I could easily walk into the grocery store and spend upwards of $400 for a week’s worth of groceries for my family of 5. It is so tempting to just grab whatever looks good! I’m a sucker, what can I say? Right now my family is on a bit of a “fiscal fast”, so I am reigning in the grocery store spending, here is how!
1. Bring a list: Whether you are a meal planner or not, making a list pre-shopping is the best way to stick to a budget. I like to divide my list up into areas: dairy, meat, produce, cans/boxes, baking, breakfast, frozen, baby, bread, and “miscellaneous”. This helps to simplify your mission and streamline your train of thoughts.
2. Shop the edges: The most important (and healthiest) items are on the outside edges of the store. You will save money if you do not even venture into the middle aisles, except for what you have noted on your list. For example, the only things I routinely buy from the middle aisles are coffee, cereal, canned beans, pasta and then anything that we are out of that is on the list.
3. Bring cash: Decide how much you want/need to spend, and take it in cash. Don’t even bring that debit card! What I like to do is add up the items on my list (normal prices) and then add in a $20 contingency fund in case there is a good sale on meat, or I accidentally buy a dozen doughnuts.
4. Bring a calculator: Yes it’s true, I am the obnoxious lady at the store adding up the cost of each cup of yogurt. But I cannot tell you how helpful it is to see what you are spending as you put it in your cart. If something is more or less than you anticipated, you will quickly be able to make adjustments in your budget and your list.
I hope this is as helpful for your family as it has been for mine!
Do you have a grocery budget?