Grocery shopping is part of life. Some love it and some hate it. A few strategies can make the difference in how you view the experience.
- 1. Get organized. Take a few minutes during your "down time' each week to plan for the week ahead. Find a sale paper from your grocery store (often available online) to see what is featured and on sale. Use these foods as the basis of your meal plan for the week.
- 2. Clip coupons. A Sunday paper is a gold mine of savings. Clip and save the ones you know you will use. Try to avoid the ones for highly processed foods. Many grocery stores will double their value on certain days of the week. Plan your shopping trip on those days.
- 3. Make a list. This is a very important step to save both time and money. First, carefully think through what you are going to cook. Inventory what you have, what you are low on, and what you are missing and need to get. Don't forget to include the coupon items. Organizing the list according to the layout of your store will save time once you are there.
- 4. Shop the perimeter of the store. The fresh foods are what make up the perimeter. This food is not only better for you, but it usually cost less. The packaged foods up and down the aisles are loaded with extra sodium, sugar, and fat and sell at premium price. Aisle shopping should be mainly for pantry staples.
- 5. Stock up on "staples" when they are on sale. Sugar will keep indefinitely, as will paper products, ect.
- 6. Compare store-brand items to national brands. Often the quality is equal to superior for a lower cost. Use the unit cost information on the shelf marker to guide your decision.
- 7. Don't shop when you're hungry! You are most likely to make impulse purchases.
Keeping a well-stocked kitchen is an important family responsibility. Not only will you save money when you shop smart and eat from home more often, but you will also be teaching your family important life skills about taking care of ourselves as well as each other.