Quick Tips to Curb Grocery Spending


[00:00:00] So we’re going to look at some quick tips to curb grocery spending. So the first one is to go grocery shopping when you aren’t hungry. One of the best times to go grocery shopping for us is after breakfast. There’s a lot less people at the grocery store, and if you have kids, your kids are normally more content.

[00:00:19] It’s a lot of times doesn’t interfere with nap time. And so going grocery shopping is just a lot easier at like nine o’clock time frame. And so that’s what we typically do. But if we are grocery shopping closer to a meal time, especially with kids. I really like to have some snacks that I bring to the grocery store or on the drive to the grocery store so my kids don’t want to eat every single thing that they walked past at the grocery store.

[00:00:48] And the thing is, is when you’re hungry, when you’re going grocery shopping, you’re typically going to buy a lot more food. You’re also going. To, um, to get a lot of [00:01:00] unhealthy things. Cause I know for me when I’m hungry and I go grocery shopping, I come back home and I realize why did I buy this? And a lot of it was because I was just hungry and I was not making the best decisions.

[00:01:10] So try to make sure that you are not hungry when you go to the grocery store. Next, it’s really important to have a grocery list. And I know some stores like I like to go to grocery outlet. And you really can’t have a list for a store like that because you never know what’s going to be on sale. The items change every single time, but if you have a baseline of like, Oh, I need to pick up yogurt, I need bread, I need jelly, you know, whatever it is, that will really help you to save money and know where you’re going.

[00:01:45] Because when we don’t have a list. I typically, and I think this happens for most people, is that we forget items and then you have to go and run to the store because you need to go and get peanut butter or whatever that item was, and that takes [00:02:00] more time. And then you walk into the store and you realize, Oh, that looks really good.

[00:02:04] I’ll go and get those Teddy Grahams and whatever else. We won. And so it just starts accumulating and costing us more money and more time. So stick to a grocery list. And if you, um, one way to help with a grocery list is to try to list things out at home while you’re looking at the items you actually have.

[00:02:26] Because you might realize by going through your pantry that you have plenty of noodles and you don’t need to go and get that even though you think you might need an extra, you know. Think of lasagna noodles or whatever it is. And so look at. The items you have at home and create that list at home, not while you’re going to the grocery store or while you’re at the grocery store.

[00:02:48] You can also make sure that you’re putting like all the produce together on your list and doing it by categories or how you actually walk through that grocery store so that way [00:03:00] you don’t miss anything and it can make it a little bit easier for you when you go through the grocery store. So you don’t have to just run around in circles.

[00:03:09] Another way to start curbing overspending on groceries is to know what a good price is on your go-to food items. This is so important, and that’s why later on in this course, you’re going to see me go through all kinds of grocery items from a to Z. What I will spend on produce, on dairy items on. On grains on all of this stuff because it’s so important to know how much you’re going to spend on.

[00:03:39] The grocery items you that are staples for you. If you love a certain type of hot sauce, you need to know where to buy it and how much you’re going to spend on it. And by knowing that price, that means that when it is cheaper, you stock up a little bit more. And when it’s higher, you skip it. And so it’s really,

[00:04:00] really important to know how much you’re spending on these items because every little item adds up.

[00:04:05] So just buying everything you feel like you need might not be the best plan, especially financially, because you will be overspending in so much of the things that you, that you need to buy. All right? Another way to do this is to shop in season, produce. There’s a lot of reasons to shop in season produce for one, you’re going to have better quality food.

[00:04:30] You’ve probably have had strawberries that are out of season and they feel like, like they don’t taste like anything. You know, a watermelon that you, that’s in the store in December. It’s like, this sounds really sketchy. Like I don’t want to get that. So you want to buy food that is in season, you’re going to have a much better product.

