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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grocery Shopping: Short & Organized = Sanity & Savings

Who doesn't want to stay sane AND save money while shopping?
Photo credit: ACEI Ch
With toddlers in tow, grocery shopping can be a challenge, if not a nightmare. While they love riding in those cars attached to the grocery cart, I never know when the window will close. Will they last all the way to the dairy aisle? Or will the meltdown begin by the bananas?

What I didn't realize, is what I learned from all this. My grocery shopping trips have become very efficient. First, I need my list to be in order of the store so I am not racing all over the place. Second, if I have coupons that I  may need to refer to while shopping, those must also be in order of the store.  Third,  I tend to only buy what is on the list, since that is all I have time to grab (and sometimes not even that).

When I do have the chance to go by myself, not surprisingly, I tend to spend more time in the store... and buy more as well. While I may have more time to price compare, I also have more time to take advantage of the all-too-frequent impulse buy.

While going to the grocery store with my kids is not my favorite thing, I am actually saving money because I have no other choice but to be quick and organized.

Simple but True: Short & Cheap

1. Make a list as you run out of things- keep it in your kitchen
2. Make a menu- add what you need to your list (you can base your menu on your coupons or whats on sale**)
3. Order that list based on your store. For example, produce, cans, breakfast, snacks, frozen, dairy, bakery- or however your store is laid out.
4. If you are a coupon clipper, keep them in order so you can grab and go while making your list. Then order your coupons based on your list.
5. Stick to your list (unless its truly something you forgot) and get out of the store promptly!

Oh! And don't go when you (or your kids) are hungry!

Don't get the paper? Online coupons are awesome: Coupons.com; Smartsource.com 

 **Check out FoodOnTheTable.com for menus based on what's on sale at the grocery stores you frequent. They give you recipes to choose from based on your preferences and then you can print out a grocery list as well!

2 comments:

  1. These are good tips, even for people who don't have kids (like me). I get my vegetables from a CSA, but once the season ends I go back to the grocery store. It's kind of a culture shock for me, lol.

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  2. I love CSAs! We don't have too many that are easily accessible in my area so this year I got myself a plot in a community garden (10x10) so it was a decent size- but you can only grow so much. Unfortunately I was out of town for all of July which was one of my biggest harvest months! So I was still going to the store when I got back. I do have some fall crops going however!

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