Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite errands, but a necessary one if I want to feed my family. Visiting the grocery store two or three times a week, is not a good use of my already limited time. God wants us to use our time wisely. I would much rather spend that time for bible study and prayer than comparing prices of Ego Waffles! If you visit the grocery store more than once a week there is a good chance that you are also spending money impulsively. Here is my plan of action to cut down on those trips to the store. This plan has saved me time and money, and what mom doesn’t need that?
Grocery Shopping Plan
1. Take Inventory of your pantry, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerator.
Taking inventory of your kitchen allows you to assess what you have and what you don’t have. How often do you find yourself buying a carton of milk when there is one already hidden in the back of the refrigerator? How much produce do you throw away because you forgot about it? This is like throwing money out the window and no one can afford to do that.
2. Create the Grocery List
This may seem obvious. However, I found myself going to the grocery store so often because I did not take the time to make a list. While you are taking inventory grab a pen and paper and create your list. Tailor it to fit your personal shopping needs.
Some list arranging ideas are:
- Arrange by store aisle, which eliminates roaming around the store.
- Arrange by food category, for example produce, meats, canned goods, beverages, etc.
- Add the quantities, for example three cans of black beans, one carton of milk.
Every mom wants to save money. One of the easiest ways to save money is by buying what you need and what your family is actually eating. Don’t buy something just because it is on sale. Set aside a grocery budget for the week or the month. If you are using cash, label an envelope for grocery shopping and only use the money that is in the envelope. Take note of how much you are spending. Do you need to add more to the budget? If you have money left add it to next week’s budget.
4. Clip those Coupons
Everyone knows that coupons are the biggest money saver. Look for coupons as inserts in newspapers, magazines, online, and in circulars. Avoid letting coupons expire by organizing them. Write each month on an envelope and organize your coupons by expiration dates. Remember coupons equal free money!
With your plan of action complete, choose a shopping day. I shop on a week day to avoid the big crowds. Once you are shopping remember to stick to the list, don’t impulse buy, use your coupons, and respect our environment by using reusable bags. If you are bringing the kids, this is a great time to educate them about nutritional food choices. Grocery shopping may still not be your favorite errand but it can be made easier by having a plan. Now that you have some extra time spend it with God or your family.
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved