Have you ever gone to the grocery store and come out with 25 things that weren’t on your shopping list? Me too. Or at least that’s how it used to be before I got our budget under control. Going to the grocery store can really put a damper on your food budget, so I am going to give you 5 tips to help you stay within your food budget.
Before I cover the tips, I want to make sure that you actually have a grocery budget. If you don’t have one, get one. Figure out how much you want and are able to spend each month on groceries. I go grocery shopping weekly, so after my monthly budget is set, I break it down to a weekly grocery budget.
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By planning your meals out per week you’ll be able to buy all of the ingredients needed for each meal. By doing this you won’t need to make a late minute trip to the grocery for that one thing you need and then you end up buying other items that aren’t needed. Make sure you’re meal planning the meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
To help you save more money and get the best bang for your buck, make sure you’re meal planning based off of sale items. To save even more money, you can meal plan using sale items and use coupons for those sale items. A win, win, win!
Make sure you have a running grocery list hanging on your refrigerator so other household members can add to it. That way when you run out of flour you can add it to the list instead of remembering that you need flour days after you went to the grocery store, decide to go get it and return home with un-needed items that caught your attention while at the store.
Only buy what you need
Buy One Get One Free! Half Price! Lowest Price In the Area! These are all gimmicks to get you to buy more. Make sure these are truly good deals and are items you’ll use. If you do find a good deal, like Buy one get one free, be sure to use the free item the following week so the item is used up so it doesn’t go to waste.
Sale promotions are one of the leading factors when it comes to overspending at the grocery store. They are those shiny things that distract us all.
Go grocery shopping alone
“Mom, can I get this? It’s only $2.00”
Those $2.00 items add up especially if you’re saying yes multiple times throughout the trip.
By going alone you’ll be less distracted and you’re less likely to miss picking up an item on your list. Like I mentioned above, if you miss an item it makes for an unwanted trip to the store later on.
Never go to the grocery store hungry
This is where impulse buying at the grocery store is the worst. Try to plan your shopping trips around your meal times. I know you’re probably thinking “yeah, okay, Laura!” Seriously though, I have tested this which I too thought was a myth, but low and behold going to the grocery store when you’re hungry can make you buy things you don’t need.
Do you have any other tips to share?