- Do NOT go to the grocery store after eating a big meal. Even a diet soda pop will take some of the hunger pangs away. This will keep you from “binge” shopping – buying the things that sound good since you feel starved.
- Shop once a week or every other week, and try to stick with that program. Make a menu or meal plan for 4-5 meals per week. Use the store ad to find the basic foods that are on sale and make a meal around it. Make a shopping list for the items you will need to prepare those meals. Be flexible with your meal ideas. If chicken is an in-store sale, go for it. There is a million meals you can make with chicken. I like going once a week since the ads change every week. But my son and family shop once every two weeks since time to shop is difficult.
- Buy store brand foods, instead of the big name brands. Quite often, the store brands have the particular item packaged at the same facility/location as the big-name brand. For example, yogurt, cereal, cleaners, potato chips, etc.
- Try to shop when you can shop alone. It can be a fun outing for the kids, but beware! Kids want to buy items that are not on your shopping list and can quite often let their feelings known to everyone in the store. 🙂 Being alone also gives you a chance to read nutrition labels and learn about products you want and want to stay away from.
- Shopping alone (without kids) also allows you to watch as your items are checked out. At least every other time at check out I am correcting a price. Don’t be afraid to ask your checker if something doesn’t ring up correctly. Especially the discounts and coupons that print out at the bottom. The cashiers are usually very good to help you.
- Keep your eyes down when shopping the shelves. And not on your cell phone. The best deals can be hidden. Look at the lower shelves. Also look for short dates. The “sell by” date on a product is just that. It still will generally be good for a few more days.
- Use coupons, primarily, when an item is at its best price. If Colgate toothpaste is $1 on sale, put the P&G coupon for $.50 coupon with it for the biggest savings. Also, when using a coupon, buy the smallest possible size for the best price per ounce. For example, If 40-50 oz Tide is on sale for $4.99, use the P&G Coupon for $2 off for that size instead of using it on 80-100 oz. If you have 2 or 3 coupons, buy the smaller Tide for the biggest savings.
- Stock up on staples when they are on sale. For example, flour, sugar, spices, canned foods are good items to stock your pantry if you have the space. It is helpful to have standby options to create a nutritious meal without running to the store.
Last tip but not on grocery shopping. Treat yourself to a meal or two outside your kitchen. It may be a Friday pizza night or a Taco Tuesday night, but give yourself a break. You’ve earned it!!