Have you been thinking about how to save money on groceries and household items? Take these considerations into account to help you save money and time on shopping for groceries and household items.
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I have come to realize that if you want to do anything effectively you have to have a strategy in place to do so.
I swear this adulting thing is more than a notion sometimes.
Grocery shopping was once a time of peace, and while I wouldn’t stretch and say I enjoyed it, I most certainly didn’t mind it.
But with a growing family, came a grocery bill that grew. Which means that in addition to more money, it takes more time. Both which are limited.
So I finally came up with a strategy to save on both.
Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.
I told you guys a few weeks ago, that part of Walmart is making out my shopping list, writing down the things I need. But the next step is my shopping strategy.
3 Key Points on Saving Time and Money On Weekly Grocery Shopping
Make Good Store Choices When Planning Your Grocery Shopping Trip
I always have two stores as part of my weekly shopping trip. This is because my first stop is always at Aldi.
While some people don’t believe in shopping at Aldi for whatever reason. I am and have been for years a regular Aldi shopper. They forgo all the frills like having employees bag your groceries and collect your carts and transfer those savings to you.
The only thing about Aldi is that they don’t always have everything that I need. But hands down their prices are always cheaper.
So I get everything that I can from Aldi and then I go to my second store.
If you have Aldi in your area, and you don’t shop there, you are just throwing money away!
Since moving to North Carolina, there is no shortage of grocery options. This place is filled with grocery store options. But price wise, my second runner-up is Walmart. Plus I love the fact that I can grab needed household items too and be done with everything. DONE!
When back home in Ohio, the pickings were slimmer in my local area and so I factored in price but also how far I had to go to get to the store and if that would cancel out the cost savings.
Change Your Mind About Store Brands
So then there is the brand thing. Some of y’all are brand bougie, and you know who you are.
You give private label brands too much credit. A lot of the store brands have the exact same ingredients as the private label brands. Meaning you are only paying for the name.
Aldi has its own brand of foods so, you either get it there or you don’t. But other stores give you an option between their own store brand and the private label brands.
A long time ago, I was bougie too. All about the name brand. Then I took the time to compare ingredients and found that almost always the store brands are the same, but better priced.
So when at Walmart, I grab the Great Value or Equate brand if possible. If not, then I go with the brand name of preference.
Saving Time is Saving Money
This one doesn’t save me money. But y’all know, time is money. So I shop at a time when the store is less likely to be crowded. Whether that is during the day when most people are at work, or later in the evening when people have gotten settled and are not thinking about being in anyone’s store.
The way my anxiety is set up, me and crowds don’t do well when grocery shopping. And because of it, I am guaranteed to forget things that are on my list if I don’t go when crowds are minimal.
Considering these three things has helped to save so much money on our grocery shopping bill. And as the kids are growing older and eating more, every single coin counts!
13 Additional Tips To Save More Time And Money On Grocery + Household Shopping
- Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time. By planning your meals out weekly or monthly, you can plan for what you will need. It’s a smart idea to use the same ingredients on different days to ensure you don’t throw away unused portions.
- Keep Inventory of What You Have. As you meal plan, take a look of what you already have and try to plan your meals around that. Allowing you to minimize what you need to pick up from the store.
See Also: The Essentials For A Well-Stocked Pantry
- Make a List. While you are planning your meals, go ahead and make a list of the things you need. This way you minimize the likelihood of needing to run back to the store and making impulse buys between regular grocery shopping trips.
- Leave The Kids at Home. Take your kids to the grocery store and you might as well just allot more in the budget call the grocery-kid tax. I agree with Kim at Scary Mommy, the grocery store is not a nutrition and math lesson appropriate time in her 17 Reasons She is Not Taking Her Kids Grocery Shopping Anymore. You should read it and laugh, cause it’s so damn relatable.
- Shop on Full. Do not go to the grocery store hungry! I repeat, it is not in your best interest to go to the grocery store when you have not eaten in the last couple of hours. You will undoubtedly leave the store with a whole bunch of things you don’t need and close to none of what you do. A trip to the grocery store when I am hungry is always a grocery fail.
- Use a Water Filter. Stop buying that fancy bottled water and go for an at home water filter that you can put on our faucet or in pitcher you can put in the fridge. This is a much more economical, and earth-friendly way to get your H20.
- Follow Store Sales. Get the weekly store listings and see what is on sale. You can plan your meals around that as well to give you added savings.
- Look Past Eye Level. Did you know that stores try to trick you into spending more money? They do things like putting the most expensive things at eye level because those of you impulsive people will just grab and go without looking any further. The cheaper items are often above or below eye level. Stop. Look up. Look down. Save.
- Leave K-Cups On The Shelf. I use to order K-cups off Amazon every two weeks because I like the flavored variety packs. But many years ago we ditched K-cups and opted for canned coffee using a reusable K-cup, and it lasts sooooo much longer. When I want to switch flavors I just buy a new coffee creamer.
- Buy Bagged. Opt for the bagged potatoes, onions, avocados, bananas and other produce to save. Those items that are bagged together are typically cheaper than individually picking them.
- Get Store Card. Get the store cards for the stores that you frequent. Normally that is how you claim the sales in the weekly sales ads.
- Use Card App. If you shop at multiple stores, you get tired of all the store cards on your key ring or taking up space in your wallet. Using a store card app like Stocard allows you to store all your cards in one place and just use your phone which we normally all have with us anyway.
- Stay Home. Forego the grocery store altogether and let someone else do the shopping for you with services like Instacart.
Editor’s Note: How to Save Time and Money on Grocery Shopping was originally published February 22, 2017.