Weekly grocery shopping can be time consuming and costly. Yes, I said weekly, as shopping more frequently will be even more time consuming and costly! A quick stop for milk is OK as long as you are not caught up in the store promotions and end up with more than a quart of milk. That is why milk is usually at the rear of the store!
Make it a point to shop once a week after the new ad circular arrives.
- Always shop with a list, using your family’s activities/schedule and preferences. EG: On a busy day of chauffeuring kids to sports and other activities, planning ahead for a simple and well planned menu will be a time and stress saver. A slow cooker meal simmering all day while you are out and about or soup and sandwiches or pasta with jar sauce and a salad will work.
- Make use of weekly ad paper & store coupons to help select necessary items at good prices. Manufacturer coupons can also save money. Check shelf prices, as some products are cheaper without a coupon, such as store brands or items on sale that day.
- Buying a large or “family pack” of an item may save money if it will be used realistically and/or can be frozen. EG: I like buying a whole filet of fresh salmon and packaging/dividing it into individual meal portions to freeze. A low priced roast or poultry can also be frozen for future use. Always date the items before freezing to use it wisely.
- Buying large or family packs of food are also good at the right price. Initial cooking of a large portion provides an initial meal as well as a re-run meal to serve a few days later, or to be frozen for later use. Buy oils in large (cheaper) sizes and use squirt bottles for easier use.
- The store end cap displays are not always bargain items. Check the prices in that aisle. Try to stick to your list rather than “sale” distractions.
- 6. Stay clear of warehouse club stores where over buying can be a problem.
- Clean produce and store well when arriving home from shopping. This will save prep time later. Date perishables to save money by using in a timely manner.
- Rotate cupboard and fridge supplies to maintain use of older items first. Roll out shelves aid in keeping back of the shelf items visible and easily accessible.
- A well-stocked pantry can help when preparation time is limited. Some of my favorites are: Dry pastas, jar sauces, can soups, veggies, beans, can meats/fish & fruits. Rice, polenta, packaged rice and macaroni mixes, nuts, etc.
- Refrigerated and frozen pantry stockers like fruits, veggies, breads, waffles, bacon, cheeses, etc. can also help to put together a meal when time is limited.
Make the time to prepare a weekly menu and shopping list to save time, energy, stress and money! See you at the store.
©Ann Gambrell April 2014