Rebuilding your Financial Life: Grocery Shopping
June 13, 2023
Grocery shopping can be one of the biggest money pits when trying to rebuild your financial life. Not only does the food seem so expensive, nowadays, but food goes fast in my house. Let me tell you, my boys EAT.
First, to jump start my savings and cut down on expenses, one of the things I decided to do was to eat out less; Which means that I would be cooking at home more and therefore doing a lot more grocery shopping. So how do I make sure that I do not pick up everything in the store and spend unnecessarily?
5 Tips to reduce your grocery bill.
1) Decide on the amount of money you want to spend on groceries per month. For my family of four my grocery budget is $500. However, with the summer months coming and the kids being out of school, I will increase the food budget to $800 and reduce it again when the time comes. It is important to look at the things that are happening in your life and adjust. A budget is not set in stone. A budget reflects your life and what's happening in your life. So, it's okay to adjust it based on your needs at that period of time.
2) I made a list. Nothing special, I put a notepad on the kitchen counter, and we all add to the list. So, if my husband, the kids, or I use the last of something or realize we are out of something that we need that person will add that item to the list. This allows the burden of knowing what we need at the grocery market much easier. I call it the communal shopping list. I also take a picture of list the day before I go shopping just in case I forget it in the morning hustle, and I also go to the pantry to see what else we may need that Is not on the list.
3) I use coupons and store points to reduce my grocery bill. I also buy generic where I can because lord knows some store brand stuff taste like cardboard. It was a challenge at first to go generic because there are certain brands that you grow up with and it’s all you are used to but letting go was rewarding for my family.
4) I do not buy premade food. Instead of buying precut apples, buy a 3lbs bag of apples instead. It lasts a lot longer and serves more people. The same goes for premade sandwiches. It can seem convenient but do not let convenience cost you your hard earn money. Buying a bag of bread and a pound or half a pound of your favorite deli meat from the counter will enable you have lunch for several days and save you money in the long run. The same thing goes for premade salad bowls and so forth.
5) Cut down on meat. In my house we have no meat days. You will be surprised how much you save by reducing the amount of meat you buy. Also rethink the way you buy. For example, buy a whole chicken instated of the parts. Yes, it is a little more work to clean but the savings can be significant. I buy two whole chickens, cut them up and parcel it out in freezer zip lock bags based on what I plan to cook whether it be curry, brown stew, bake or fry chicken.
Grocery Market Traps
Now if you are like my husband and like to walk down every aisle be careful. You can easily get derail from your list. You will see things that you want to try or wonder what they taste like, and your number of items will double in no time. Remember those products were strategically placed to entice you to spend your money so be vigilant and stay focused if your objective is to reduce costs.
The fact is as much as I like to eat, I do not want to spend most of my money on food. So, I cut mercilessly areas in my budget that are not so important to me and so that I can spend on things that I like and enjoy.
Grocery shopping does not have to be a chore. Now if you know that you find it difficult to stick to the list maybe you should have your spouse do the shopping instead. If that is not an option you can do curbside pickup, or grocery delivery. Whatever helps you stick to your budget.
How do you make sure you do not overspend at the grocery market and have you tried or will try some of the suggestions listed in this article. leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.