By Stephanie Dane
I’ll never forget when I finally moved out on my own in my early twenties. And I had to grocery shop for the first time. I felt like such an “adult.” (insert chuckle)
Pushing my cart through the aisles, tossing stuff in the basket. I didn’t actually know how to cook, but rather picked up the most convenient, ready to go meals that could be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner. (Full transparency: I did ALOT of shopping in the frozen food isle).
Fast forward 12 years, cleaner eating habits and feeding a whole family…. grocery shopping is just one more thing on my never-ending TO-DO list.
What am I going to cook this week?
When do I have time to go?
How much will the grocery bill be THIS week?
I can’t be the only one who feels this way (Please tell me I’m not!)
So, how can this weekly chore become less painful, less expensive, and less time-consuming?
Here are 5 tips for grocery shopping like a true #BossBabe.
Make a list, Check it Twice.
From the moment you get home from your weekly grocery haul, begin making next week’s list.
Keep it on the fridge or somewhere accessible for the rest of the family to add items.
Making a list all week will help eliminate missed items and multiple trips to the store. Because let's be honest… how many times have you walked into a store for one item and actually left with only that single item?!
Multiple trips often yield in extra, unplanned items… which equal extra money and extra time from your already busy schedule.
Eat before you go.
If online shopping isn’t an option where you live, or grocery shopping alone is equivalent to a mini-vacation (#MomLife)… get in your car and go enjoy that alone time, woman! Grab a coffee, push that cart through at your leisure, and knock every item off your life… but by all means, please don’t enter that store with a ravenous appetite. There’s no better guarantee of coming home with unwanted items than entering a store famished. Everything looks good and it’s harder to pass them up. If you’re heading to the store after work, after the gym or such… pack a hearty snack that will curb your appetite and any unwanted cravings that might take over when meandering through the isles. Consider snacks that can be stored in your car ensure you’re never caught empty-handed: Nuts, a protein/meal replacement bar, low sugar trail mix, jerky.
Shop smarter, not harder.
As everyone’s schedules get busier, as does the demand and popularity for online shopping. Amazon Prime/Amazon Grocery delivers straight to your door. Retailers such as Target & Walmart now offer a “drive up” service to pick up your order; perfect for the mom with small children. No need to even get out of your car! Can’t leave your house? Even grocery stores are hopping on the convenience train by offering same-day delivery services.
Who doesn’t like saving $$$.
50 cents here, $1 there may not seem like a lot at the moment; but over the course of the year, those savings can add up to hundreds of dollars. And you don’t have to clip coupons from your weekly paper to save some dough. Rebate apps like Ibotta offer immediate cash back rebates when uploading a receipt. Many grocery stores offer loyalty reward programs, digital coupons, and mobile app savings to help put more money back in your pocket. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time or energy. Everything is done on your phone, so you can leave your coupon book at home. And like I tell my husband: the more we save on necessities, the more we have to spend on luxuries! ;)
Start outside, work your way in.
Sticking to the perimeter to the store isn’t always realistic and that can eliminate the whole foods isles for some stores. However, your freshest items (meats, produce, etc) ARE found on the outskirts and will likely be the staples to many of the meals you cook. Start on the outskirts of the store, collecting all of the necessities. Then, work through those “inside” isle next. The farther into the middle you go the, more processed the items seem to get (ever notice how the chips, cookies, cereal are right in the middle?!) People say it’s expensive to eat healthy, but I’ll tell you what: Those items are placed in large bags and filled half-way, thereby only appearing to give you lots of bang for your buck. One of the best ways to save money and buy items according to your goals is to choose as few items as possible from these isles. I’m not saying stay out of these isles… just shop selectively ;)
My wish is that one, some, or all of these tips will offer you some sanity to the never-ending duty that is grocery shopping. And that the next time you leave the grocery store, you walk out feeling like the BOSS that you already are. Happy shopping!
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