How much of your week do you like to dedicate to grocery shopping? I love to look at everything available, but don’t always have the time. And when I balanced the caregiving of young children, my job, and our family meal prep I had very little. For those with tight schedules, tight budgets, or little interest in perusing the supermarket shelves I offer seven heavenly ways you can save time and money in the supermarket.
1. Shop From a List. Using a list is the number one way to save you both time and money. If you stick to your list, you will go right to the items needed, and be less likely to buy unnecessary items. You’ll also be less likely to forget things you need, which will save you a return trip. If you don’t want to take the time to make a weekly menu plan so you can make a good list, check out samples of the ones in my touchscreen cookbooks.
2. Eat Before You Shop. Shopping with a full stomach will help you avoid impulse buying. I come home with way more than my household can eat when I shop hungry.
3. Fly Solo. Whenever possible leave your partner and children home when you shop. You’ll find far fewer unnecessary things are put into the cart (by kids) and taken out by overly thrifty spouses (like mine.) And you’ll realize time savings by breezing through the store without an entourage.
4. Buy Store Brands. Most store brands are actually made by the big name-brand producers of foods. Shoppers who buy the name brand products are paying more for the pretty package.
5. Buy in Bulk. You can save as much as 40% when you buy “family packs” of meats and veggies. Meats are especially easy to break into smaller sized packages and freeze for later use. But if you precook your veggies, you can freeze those and zap them for serving at a later date to save time, too.
6. Use Coupons. I used to hate smearing newsprint all over my hands to clip coupons. It cost me more in time than it was worth. But today most couponing is done electronically and from smart phones. Just be careful not to go coupon crazy. Stick to your grocery list and redeem coupons for items appearing there so you don’t stock pile things you don’t need or like just to save money.
7. Employ a One-Stop-Shopping Methodology. Taking time upfront to find a store that delivers bulk packaging, couponing, and store brands, along with the usual products you like to purchase, will save you down the line. The reduction in gasoline and time spent should outweigh the cost of running around town to redeem coupons. Be sure to evaluate the relative value of your various savings possibilities before you hop into the car.
Photo Courtesy of Easy Weekly Meals