Research has shown that 60%-70% of what ends up in our grocery basket/carts is unplanned. Grocery shopping doesn't have to break the bank if you know what you are doing. So pick and choose from among these tips below, which I hope it'd be of good use to you and your family:
Before I usually head out to the market or supermarket, I'd decide how much I am willing to spend. This makes prudent grocery shopping. I'd also be conscious of how I will spend those $$$. Though I'd always be reasonable and know my limits. In addition, I'd use cash or pay by NETS for all my transactions at the grocery stores that way I will be more careful of how I spend.
With that plan in place, I wrote down on a separate piece of grocery list separating the categories into Meat/Fish/Poultry, Vegetables, Sauce, Misc items. Makes navigating around the grocery stores much easier and usually would not miss out anything that's necessary for my meal plans.
Before I head out to the supermarket I'd double check what I might have left in the freezer/fridge/pantry to ensure that I don't buy unnecessarily.
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I am one who would usually end up with frivolous items in my grocery basket. You know, things which I want over things which I really need. Hence, spending extra $$$ yet taking up storage space at home. Since the beginning of this year, I made it a point to just buy what I need (stick to buying only the items that I've prepared on my list) and buy in the appropriate quantity/amount (ie. not to over-buy or stock pile).
Cut Back on Meat
Meat is expensive. We don't go vegetarian completely on every meal but I do cut down the amount of meat I put into the dishes I cook. I combine more vegetables/legumes/tofu with meat for some of our stir-fry dishes. In our meal plan, I add fish into our dinners more often as well.
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I would pick out store brands for items such as pastas, olive oil, dried spices etc. as these items are usually less expensive at the supermarts and I believe all food manufacturers follow standards to provide safe food and beverage products of reasonably good quality.
Ignore the Snacks or Promotional Items at Check-out Counters
Smart marketing people always place small and frivolous items at check-out counters playing up on the subliminal/incidental appeal to shoppers who are waiting in the line to pay up. So try not to pick up any of those items if you have no plans for it. I've fell into that before and added more than what I've budgeted for my grocery shopping, so don't be fooled!
Go Grocery Shopping When Kids are in School
Whenever I go grocery shopping with my kiddos, we'll somehow end up with some kind of junk food or anything frivolous such as a toy or extra pack of sweet drink. Even if I try to stick to my guns and refuse their relentless requests, it'll almost always end up an unpleasant shopping experience when I had to say 10,000 times of no's to them on every request that they make about buying that something extra. So in most cases, I save more $$$ when I shop alone.
If you are looking for more tips and or ideas on cooking, baking and managing meals at home in an easy and quick way, do check out my "Easy Meals for Busy Moms" continuing series.
This post is part of a blog train hosted by Gingerbreadmum where 31 stay-at-home moms share their survival tips. In the journey of motherhood, we all need support and encouragement from one another to know that though it's not an easy path but it's definitely worth while and we need not walk alone on our own. You may follow the entire SAHM survival tips series by clicking on this link and bookmark it, the list of participating moms and their links can be found at the bottom of the post.
Mum in the Making, on keeping sane, and managing amidst the mess, mayhem and madness that seems to come packaged with little children!