Grocery shopping – wandering down each aisle wondering what you need, your kids whining for candy, getting to the check-out counter with a loaded down cart and being shocked when you hear the final total.  How did I spend so much?  You wonder.  You hand over the credit card, wondering how you’re going to make it through the month. 

Shopping doesn’t have to be this way!  Here are some simple ways to save time, money, and most importantly, stress.

Go shopping every week
Shopping every week allows you to find better deals before sales end and coupons expire.  Pick one day a week as your shopping day and schedule it in, just like you would a dentist appointment.  Look through your pantry, fridge, and freezer, and decide what you need.  This forces you to take inventory of your kitchen every week, so you’re not buying mac & cheese when you already have ten boxes socked away.  This also works best in conjunction with a meal plan for the week, but that’s a subject for another blog post. =) 

Make a list – and stick to it! 
Make a list and tell your kids – and yourself! – that you can only get the items on it.  Ask your kids to help you make the list (“What kind of apples should we get?”) and tell them that once you’re in the store, you can’t deviate from it.  If you give your kids treats for being good in the store, it can be the last thing on the list.  If you don’t have kids with you, you can make this a treat for yourself for sticking to your list!  

**Important!  If your kids see you adding cheese puffs to the cart just because you feel like it, then your consistency goes out the window and you’re back to them whining.  A list keeps you honest and able to stay on budget.

Shop in a location with multiple stores
I go to the local shopping square that has both a Trader Joe’s and a larger grocery store.  I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s, but paper goods and a wider, less expensive selection of produce send me to the other store. I park at Trader Joe’s, then walk over to the bigger grocery store first and get my (much smaller) list from there.  I take one or two re-usable bags with me, carry those back to the car, and my son gets a nice walk out in the fresh air.  (Obviously if you have smaller children, a stroller works, too).  Then, I do the rest of my shopping at Trader Joe’s.  "I don’t have time for one store, much less two!" you’re thinking.  The good part about having a list is that you’re in and out of stores in no time.  My average shopping trip is now 45 minutes (for two stores!), when it used to be an hour and a half.

Hope these tips help you have fun, frugal, stress-free shopping trips!
-Kelly =)



07/11/2012 14:03

Interesting thoughts, just wanted to mention I came from Google.


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