Money may not buy happiness, but it sure does buy a lot of things we need, like food! These days everything seems to be getting pricier so I am re-evaluating how I spend our grocery money. To be very honest with you I am just not that into coupons. I’ll use some here and there, but I don’t avidly seek them out. In the past how I have saved money is by looking for what is on sale and shopping different stores to get the best prices for different items. I still intend to use these methods but I need to do a little more. Also I am pretty good at making a list and sticking with it, and we pretty much re buy the same basic things which enables me to be a speedy shopper. The less you are in the store, the less likely you will buy items that are wants, not needs. And even though I buy a lot of the same items I still do stop to check out different brand’s price per unit (as my mother taught me) because these few extra seconds can save a lot of money! One word of caution however, you may need to be a little more of a label reader when you do this…
Which brings me to my first point of improvement as a budget friendly, healthy-minded shopper: planning/preparedness. A handy website I came across awhile back mygrocerydeals.com is a free way to compare prices from the stores you shop. It is also a handy way to make a grocery list and coupon if you so desire. For example just today I made a list for Meijer and was able to see that muskmelon is on sale for $3/2 instead of $4/2 at Kroger. I added other items to my list and saw I should expect to pay close to $50 for my whole trip. One of the neatest features about this site is that for many items (though definitely not all) you can click info and see the nutrition facts and list of ingredients! So, this saves me valuable time at the store as one can imagine. Even though brand X may be only 5 cents per unit to brand Y’s 10 cents per unit; but brand Y is the one made with whole grains. For me the health benefits outweight the price is this choice. I would rather pay a little more up front with my groceries than pay with poor health and doctors bills later in life. This is my long-term view of living economically wise.
Being prepared and planning with what goes on my grocery list is a good thing, but there is a second area of improvement to help me stretch that dollar just a bit more. This is a tough one for me: meal planning. So many ways to go about this (monthly, weekly, freezer meals, etc.) and millions of blogs with ideas of what and how; but the truth remains that I just need to sit down and do it. I am great for making excuses for not planning meals too. I know it my heart that I would save myself more money and a lot more time in the long run if I discipline myself to be organized in the kitchen. I’ll let you all know how this goes and share as I learn.
If you have any suggestions for being economically wise as it pertains to groceries or other areas, please share!
Oh, and before I forget like I did yesterday my blessing of the day is having good friends to share life’s joys and struggles.