Tips to use when you go grocery shopping. Post your ideas.
Lots of people carry a cooler in their vehicles so frozen purchases won't melt or dairy items ruining, before getting home. The cooler I have in my car has got a handle on the side and wheels on the bottom, so I can pull it behind me. I don't just use it for groceries, I've got several bags of anything, I'll put them in the cooler & pull it into my house, all at once. It cuts my time in 1/2 by doing this, plus if it's really hot or cold outside, I'm not catching cold or overheating by having to carry in lots of bags of purchased items.
I used to go grocery shopping, then have to pick up groceries from bags that spilled during the trip home. Now, I always keep a couple of boxes in the boot of my car. When shoping, simply place the bags into the boxes and food won't roll out every time you turn a corner! Simply carry the box inside and unpack, but remember to put he boxes back in the car!
Each store has a layout of what is in each aisle - take one and make it your friend. I have a form on Excel that I keep which has my complete grocery list in order of the store's layout - that way I'm not running back and forth. (i.e. Not all pastas are kept together.)
When I am making my grocery list (which is kept on the refrigerator at all times and added to as items have run out), I always list my needed items in the order in which they are in the store. For instance, put the cereal items together, dairy products together, pasta and soup items together... this way you find the needed items in correct order which saves time running around the store (especially if you have children with you who may distract your attention from the task at hand)!
To help our grocery money go further I have a running list on the refrigerator for both "running low" items and then one that says "out". The items are then put on notebook paper that I take with me. I get the "out" items first and then if the "running low" items are on sale I get them too.
I also have my coupons with me to help lower the bill as well. I look at the mark down meat and only get the good looking meat.
I try to buy in bulk too. This really helps even though it's only my husband and I now at home most of the time. I got started with the bulk when all the kids were still at home. I could really make things go further.
If you spend a lot of time in your car, your routine may include hitting the drive-up window or the convenience store for cold drinks or snacks.
Before you leave home, fill a small cooler with a couple of cans of soda and some fruit or a sandwich. If you like, you can throw in a small bag of ice. The drive-up probably charges $1.25 for the soda you can buy by the case (on sale) for $0.25-$0.30 a can.
By Louise, the Frugal Yankee
And the most obvious of all .... DON'T SHOP HUNGRY!!. I also try not to shop with my dear hubby since it's harder to stick to the list with him "helping" :)
When we finish a box of cereal, I cut the box up so I have 2 pieces (the front and back of the box). I use these for my grocery list. It stands up in the cart so I can see what I need.
freezing grapes is a great snack on a hot summer day! go to your local market and buy grapes, then at home, pluck the grapes and wash it, then put in to a bag and freeze them for about a day... when you take them out, time to enjoy!!! be careful not to eat too many, because they are very dry for your throat, and can give you an aching throat, that is xactly what happened to me... :) you can easily get addikted to them//
Most stores that advertise 4 somethings for $4 will sell you one for $1. It pays to ask!
Editor's Note: This is true at my local grocery store. If something is 10 for a $10 you can buy as few as you want for $1 each. This does not work with coupons, just in-store sales.
I shop at Walmart and put my budgeted amount for groceries on a gift card to keep me from over spending. I have found this works great and I also get a separate card and put my gas money on it. Keeps me from charging and not keeping track of what I spend.
I plan for 2 meals and the third meal is made up of on sale items at the grocery store.
I let my husband do it. I just give him a list of things I want that week.
Also when the bagger says, "Paper or plastic?" You say, "Both." The plastic is for lining small waste cans or holding wet/smelly garbage. The paper is for recycling and wrapping/crafting.
Fruit/veggies retained in plastic in their fridge drawer stay fresh longer, I've noticed.
I usually figure out whats for dinner first and then build my grocery list from there. On a sheet of paper, next to my list of groceries I have a list of meals I plan on preparing for the week. When I am done shopping, I cut out the list of meals and tack it to my refrigerator that way I don't forget why I bought some of the things I did. After work I have less stress trying to figure out what to make; waste less food by putting it all to good use; and best of all, I know I am saving money this way. One extra small tip that saves me time... if you shop at the same grocery store every week this will work nicely. List the grocery items in the order that you will run into them first. This will get you out of the grocery store faster and may prevent impulse buying. Just one more thing... cutting coupons and reviewing weekly sales ads before shopping is wise too!
I loved Wanda's idea about using gift cards for her grocery and gas spending, I like the convenience of carrying a charge card but since Iam trying to get rid off all charge cards, this is an ideal solution. Thanks!
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