This savings wasn't a random moment of awesomeness either. Money is tight in our house right now, and so we have to watch each penny and dime. We regularly save money on our weekly grocery trip just by doing a little planning beforehand and so can you!
One thing to keep in mind here at PXR is that improving your finances, or any aspect of your life, actually helps improve your overall quality of life and that is what we're all about here. Making our lives better one small change at a time. Now let's get on with improving your spending. I'm going to share a few tips to help you get some sweet savings on your next grocery trip.
It is like a game for us now and getting the lowest price for all our groceries is the way to win! This post isn't about clipping coupons or doing extreme couponing (done that, made the binder, hated it). No one has time for that!
just think of it this way, would you rather pay $100 or $75 for the same amount of groceries? An extra $25 a week can be the difference between staying home on the weekend or being able to go out for a matinee movie! Just like adding items that are not on your list to the cart, small savings can add up FAST.
I know, doing this sort of planning can feel tedious, and the TV may be calling your name, but that first time you save over 40% on your grocery bill, it is like... petting a unicorn. At least, that is how magical it felt to me when I realized I could use the extra money for additional gas to visit my mom who is 2 hours away. My eyes got misty, and I clutched the receipt to my chest as I walked out of the store smiling.
Check out these tips and try implementing them into your routine and you can start saving right away! Set aside an hour per week. It will take less time as you get used to doing it.
First, do your budget and find out what you have available for your grocery trip budget. Once you have the number, be it $40 or $100 or more, head on down to step two.
Check the sales pages and coupons (paper or digital) and see what's on sale. Sales pages for your local grocery stores usually show up in your mailbox each week. Or you can go to your favorite store's website where they usually have a digital version. Nowadays you can add your coupons to your loyalty card and just swipe it at checkout. No scissors are necessary. Hallelujah!
For our fav store, I can just log into their website and take 10 minutes and click on coupons and add them to our store card. If you don't have a store loyalty card, just ask the customer service desk next time you go in. If your store has one, it usually only takes a few minutes to sign up, and it is free.
Plan out your meals and snacks for the week based off ONLY what is on sale each week. Keep to what is on sale; this is incredibly important. Expecting to save money when you are paying full price for items is a bit loony.
So, now that you know what groceries are on sale, try and choose recipes where you already have some of what is on the ingredient list, and those items are also on sale that week. It is also a good idea to double-check your fridge and pantry and make sure you have the ingredients, and they are still good. No one likes having to run to the store mid-cooking session ;) Now just print out your recipes.
BONUS:Another great tip here is to choose 2-3 recipes then buy and prepare the food in bulk for the week on the weekend. You will save money by narrowing your meal options and save time by cooking on the weekend.
Make a list of the items you need to buy for the recipes, snacks, and personal/household goods. Only list exactly what you need. Tally up the estimated cost of each item. Should be pretty straightforward as most of what you're buying is on sale or something you buy often. If you don't know the exact price, estimate it and add a few bucks as a buffer.
Take your list with you and shop. Stick to your list!! I like to tally up the costs on my list as I go - this prevents surprises at checkout. This tracking is super helpful if you have a smaller, fixed food budget amount.
If you have extra grocery money after paying for what you need, either congratulate yourself and go on a movie with it, save it for next week or if meat or some other item that is expensive is on a crazy good sale, grab some extra up and stock your freezer or pantry.
I hope you see big eyes on your cashier as you check out on your next grocery trip. If you do, we'd love to hear about how you're improving your finances through these small changes. Enjoy the magic that is money-saving! Everyone should pet unicorns on a daily. Just sayin'