Grocery Store Chronicles: How to Save Time and Money

Grocery Store Chronicles: How to Save Time and Money

Grocery Store Chronicles: How to Save Time and Money

How many grocery store trips do you make in a week?
Within a month, do you make 2 to 3 big trips or several mini trips?

When I first got married I was trying to be Martha Steward, trying new recipes and making elaborate meals for two.

About six months in I noticed the following:
1. There has to be a better way
2. Need to regulate portion sizes to prevent massive leftovers
3. I forgot another ingredient again

I was either ready to try a new recipe, but did not have all the ingredients, too tired to make a big meal but needed something quick and simple or made too much and had a lot of leftovers.

Then, I would head to the store with dinner ideas in mind, but not a formal list. This tactic was short lived because I would over spend, buy things I wanted and forget things needed. Everything changed when we decided to host our first Thanksgiving dinner three years ago.

I was determined to make our dinner full of awesome food, laughter and one to remember. Truth be told, I find cooking and trying new dishes quite therapeutic, however, I just happen to like the 40 minutes or less versions:-). Because I had experience in leaving things at the store, my secret was simple: Write. It. Down.

Since I am a highly visual person, I started to picture what the dinner table would look like. This helped to categorize my list by meats, sides, breads, and desserts. From there I put the power to the PEN.

The Power of the PEN:

Pantry- this is where the magic happens by taking inventory. Inventory is your main ingredient for sticking to a budget and managing your time in the store. Additionally, this process eliminates buying things twice. Check to see what you have and create a meal plan for the week. Write the list out, categorize by breads, meats, snacks, toiletry, and feel good about shopping with a purpose and a plan.

Expiration dates- check for expired labels that need to be thrown out. Bring older items to the front and newest items behind them. This helps to stay current on what is on hand and what needs to be used soon.

Need more- once you have taken inventory, checked expiration dates, now you can check your list to see what you have and what is needed.

This step was huge because I did not waste tyme in an aisle thinking about what to get. Referring to my list made it clear about what I had and what was needed.

We all know how the story goes, “I’m just going to run in and get a few items.” When you get to the car and review your bill, you are still in shock asking yourself “What happen?”

Whether you are running in to get a “few items” or making the weekly haul, never underestimate the power of the PEN.

P.S. don’t forget to grab those coupons!  A dollar saved, is a dollar earned.

How do you stick to your grocery budget? Leave me a comment below.

Ready to add some excitement to your dinner options?  Checkout my favorite recipe sites below:

www.hungry-girl.com
www.allrecipes.com
www.pinterest.com- it all looks good:-)
www.myrecipes.com

Where inspiration meets order!

Abike.

Posted in Food and Money, Grocery Shopping, Meal Planning, Time Management and tagged , , .

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