How to Save on Grocery Shopping
Grocery Shopping is one of the biggest holes in our little Family’s budget. Although I mostly have been successful in keeping within the monthly budget, I know in my heart I could still keep it down. I could still make wiser decisions in order to save on grocery shopping, and I could implement strategies that would make me buy less, and consume more of the pantry and freezer stuff we have back home.
We are still in the thick of this journey, but I have already discovered some effective ways that helped me keep the grocery budget within our monthly limit.
Let me share it with you.
- Set a Monthly Budget – You can only stay within a budget if you have a set budget. Operating without it is like sailing without any goal or direction. So how do you set a grocery budget? For food, determine how much you want to spend for every meal of the day including snacks. Include as well utility items that you need to buy for the house on a monthly basis like toiletries, cleaning materials etc. This may become a detailed list but this is the only way you could gauge how much you most likely need each month.
- Do an Inventory – List down everything that you have in the freezer and pantry. This will help you in your meal planning process and eventually to save on grocery shopping.
- Meal Plan – With a budget in sight, and a list of inventory at hand you can plan the meals that you want to prepare for the duration you’d like to shop for. So if you are planning to shop every two weeks, then that would mean seven breakfasts, seven lunches, and so on and so forth. It is important to use up the ingredients you currently have than to buy everything at once. You will prevent spoilage that way, and of course save on money.
- Create a list – Bash your inventory with that of the ingredients needed in your meal plan to find out which food stuff you are lacking. List down all the utility items and miscellaneous groceries that you may need. Never enter the store without a list.
- Limit your shopping to twice a month max. If your home space, pantry and refrigerator can accommodate a month’s full of food and utility stuff then schedule shopping once a month. This saves you on a lot of thing like time, gas, energy, and of course takes you away from the temptation of buying things you do not need, as well as other incidental expenses after grocery shopping like eating out or going to the drive thru.If you live in an apartment, or a micro-space like a studio or a one-br condo, be creative with space and shop every two weeks. For instance, you can leave the toilet papers and extra paper towels and cleaning materials in the trunk of your car and just get it once you need it. J You can also do under bed storage. Gone are the days when all the goods have to be displayed in curio cabinets, especially PX ones J
- Set a shopping date and stick to it. This means that if you are out of your favorite food items in your refrigerator, you’d have to go through your pantry and freezer to be able to make it to your next shopping date. This is a challenge, but once you get disciplined enough, it will be automatic, and it will save you a lot of funds making you save on grocery shopping.
- Never Shop Hungry. You see this in most grocery saving tips list because it is really advisable. When you are hungry you get to be impulsive about you buy, and if ever you get to stick to your list, you will end up spending still because you are most likely to eat out after shopping. if i may add, keep your kids in the card or on their best double stroller while shopping so as to keep them from getting treats and grocery stuff.
- Avail of the loyalty cards. Rustan’s Fresh, Shopwise Card, SM Advantage – you can take advantage of all these especially if you have a favorite store. They have endless promos, which actually allow you to save up. Be on the look-out for promos as well for members. The points are also very useful as they are converted into cash and can be readily deducted to your billJ
- Beware of the added expense. I would have to say shop for specific items that are cheaper in a specific store, but in the long run, the gas and energy you spend to go from one store to another – plus possible parking fees and the hassle of lugging the kids around, may not be worth it. It may just offset the savings you can incur from the cheaper item so I say, just stick to one store, and choose one that validates your parking fee or allows you to park for free!
So there goes my nine tips. Will be updating this post as I progress in our journey of saving. Thanks and if you have any tips, please let me know by commenting below J