Unfortunately I’ve had to learn the hard way about shopping on a budget. I’ve had way too many trips to the grocery store or Walmart with way too much unnecessary spending. Then only to get home and wonder what in the world did I just buy!
Earlier in the year when I discovered just how much I was spending on groceries, I was forced to approach grocery shopping much differently.
This is how I grocery shop on a budget.
1. Plan Ahead
*Go through your pantry and fridge to see what you have on hand. A huge mistake I often make is buying more of what I already have and/or don’t need.
* Eat leftovers and/or cook what is about to go bad.
The idea is to not be wasteful with your food or your money.
2. Plan your menu for the week.
*Plan ahead what you’re going to cook so you won’t be left wondering at 6 o’clock when your tired and just getting off of work what it is your going to make for supper.
*Create your menu around what you’ve already have on hand and what is about to go bad.
*Prepare foods that will give you more than one meal….leftovers for the next day’s lunch or an afternoon snack for the kids.
*Prepare your menu to get the most food for your money that also gives you several choices on what to cook with that food. Examples include: a whole chicken, sirloin steak, soups, dried beans, potatos, etc.
3. Shop for only one week at a time.
This is another area that got me into trouble. I used to shop every two weeks and buy for those two weeks at a time (because payday is every two weeks). The problem with this is that you simply can’t buy enough food that will last for the full two weeks–not in my house anyway or if you do, you’re spending alot of money. And certain foods like fresh fruits and fresh veggies just won’t last, along with running out of milk, break, eggs, etc. And when this happens, we tend to make more trips back to the store and when that happens we usually come out of there with more than we intended=unnecessary spending.
4. Make a list.
*Now compile your list of must haves (based on your planning and menu) for the week and stick to it. Of course, you’ll forget some things and will need to buy stuff that’s not on your list, but be careful and limit yourself. That can still get you into trouble.
*Include on your list just what you’ll need for the week only. It took me a few times to learn how to shop for a week at at time, but it works so much better for me now.
5. Take only cash to the store.
This is a hard one, but one that works very well. This forces you to stick to your planning and your list. As long as we have a check or debit/credit card to bail us out, we’ll continue to use it; therefore not making a true change towards saving money!
Don’t forget your coupons. You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save money. 50 cents is 50 cents–saving money is saving money. Take advantage of your sales papers and store policies. Walmart will price match and when it’s applicable I definitely use it.
I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me!
How do you save money at the grocery store?
And to continue with our Pumpkin Celebration, I found this Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread recipe on Tina’s Blog-Carrot’s N Cake and it sounds so tasty (and yay for using soy milk!). Show her some blog love and let her know if you try it!
Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1.5 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease loaf pan.
- Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
- Pour batter into loaf pan.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, until top is firm, and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow loaf to cool for 10 minutes and serve warm.