As a single-income family (the small amount of money I make blogging isn’t enough to qualify as income), we are always looking for ways to cut back on expenses. I know plenty of dual-income families who do the same. One of the perks of staying at home is that I can use some of my 9-5 time for organizing and planning our budget. You would be amazed at how much a well-organized grocery list can save you!
This is how I organize our grocery list so that I don’t impulse buy (many) items we don’t actually need.
First, I keep a list of meals on the fridge that my whole family enjoys and that are economical. Sure, everyone likes steak, but we can’t eat it very often. When I am stumped for meal ideas, I refer to this list.
Working from that list and the weekly grocery store flyers, I plan out a menu for the next week (or two). This is an example of what that weekly menu might look like. Occasionally, I will leave a day blank for a night of leftover smorgasboard or take-out pizza.
I take that that weekly menu and begin to fill out a grocery list. I break the list up into the sections of the store, so I don’t absentmindedly leave the dairy section without buying eggs. I look at Sunday’s menu and add the items needed for that meal to the list. Then I add Monday’s, and so on. After I have listed all the items I need for that week’s meals, I add in any other items I know we need.
Is the system fool-proof? Of course, not. I grab impulse buys almost every time I shop. BUT, I find that I spend a lot less time in the store, and my bills are much lower, when I take the time to organize ahead of time.
More grocery bill lowering tricks:
- Don’t shop when you are hungry!
- Beware the endcaps – the end cap “sales” don’t always save you money.
- Price match – many stores will match competitors’ prices at the register.
- Shop without kids, if you can.
- Use coupons!
Couponing is a great way to cut down your bill, but you don’t have to be an Extreme Couponer to save money. Did you know that you can print coupons directly from Walmart.com?
Walmart has great high value coupons on their website, and right now you can save Up to $10 in coupons from Kraft Foods while supplies last. Just click on the coupons you need for that week’s shopping trip and print them out at home. No need to rifle through your junk mail or even subscribe to your local newspaper to have access to the coupons.