You’ve been pulling your hair out after every grocery shopping trip. Not because you don’t enjoy grabbing the groceries. It’s mainly because the bill is almost NEVER in your budget, which means trying to figure out what needs to be cut-back from the rest of the month. I’ve felt this at times…until I changed a few things.
Okay, I’ll be honest, what I’m about to share with you may be hard to do, and could even be annoying if patience isn’t your strongest suit. But if you take these tips to heart, it could mean you being UNDER you initial grocery budget every month. Now, I’m not a hardcore expert on grocery shopping, but I am a fan of sales, discounts, free stuff, and trying to get the biggest bang for my buck. And yes, right now my family consists of only 2 people and a hamster, but I think some of what I’m about to share could help any size family if you really give it a go.
First off, before you go to the store, set-up an excel spreadsheet. Yep, I’m the crazy lady walking around Brookshire’s on Rice Rd. in Tyler with a spreadsheet in hand. Now, you could make a list on paper or do your own style of listing, but I prefer Excel because I don’t have to write everything by hand every time, just the prices. On the sheet, make columns for the different stores you plan on price comparing, and rows with the items you plan on buying. I personally even go one step further by listing the actual brands if there are multiple ones for a food (Frozen Pizzas could have Store Brand, Digiornos, Tostinos, etc). Here’s an example (and download HERE):
Once you have everything listed that you plan on shopping for, head off to the stores. You can leave your money behind, because you aren’t shopping just yet. With spreadsheet and pen in hand, write out the prices you find at each store for the items you need. This will probably take a total of 1.5 hours if you go to 2 stores. For every extra store, add another 30-45 minutes. Head back home—this is where the magic starts to happen.
Seeing that you’ve written down the prices, check for the coupons. Usually I’ll use websites like SavingStar, Coupons.com, Lozo and anything I can get from my Brookshire’s Store card. Once you start to figure out where the best deals are with coupons, sales, and maybe certain discounts your store offers, make sure to mark on your spreadsheet where to go to to get each item. This will make shopping a lot simpler because you can just go down the list knowing that at one store only certain items will be bought, and the rest at the other. I highly recommend only price comparing at max 2 stores, but if you want to go crazy, then try a 3rd. When shopping, never forget those coupons and store cards when checking out! Be prepared to see quite a bit of savings happening when you get the receipt back. Don’t believe me, ask The Hubby what happened one time he went with me shopping. With his own eyes he saw me save us $30 MORE than we spent (what could’ve been around $150 I spent became only $60 spent instead).
It’ll take a little bit of time, and can be slightly challenging with little ones around you, but the payoff can let your hair grow back nicely without stress spots everywhere. Hopefully, with the weeks to come, more tips found through the web can be shared with you and your family. Until then, what are some tips in saving money that you can testify to? Share in the comments section below!
Blessings and Hugs—Nikki :)