Mentioning the grocery store can brings smiles or groans depending on who you talk to. It is a task that can add one more thing to our to-do list and already packed days, but there are ways to make your time, and your money go farther.
Make a list & stick to your list. It is probably not a surprise this is the first item. Not only does making a list help you to remember what to buy, it also keeps you focused on what you need, and not on what you don’t.
Go to the grocery store once a week. Regularly scheduled trips to the store decrease the amount of time and money you spend buying food. Stopping by the store several times a week often leads to additional purchases, and more expensive food choices like convenience foods and pre-made dinners.
Create a meal plan. Not only does a plan help with the flow of the week, it helps focus your attention on the ingredients and items you need. Winging it works at times, but it often leads to take-out or ordering pizza. Make a plan, and shop the plan.
Cook. Your meals don’t need to gourmet, and they certainly don’t need to take all evening to prepare, but cooking meals is cheaper than buying prepared foods. You pay for convenience, and while great in a pinch, buying prepared on a regular basis increases your total spend on food.
Avoid buying non-food items. When at the grocery store, only buy food. Buying laundry detergent, light bulbs, and medicines is far more expensive. Stick to buying food items only.
Putting It All Together
Food is expensive. Sticking to a list, making a meal plan, and going to the grocery store once a week can all help you save money and time. To get you started, download the meal plan and grocery store template, and give it a try.