This has by far been the greatest change I have made with my shopping! It is truly a time AND money saver!!! I encourage you to try.
I know it can sound a little overwhelming and maybe even crazy! But let me start by easing your mind a little bit....
- I don't go over budget, in fact I save money!
- I do shop more than once a month, but they are short little trips.
- We still eat healthy!
- I spend waaay less time at the store!
- It actually alleviates some of the coupon clipping! :)
Here's my process:
- I start with my Monthly Meal Planning.
- I write a list of all the meals planned. Every ingredient. Make sure to check the recipes.
- I cross off the items I already have... Make sure you actually see that item in your pantry. Somebody may have used it without your knowledge.
- Look over the sales ads... What store has the most items you need on sale? What store has other items at rock bottom price that you could stock up on? You can chose to shop at multiple stores. Normally I'll do the bulk of my trip at one store & maybe run in for a few items at an additional store for really cheap items I can't pass up.
- Do all your shopping in one day, even if you chose to shop at multiple stores! I know that this can sound like a lot, but let me explain why... If you wait, most likely you will lack something for a meal, which would throw off your meal plan, you may spontaneously decide to go out to eat, the sales may change before you make it, etc.
- While you shop, keep your eyes open for stock up priced items.
- Through out the week keep a handy list for items you need to run to the store for... For us this is milk, bread, produce and sometimes snacks depending on the sales when I shopped. Before I run out for this small trip I check the sales for any stock up items.
Easy enough right???
How do you save money and time with this? When shopping for everything at one time, you are lessening your overall time at the store throughout the month. We only have to run to grab perishable items for our meals or whatever we've run out of, like milk.
I'll admit, I thought this would cause me to spend more money, but I was wrong. Because I'm only buying the items that I need. It is proven that the less time you spend in the store, the less money you will spend!
A few tips... Make sure you don't buy too many perishable items that will be bad before used. Make sure to freeze meat that won't be used til later in the month.
*Do you think you could make this work for your family???