One of the biggest budget mishaps happens at the grocery store each week. You walk in feeling in control with your list in hand, ready to conquer your budget. But then something happens. You get distracted, your kids want this or that, and next thing you know, you’ve overspent. It happens. However, there are steps you can take to help you save money and time grocery shopping. Here are some great tips to help you stay on track each week.
How To Save Money and Time Grocery Shopping for Your Family
1. Create A Smart List
When you randomly jot down items on a to-do list then head to the store, you will find yourself wandering through almost every aisle. Which inevitably means you’re going to spend more money at the checkout. One way to save money on grocery shopping is to create a smart list.
Before you leave for the store, spend a few minutes to re-write your shopping list. Your list should be in the order of your store so that you can spend less time backtracking, which means fewer distractions and chances for impulse shopping. More than likely, you know your grocery store like the back of your hand — that’s mom life. Create your shopping list in order of your store and try to group items near one another. This makes shopping so much easier!
Here’s how to do it: If you first enter through the produce department, start with those items at the top of your list. As you create your list go in order aisle-by-aisle, so you don’t have to wander back and forth throughout the store. This should also encourage you to purchase more whole foods found around the outside of the store!
This is also a great time-saving tip when it comes to grocery shopping. You’ll be more efficient while in the store, which means less time inside and even less time for your little ones to help add items to your cart.
2. Utilize Money Saving Apps
There are quite a few rebate apps and savings apps that help you either get money back or pay less in-store. Make sure you find one or a combination of a few different apps to help you save more money.
Here are a few you should check out:
You can use one app or many apps. It’s up to you but to ensure you utilize these apps to get into a routine. Make sure to enter your purchases and scan your receipt before leaving the parking lot or as soon as you get home. By creating a habit of scanning receipts after each purchase, then you will be sure to get the most benefit from money-saving apps.
3. Meal Plan
Spend a few minutes each week to plan out your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. By having a good plan, you can easily create your weekly shopping list to make sure you buy what you need — and only what you need.
To create a money-saving meal plan, make sure to review what you already have on hand first. Go through your cabinets, pantry, and freezer to make a list of what you have, and then create a meal plan based on those items.
4. Grocery Pickup
If you struggle with impulse shopping, try out your local store and their grocery pickup option. Most stores have been rolling out programs where you use their app or website to add items to your cart, and then after you checkout, you schedule a pickup time. This works great if you need to avoid any distractions. You can use your meal plan to help make sure you stay on top of what you need.
Most families can see a decrease in their budget categories by utilizing grocery pickup. You will be more likely to buy only what’s on your list and avoid any impulse shopping. Also, you’ll be able to save a lot of time each week by avoiding weekly trips inside your store.
5. Switch to Cash
If you struggle to save money on grocery shopping, then try switching to cash. Review your budget before heading to the grocery store and decide on how much you can afford. Make your list, and then head to the bank to pull out the right amount of cash. When you head to the store, leave your wallet at home (or in the car–hidden, of course) and only take in your cash. This will force you to pay attention to prices and stick to your budget.