Shopping for groceries while sticking to a budget can be a challenge. When three of my four kids were all under three years of age it was especially challenging! I knew there had to be a better way to spend my time, so I developed some tips to make the whole process easier, cheaper, and less stressful.
Before you even leave the house, do a quick clean out and inventory of the fridge. When you get home from grocery shopping, you will have bought only what is needed, you know what's on hand, and you don't have to clean out the fridge while groceries sit on the floor waiting for you to make room for them.
For cold and frozen items, ask the clerk to bag these in plastic and the rest of the groceries in paper. If you're pressed for time, you will know where the cold/frozen items are to quickly unload into the refrigerator or freezer.
If I'm bagging the groceries myself, I unload the cart onto the conveyor with all the cold and frozen items grouped together, same goes for veggies, fruit, and canned products. This way when I'm bagging the items, I bag like items together so unpacking groceries is a snap.
Children and shopping equal a lot of money spent because your more likely to just grab something to get out of the store quicker rather than looking for the best deal.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Best case scenario is to hire a babysitter and do the shopping alone. If that's not possible, use the following tricks when you bring kids along.
How to handle Costco/Warehouse Clubs without breaking the bank.
Only do a big shop either monthly or bi-monthly at the local warehouse club. Be strict with yourself and ignore all the tempting sample foods.
Don't get samples from the sample lady and just keep everything real generic and "no fun" to stay within budget.
I found that when I purchased a lot of food from these warehouse stores, it would just go bad even with a big family.
I don't have a pantry, so I store these items in a room located next to my garage. I keep running lists on the door to quickly jot an inventory of what I have on hand and update it every time something is taken out.
Park the cart and walk the aisle.
This is a great tip to save money and time while grocery shopping is to park your cart at the end of the aisle. This is especially useful if the store is busy.
Park the cart at the end of an aisle, and then quickly make your way down the aisle picking up what is needed. You will avoid impulse buys since you're limited on what can be carried back and another bonus is you don't have to maneuver a cart around people.
Stock up and save.
Stocking up on groceries during a sale is a great way to save money. Some suggest keeping a binder of “best sale” prices to make sure you're getting a good deal. I prefer to do this in my head. For example, I know that if I see whole frozen chickens on sale at 75 cents a pound, that's a super great deal and means many cheap meals.
Do what works for you. If you have time and like tracking prices, then do it and stock up to the limit when you see something go on sale.
Utilize coupons with a sale price and you'll save big money too.
Online Grocery Shopping. Avoid all the temptations at the store and purchase your groceries on time.
What a great invention! I used online grocery shopping during my last pregnancy when I was put on bed rest for the first trimester. I shopped online at Vons and ordered groceries for the week online. The delivery person will even bring your groceries into the kitchen for you!
Try online grocery shopping at Vons.com and save yourself a trip to the grocery store.
You pay the same price for groceries as you would at the store, they let you use coupons, they have Vons Club card discount pricing, and you're responsible for a small delivery fee.
These tips have made grocery shopping a much more enjoyable experience and I hope they will for you too.