Hey friends! I hope you’re all having a fantastic start to your week! Months ago, I did my grocery shopping like I always do. Go to Whole Foods (actually, first top at Starbucks that is conveniently located right next door and get coffee I don’t really need haha) then go into Whole Foods. Walk around, eat all the free samples because why not? Find something on sale and get it even though I don’t need it; buy one ice cream get one free? Don’t mind if I do! This was typical for me and I would always end up spending $130 - $160! And every time I was in total shock and couldn’t understand how this could have happened (hmm.. I wonder why?) So, one day I decided enough was enough (plus, the bank account was hurtin’) and started working out how I could save money while shopping - I ended up saving over $50! And no, I did not go crazy on the coupons. Here’s what I did.
Create a shopping list
This isn’t anything new and we all know we should do this, but in reality I never did. I didn’t think I had time and I didn’t think I needed one. However, once I started writing down everything that was necessary for the next week and only purchasing the items on my list - well dang, I saved so much right there. This was the KEY to saving $50 or more at the grocery store. Plus, my body was thanking me for not buying those ice creams anymore haha.
How I write mine
First, I decide what my meals for the week will be. Usually my breakfast stays pretty much the same and is something I can whip up fast, such as oatmeal, a smoothie, etc. My lunches are usually a sandwich with some type of vegetable on the side. For dinner, I like to make something that will last the whole week. Recently I’ve been using my slow cooker (which I looove!) and finding meals that will serve up to 6 people so I’ll have one serving each night.
I then write down the ingredients I don’t already have on my grocery list. I’ll then look around my kitchen and pantry for items I use often that may be low or empty entirely and add those to my list. That’s basically it! This helps me get exactly what I need at the grocery store and also helps me stay on track for my eating since I’m less likely to get that buy one get one free sale on my favorite ice cream (have you noticed I love buy one get one free ice cream? haha)
Don’t shop on an empty stomach
I used to do this ALLL the time! My thoughts were, “hmm.. I’m hungry, but I’ll just eat the free samples, no big deal.” Well, whenever I would do that I’d be tempted to buy the free sample. Sometimes I would and then I wouldn’t eat it later. Or, I would go to the store hungry and want to buy everything in sight and then I’d have waaay too much food that I would end up throwing away at the end of the week - so wasteful!
Instead I make sure I’ve had something to eat before I go. This isn’t to say that I won’t really want that bag of tortilla chips, but I’m less likely to get it since I’m not starving.
Here are my thoughts on coupons. They can sometimes be very helpful and you can save a lot with coupons, BUT I don’t use them. Why? Because I found that when I look through a book of coupons I find things that are buy one get one free, or 5 for $5, for things I wasn't even looking at buying/I don’t really need and I end up buying them just because there’s a coupon for it. It’s important to not just buy things because there’s a sale - even if it is buy one get one free! If everything I bought was buy one get one free, my kitchen and pantry would be cluttered with duplicates that I wouldn't have even used yet/may never use! So, I stopped looking at coupons so I would not be tempted to just buy things to buy things.
There ya have it! All of these things combined have saved me so much money and not to mention all the food I’ve saved from going into the trash.