We all need to eat. We want to put healthy food into our bodies so that we can feel energized and good without spending our whole paycheck.
Throughout the years, I have tried couponing. It took too much time, and I bought stuff I didn’t need. I was wasting money!
I have tried meal planning apps – That was good in the beginning, but the food never fit our diets or my picky eaters.
Instead, I came up with rules to help me save money on groceries quickly and easily.
“My Grocery Shopping Rules”
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store – Produce, meat, bread, and dairy.
Plan - Have a meal plan for the week and shop with a list.
Buy in bulk & shop seasonal items.
Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store – Produce, Meat, Bread, and Dairy
The easiest way to make sure that what you are buying is clean and healthy is to shop the perimeter of most grocery stores. My basket is filled with seasonal fruits and vegetables, bread, and milk (I buy our meat and eggs in bulk). When I go shopping before I put an item into my cart I ask, “Is this going to make me healthier and stronger?” I found that if I stuck to the perimeter of the store, I could avoid highly processed (and expensive) foods. Of course, I have to dash down an isle to buy pasta or snacks for the kids, but I am definitely keeping my eye on the prize and don’t stop to look at the cookies!
Plan – Have a Meal Plan for the Week and Shop with a List
I create a weekly meal plan that changes with the season. I spent time on the front end to find meals that my family likes, ingredients that could be used across different meals and make sure the meal would fit in my overall monthly grocery budget. I create a shopping list based on my meal plan and stick to it.
Buy in Bulk & Shop Seasonal Items
I have a love-hate relationship with Costco. Love the amount of money I can save on so many things but hate the amount of time it takes for me to do my shopping. I try to only go once a month. I stock up on meats, cheeses, eggs, and anything with a more extended shelf life. Then, I will go to my local grocery store to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. How can you tell if a fruit or vegetable is in season? Look at the price; it will be cheaper. In the beginning, I would walk around the produce department and look at the unit price of the fruit and buy whatever gave me the best bang for the buck.
Saving money on groceries does not need to be hard; with a little bit of creativity and planning, you can find that there is a lot to do with some basic staples. Not only will you save money, but tons of time. Have fun!