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So shopping with me can be a 2-3 hour ordeal. And I usually recruit a boy or two if I can, because it’s easier when I can get help. But in all honesty, I don’t mind grocery shopping, as long as I’m prepared.
I have to prepare myself by making a list, going online checking out the weekly ads, and utilizing online coupons, and making sure I have a meal plan of some sort.
Like I have said in THIS POST, I don’t always stick exactly to the plan, but I use it as more of a guide or template to what our meals could be and what I want to make sure I have around.
I am about 15 minutes from a grocery store and it’s worth it to make sure I don’t have to ‘run to the store’ because it’s not a quick jaunt.
So first, I make my meal plan for 2 weeks. This is because my husband (our constant paycheck) gets paid every 2 weeks
Second, I check to see what food I have and what food I need and add those things to a grocery list.
Third, I check Weekly Ad’s (online) and buy things that I usually use that are on sale. (This usually takes about 5-10 minutes) If I have a mayo in my pantry BUT mayo is on sale this week and I can sale $.50 or $1.00, I buy a few. This way, later down the road, I don’t have to purchase an emergency one at full price, therefore saving money! (This is ONLY helpful IF you have space to store these extra items!)
Fourth, I “clip” online coupons. For Meijer, a store I shop at in my area, they have MPerks. I get on my app for Meijer and “clip” everything that I think I could possibly purchase. That way in the end, I can end up saving several dollars without really trying. Plus, Meijer gives you bonuses like if you spend so much money in a month, they will give you $8, $10, or $12 back at the end of the month. Which is always great! Some grocery store will give you free items as well.
Fifth, I try to keep impulse buying to a minimum, UNLESS it is a great deal on something I already use. Impulse buying can increase if you are hungry and go shopping, or if you take your husband or a child with you. When I take my kids with me, I had to teach them very young that IF they were good, I’d buy them something BUT I choose what that something was (you get this or this, they don’t get to chose from the entire store). Other than that, they knew that they DON’T beg for food while we are there. We went shopping yesterday, and my kids know if they want something out of the ordinary, they need to bring their own money, and they do! PS- I don’t have a solution for the husband’s impulse buying yet. Usually I try not to complain too much because he IS the one that makes most of the money.
Sixth, I utilize Aldi. I don’t know if there is an Aldi in your town, but I make a 35 minute trek to ours once a month. I buy items there that I would normally purchase at Meijer. Yesterday, we went there, I filled my cart so full that things were falling off as I wheeled up to the register. It cost $240! This included gluten free items, organic items, and more! Aldi had saved my family a lot of money over the years without skimping on the quality of items we want.
One thing I have recently done, and am LOVING, is I signed up for Ibotta. It’s an app that you can clip coupons to places you already go (there are a TON of stores that you can earn from!), and you can earn cash back. With this cash back you can earn money towards your PayPal account, or a gift card to one of a TON of great stores (Amazon, American Eagle, Applebee’s, AutoZone, Bath and Body Works, Ebay, Game Stop, IHOP, Apple iTunes, Kohl’s, Nike, Sam’s Club, Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, and more!). After just 2 months, I have earned ALMOST $30! You literally only need to clip the coupons, and either take a picture of your receipts OR Link your account like I did with Meijer. If you are interested in checking that out, go HERE. (I am in no way associated with Ibotta, however I will get $5 for each person that signs up and uses Ibotta through my link above. If you sign up and share YOUR link with your friends, you can earn the same $5.)
Last, I stick to my meal plan and only go to the store in an emergency. This way, there are less chance of impulse buying again. I did this a few weeks ago, I had to run to the store to grab hamburger to use in chili for our small group that was visiting on Sunday. So on Thursday I ran to the store. Friday and Saturday there was a potential of being a snow storm. So I not only grabbed hamburger, but I also grabbed 2 more gallons of milk, some frozen strawberries, and a few other impulse items that we could have lived without. $50 later, I was on my way home. I could have saved about $40 had I planned better for my 2 week menu.
I hope this post was helpful! I hope it encourages you to think about how you shop and what works best for your family. How often do you get paid? How much can you budget for food? Where can I get the best value for our budget? Can I create a menu, or is it not beneficial to us? Are there online coupons I can clip for the store I go to? How can I get the biggest bang for my buck?
If you have questions about how we do things, please ask! Or if you have suggestions, please share them below! Thanks for stopping by! And make sure you subscribe to get notified of posts in the future! See you next time!
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