i watch a lot of Youtube. like a lot a lot. i start with a video by a user that i actually subscribe to and fall down the Youtube blackhole; i look up and there goes three hours of my life down the drain.
this normally happens while i’m lying in bed and should be asleep because adulting is hard.
anyway, i love to watch grocery shopping videos. i think it’s because i’m super nosy and like to know what’s in people’s fridges and pantries. or maybe it’s because i’m always hungry.
either way, i’ve learned a few tips and tricks to make grocery shopping easier and less expensive.
- meal plan. first, decide how many meals you want to plan out. start with a realistic length of time, like a week. look through cookbooks, hit up Pinterest for new recipes or use family favorites to create a meal plan. i try to stick to 1-2 new recipes per week, one Crockpot meal and fill in with easy-to-make, tried-and-true options like pasta or taco bowls. i don’t like to stress over new and sometimes complicated recipes every night, and sometimes, i just don’t feel like cooking something super elaborate. check out my board of definite make-again dishes here.
- make a grocery list. take your meal plan and write down all of the ingredients you’re going to need for those meals. add in must-haves for breakfasts, lunches and snacks (if you’re into those — God knows we are), and you should be good to go.
- shop the ads. check out the deals at the store(s) you visit often. flyers are available online for stores like Walmart, Costco, Sam’s and chain grocery stores.
- shop at multiple stores. this might seem like a waste of time — it might not be worth it to you to save a few dollars by visiting more than one store if you have to drive across town in order to do so. i started out by just going to one grocery store, then branched out to 2-3, depending on what i need. there are some things i can’t get at Aldi, and there are some things i love at Trader Joe’s; there are things i can only get at Costco, like enough dog food for a month at a reasonable price.
- utilize grocery pick-up or delivery services. i’ve only used a grocery pick-up service when we lived in Ohio, but tons of people swear by them. if you’re a busy wife/people mom/dog mom/single woman who doesn’t have time to run into the store, utilize these services! that’s why they’re there! i would totally use them, but i like to go into the grocery store and look around. grocery pick-up and delivery services help you save money too because you won’t get distracted by the Cheez-Its in aisle 5.
- download store apps. pretty much every grocery store i’ve ever shopped at has a free app. you can “clip” coupons and download them to your in-store rewards card. heck, some of them, like Target, are your in-store rewards card.
- download coupon apps. apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Fetch are some of my favorite coupon apps of the moment. Ibotta and Checkout 51 allow you to add offers to your account, scan your receipt and earn cash back that you can redeem for giftcards or cash. for Fetch, you simply upload your receipt from ANY store and earn points that you can later cash out for giftcards. use my referral codes to start saving today: Ibotta (waqbrgx) and Fetch (WY7TX)
- once you have a good system down, up your grocery shopping game. for me, that meant going from once a week shopping to once every two weeks; now, i’m trying to go once a month. i make a month-long meal plan and create a grocery list for the entire month, focusing on shopping in bulk at Costco or Sam’s when i can. our monthly grocery budget is $200 for two people for the major shopping at the beginning of the month, with $25 allotted for each week for fresh fruits and veggies that i will have to go back to the store for. this budget includes household items like TP, paper towels and dish soap, plus dog and cat food. we’re saving about $100 from the way i used to shop, and i feel like we’re eating better too.
let me know if you want to know more!
until next time,