Whew! We have been busy around here. Between special assemblies, craft party days, school picnics, changing work schedules and other life stuff, I just haven’t had time to sit down at the computer. Well, that’s not strictly true. I could have skipped the housework in favor of spending time in front of the screen, but then I would have found myself in a big mess, quite literally. On the other hand, being this busy has given me a ton of ideas for future posts and a few more printables! I love it when inspiration hits.
Any-who, now that things are settled as much as they can be, (thank goodness the school schedules have calmed down) I’m eager to jump back in. Two weeks ago I told you that I had a new printable to share with you, and I’m going to get to that in just a few moments. I also mentioned I was going to share with you how I organize our grocery shopping to help us save what we can when we get to the till. So here goes!
I typically do the grocery shopping twice a month, with the odd weekly visit thrown in to replenish produce and dairy. The first thing I do is browse through the flyers for that week. Since we generally buy the same items over and over, this quick browse through gives me an idea on which store I’m shopping at that week. There are normally only three stores we shop at, Wal-Mart, Save-On, and the Real Canadian Super Store. I know their prices, I know their products and their locations make sense for me. A trip to either Save-On or the Super Store after hitting up Wal-Mart is not too far out of the way on my way home, so this works for us.
After a quick browse to see which store has the best sales for us, I sit down and plan out our meals using the flyer as my guide. I either circle or highlight items in the flyer. Meal planning this way helps me make sure I’m making the most of the sales. Then it’s time to make the list. Normally, I make one master list and highlight the items to be purchased at the flyer store. However, I’m trying to streamline things a bit. Here’s where the printables come in.
The first one I made is my Master Grocery List.
Here is where I write down all the things we normally purchase. For now, I’ve put in it a page protector. With my meal plan as my guide I go through the pantry, freezer and fridge, and use a dry erase marker to cross off everything we don’t need with an ‘x’ and if we’re not out of it, but we’re at the halfway point or less I mark it with a ‘/’ that way when I’m at the store, I can pick up more if it’s a good price, or wait until the next shopping trip. While we have a good sized pantry, the space does still have limits, so I have to be careful how much we buy. Then I underline the items we’ll be purchasing from the flyer store. I bring the flyer with me to compare as I shop, but usually, it works out that flyer has the better price.
I’m a paper and pen kind of girl. I like to write my lists down, and when I’m shopping, I find it so much easier, and quicker, to just check items off on paper, than to scroll through a list on my phone. Because of that, this printable is tucked into the same page protector as the Master List, just on the opposite side. I use a dry erase marker to write down the extras we need. I left space for notes; this way, if I’m thinking of trying a new recipe or am wanting to make a recipe that is more expensive than normal (like Travis’s Chicken Tortellini Pesto Cheese Bake…. yuuuummmmy!) I can make a note to see if anything is on sale in the store.
The last step before heading out to the store is to use the list and go through any coupons I may have. I check the expiration dates as I flip through them and recycle any expired ones. I only collect coupons for items that we normally buy, and the savings usually aren’t that much. I bring the ones I need with me and leave the rest at home.
You know something? It is so much more complicated when you write down how you do something. When I’m making up the shopping list, it certainly doesn’t feel like there are all these steps I’m taking. For me, the process just sorts of flows, and for us, it seems to be working well. The real trick when it comes to saving money, and really for anything else in life, is to find the way that works best for you. Whatever that may be.
So, do you have any tips for saving at the grocery store? Do you find yourself buying the same things each time you’re at the store or do you change it up?