A couple of Do’s and Don’ts for your next shopping trip
Going grocery shopping is assumably easy for most individuals but for some of us it’s down right frustrating. Trying to get your toddler into a cart is hard enough. Top that with a poorly planned grocery list, two temper tantrums and a hungry tummy and you’ve got a recipe for disaster and misspent funds. If this sounds like you, then read on because I have a couple of do’s and don’ts for your next shopping trip to make life a tad easier.
1. Don’t wait until the last-minute to create your grocery list.
We all know that grocery shopping with a list is extremely helpful but trying to create a list 1 hour before you’re supposed to go shopping is a terrible idea. You will find yourself over-whelmed, frustrated and more than likely wind up winging it; resulting in poor decisions.
Do make your list at least 2 days before your shopping trip.
This gives you enough time to go through the cupboards to ensure you’re not over buying (purchasing doubles). It will also give you time to clean your fridge out and make space for the incoming food. There is nothing more frustrating than going on a huge haul and coming back to a dirty kitchen and crowded fridge of condiments. So now you can’t put your groceries up until you spend time cleaning.
2. Don’t make an unrealistic budget.
Now, hear me out. The purpose of a budget is accountability. It’s a system put in place that will help to keep you accountable to the portion of your finances you’re spending on food. HOWEVER, it is also meant to be realistic. If you have a family of 8, please don’t allow yourself $200 for a full months grocery budget to feed your family. It’s physically impossible unless you are an extreme coupon person. You do not want to set yourself up for disappointment because of a far-fetched goal.
If budgeting is new to you, then..
Do set a budget that is $50 less than what you originally spend. For example, if you usually spend $250 per grocery trip, then budget yourself at $200. This is when your grocery list is going to help.
3. Dont place items on your grocery list that you know are more of A.) an unnecessary pleasure B.) know you’re trying to get away from and C.) that you know will place you over your budget.
If you can get the generic version of pork n beans for $0.43 c per can versus Campbell’s $0.75 c per can, then get the generic. I do understand that some brands just operate better and taste better than their generic counterpart however, I can personally ATTEST to the fact that almost everything from Aldi is absolutely amazing and a fraction of the cost versus their brand competition.
Do try to place items on your list that can be substituted.
4.)Don’t be so anxious to shop the sales.
Some sales are amazing but others will require you to buy more to actually get the deal. For example: Febreze could be $1.50 a can. The sale states if you buy 2, then you get 1.00 off. So that’s two cans ($1.50+1.50=3.00) – (1.00)= $2.00. So you wind up paying 2 dollars for 2 cans. It seems like a great deal. Here’s where you need to be cautious.
- Do you need two cans? I mean, let’s be honest. Do you even use Febreze ? When is the last time you consciously said, “Hmmm…I’m going to Wal-Mart to get some Febreze?”
- Either way it goes, whether you’re getting a good deal or not, you’re still spending more money than you bargained for. Yes, its only .50 cents more, but it’s still money you didn’t plan to spend. If you did this through out your shopping trip, yes, you will have more stuff, but you will have paid more money for it as well.
- Of course, if you are an avid user of Febreze then this deal is for you. You have to take this scenario and apply it to individual events but I want you guys to see that sales are good in some cases, and detrimental in others.
Do buy in bulk if you can.
Now, this takes work as you need to know the common prices of you local stores. As an example: I buy my meats and cheese in bulk from Sams club. Here’s why.
Two packs of pork chops (6 chops per pack so, 12 pieces) will run me $11-14 dollars where I live. And that’s on a good day. However, at Sams club I can get a huge pork roast (Like the length of my arm for $12.00. Out of this one cut of meat, I slice 20 pork chops and 4 huge portions of pork roast that I usually bake for pulled or chopped pork, or slow cooker roast. In other words, my family gets 7+ meals out of one meat purchase versus the two we would get from the little pork chop portions.
Buying bulk doesn’t always mean paying more upfront. You can still shop the sale on bulk prices. I learned when my stores are rotating their meat, and so those are the days I go shopping because I know I will get a $4.00 or more mark down.
5.) Don’t go grocery shopping when you are emotional or hungry.
Mark my words, it is a trick from the enemy. You will make terrible choices, spend unnecessary money on foods you don’t really want and be grumpy.
Guys, shopping should be enjoyable. It’s a privilege and a blessing that we have the funds to get what we need and want. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes a lot of preparation to get into a routine and be successful at budgeting and meal choices BUT it is possible.
Remember these quick tips for your next trip:
1.) Clean Kitchen makes for easier trip
2.) Prepare and plan ahead of time
3.) Set realistic budget
4.) Don’t knock the knock-offs
5.) Don’t place unhealthy items on your list. (Guy’s if you knew how much money I would spend on soda’s and juices before I took us off of them…it’s ridiculous)
6.) Make sure the sales are an actual deal for you. Meaning you should be spending less for it to actually be a sale. Not more.
7.) Eat before your shop.
8.) Enjoy yourself. You got this 🙂
****These are tips I have used and still do to this day and by doing so, I am able to feed myself, my husband and 3 year old off $200 a month. (Which I don’t think is too shabby.) This is not including the $50 a month that goes towards pull-ups, tissue, cleaning supplies, napkins, etc. Also, if you’re looking for some healthy meal ideas, then check out my recipes here.