the day everyone else is shopping is it’s cramped, a bit chaotic. You start to feel overwhelmed and just grab what you can because all you can think about is getting out of there.
You may have had two stores to shop at because you know you can always get dairy items 20% cheaper at so and so store. It’s so busy you buy those items at the one store you are already at and boom you just spent more money.
Sure at the time you are telling yourself you don’t care.
It’s when you get home and realize how much money you actually just spent, you really do care.
What to do:
If you can pick a weekday to do your shopping go for it. Even if you decide to run to the store one night when you are on your way home from work it will be a less stressful situation. If you can’t shop any other day but the weekend, I suggest going early in the morning or late at night when most of the crowds have died down.
Shopping multiple times a week
If you are frequenting your grocery store more than once a week you are probably spending more money. Unless you are going back because a new coupon just came out and made an item free! Even then the temptation to not buy anything else is there.
Statista reports that Americans visit the supermarket 1.6 times per week. I’m sure we have all decided to make a fabulous meal and halfway through the recipe we realize we don’t have three ingredients. So we run out to the store.
While we are at the store we see a couple items on sale that look good. So we buy those too. Except they aren’t in the budget.
What to do:
Meal Plan. Ahh if you are a regular reader are you getting tired of me saying that yet? If you meal plan you will only buy what you need to feed your family for the week. It helps eliminate waste and spending more money by going out to eat. It eliminates the panic and impulse buy when you do not have an ingredient on hand.
Get your meal plan so you know what to expect. Make meals you love.
If you want to check out an app that comes up with meals for you based on items your family enjoys I have one for you.
Take back that grocery budget today! You got this. Remember you are taking small steps towards a greater victory!