If you haven’t had the chance, check out the first post, Grocery Tips 101: 2 Weeks of Groceries for $20. So because it’s so popular, I thought I’d write a prequel to prepare you for shopping ahead of time.
Before Going to the Grocery Store…
1. Clean out your fridge
Do you have bits and pieces of different foods in your fridge? Containers of leftovers, 1 carrot, 1/4 onion, 2 TBS of jelly left in a jar or 1 squirt of ketchup? … Leftovers are good for 5-7 days (sometimes longer if they’re vegetarian). Throw away expired condiments and old leftovers. Chop up the small bits of veggies in a pot and make veggie stock to store for later or make soup for dinner. It’s that easy!
And while your fridge is empty CLEAN IT OUT. Give it a good elbow grease before the drips of juice and splashes of tomato sauce marry themselves to the wall. You’ll be able to find things later AND you’ll be able to find room to store your new groceries.
–OR– maybe you have plenty to eat in your fridge and don’t need to go grocery shopping? Eat those things. There’s a reason refrigerators were improved. Eating leftovers saves you a heck of a lot of money, time and meal planning! From goodhousekeeping.com
2. Take inventory.
There’s nothing like coming back from grocery shopping and realizing you already had two boxes of spaghetti noodles, 5 cans of tuna and 1 whole gallon of milk. Oops! To avoid this, make a collaborative list of all of ALL the foods and beverages you normally buy and keep that list on the fridge (make a Word Doc and print it out or Sharpie the words on a Dry Erase Board). Go through the list before you shop.
This doesn’t mean you always buy these things when you run out but it will help you so you don’t just grab things haphazardly off the shelves of Walmart. If you’re like me and aren’t creative, try this notepad. You can get it elsewhere than Amazon but I linked it anyway for your info (click no the picture below). :)
3. Prioritize what you actually need.
Rank your inventory in the order that you use them. At my house we use a lot of eggs, milk, cheese, pasta and beans. So I make sure I ALWAYS have these on hand. Crackers and other packaged foods can wait. By prioritizing, you’ll buy groceries you’ll actually eat! And you’ll save a lot of money because you won’t have “extras” that add up in your cart.
4. Prioritize what you need AGAIN.
Seriously. Do you really need chips to go with your sandwiches? And what do you think is a better choice? A $3 box of diabetes-packed Coca Cola or $3 worth of eggs that will fabulously nourish you all week for breakfast? I’m being frank here, but I’m also 100% serious. It’s about time we think about what we buy, not only for health reasons but also for our wallet!
5. Eat something!
There’s nothing like filling up your basket with every mouth-watering food and then spending more than you meant because you were starving when you left the house. Don’t let this happen to you!
For more, please read Grocery Tips 101: 2 weeks of Groceries for $20! Also version 2: 2 weeks of Groceries for $75!