Take full control of your grocery list!
First of all, don’t forget the list you created! Forgetting your grocery list is the best way to blow your grocery budget.
To create a great grocery list and maximize your savings, it takes a little bit of planning and work.
First start by creating a master grocery list of all of the ingredients you need for all of the dishes in your menu plan, even if you know you already have them. Try one of these two free printable grocery lists with meal planners. Just click for a printable PDF.
1- Go shopping at home. Take a look at what you already have in your fridge, pantry and freezer, and start crossing things off of your list.
After shopping at home, look at the weekly sales flyers – whether it’s on your computer, tablet, phone or with an actual flyer, and start making another list on a scrap piece of paper with the items on your menu, and the cost at each store. Once you figure out where the lowest prices are, note it on your master grocery list. I like to use different colored highlighters for each store that I will be shopping at, and the ingredients I’ll need from each store. I use the same process at school, where I plan a monthly menu, and then shop weekly!
By using this grocery list, and shopping method, I have already saved my school about $350 a week on groceries while adding in more fresh produce, and eliminating processed foods. Just don’t forget your grocery list when you go shopping!
2- Get a rain check!
If your local grocery stores have a great sale on, but run out of the advertised special, hit up customer service and get a rain check. This means that although you might not get your $0.98 a pound chicken breast this week, you can get the sale price at a later time, even if the item isn’t on sale.
3- Check unit prices and save even more!
Bring your cellphone, bust out the calculator, and do some math! This past week, for school, I bought some ricotta cheese. I was at the grocery store, looking at prices, and just was overwhelmed. There was a 32 oz container for $6.79, and a 15 oz for $2.49, an 15 oz organic container for $2.79, a 30 oz for $5.87 – and I wanted the best deal, so I did the math. Turned our that the 30 oz container, and the 15 oz organic were the same cost per ounce – about $0.18, so I got the organic variety, and just bought a couple more containers.
Doing the math, and checking the unit prices on things really lets you get the most bang for your buck, and can even get you the better quality items, like the organic cheese in this case. Again, it all just takes a little bit of effort, and some planning. Now I know with kids at the grocery store, this can be tough, but I promise, the little bit of extra effort will allow for things like bribing your kids to be good and you’ll get them a treat – and you can afford to now that you’re saving so much money!
4- Know average prices of groceries, and know what store has the lower cost of the things you buy most frequently.
You’re never going to know a good deal from a terrible deal if you don’t know what the price was in the first place. Sale flyers are designed to get you in to the store to spend more money, so be cautious about where you spend, and know the difference between a good deal and a not so good one.
5- Pay attention.
Pay attention to the screen as your cashier checks you out to make sure that all of your digital coupons are applied, and that they are scanning the right prices! If something doesn’t seem right, tell them, and if for some reason you don’t notice it, and see it on your receipt after, head on over to customer service, and let them know. Many times you’ll get a refund on a gift card for the difference, and I’ve even had them throw on an extra $5 sometimes even $10 for the hassle.