[00:04:50] It’s going to be a lot cheaper. Because they’re going to have an abundance of it, and you’ll typically buy in season produce for a better deal at [00:05:00] farmer’s markets, at fruit stands, things like that, where they’re going to have, you know, great deals on produce. Like you can get a flat of strawberries for seven bucks, something like that.

[00:05:13] When you’re at the grocery store, it’s really important to look at the pricing. They make it a lot easier if you just go. Not just to look at like the price of, you know, the particular item. They’ll actually give you a unit price and so you’ll find out how much it costs per ounce. One caveat to that, some stores like Costco make it really confusing because they do it per ounce and for like, you know, you can get 12 cans of green beans in a package together, and when you look at it per ounce, you’re like, Oh, that seems like a good deal.

[00:05:49] But when you go to the grocery store, you don’t think of like, this is how much I spend per ounce on green beans. And so like looking at it from can to can makes it a lot [00:06:00] easier. So the big box stores make it a little bit more challenging. But I really like looking at the price per ounce on like if I’m buying balsamic vinegar.

[00:06:12] At WinCo, I’ll go and look at the price per ounce, and by checking the price per ounce, I’m actually getting a better read on what is the best deal. Because some packaging makes it look like, Oh, this is a bigger bottle when really it’s not and it’s not as good of a deal. So look at that price per ounce that will really help you to save without having to clip coupons.

[00:06:38] All right? Another thing to note is to shop at the right stores, and I’m going to go through that in depth later on, so make sure you look at that lesson, but it’s so important to know where to buy your items that you like, your grocery items that you use most frequently, and I really recommend not shopping at just one grocery [00:07:00] store.

[00:07:00] Even if it’s a cheaper grocery store, you’re not going to be taking advantage of the good deals that you would if you shopped. At at least two grocery stores. The next idea is to say no to overpriced items. And if you, the important thing is to actually know when something is overpriced, because if you look at an ad at a grocery store ad, you’d think like, Oh, this should be stuff that’s on sale when it actually isn’t.

[00:07:30] And so a lot of it is on sale, but not. All of it. And so knowing your prices of how much you’re going to spend on a particular item will help you so much. And I have a lesson and worksheets on that later on in this course that will walk you through how much you should be spending on each item and how you can go to the different grocery stores that you frequent and see how much it costs to buy.

[00:07:56] Let’s say like the balsamic vinegar like I talked about earlier at. [00:08:00] Albertsons versus going to Fred Meyer versus going to WinCo, and you don’t have to always go through like all those steps, but if you know which place is the best to buy it, then from then on you can just stick with that. All right?

[00:08:15] Another way to save money on your groceries is to stock up on items that you know you’re going to use that are a great deal. So I am a big fan of stocking up on things that I know my family is going to love and use because for one that makes me not have to go and buy it as frequently. And so I don’t have to worry about this.

[00:08:37] I love doing this with meat because I have a chest freezer and I’ll buy like ground beef when it’s a dollar 99 a pound and I will buy. Quite a bit of it. Probably like 12 pounds or more, and I’ll make my own hamburger patties and freeze them and then I’ll, I’ll freeze the rest of it and then I don’t have [00:09:00] to worry about going in and buying ground beef because I know I have it in the freezer.

[00:09:04] It’s an easy meal. So do that for all kinds of different things. Something recently that I got at grocery outlet was, um, it was Allman’s and, um, dried apples together. It was a blue diamond brand and it was 99 cents for a bag, which I could not spend that or like WinCo or any cheaper place. Like it was just a really great deal.

[00:09:32] So I bought it. Probably 15 bags of this nut and fruit mix because for one, it’s healthy too. My family loves it and it’s an easy snack to keep in the car, and I don’t feel bad if you know the kids eat a bag, like if we just eat a bag as a family. In one sitting. And so having some items that I just stock up on really helps to save money [00:10:00] and it just helps you so you have some food lying at your house.

[00:10:04] All right? Another way to save is to, um, to substitute ingredients that you don’t have, so you don’t have to go to the store for one item. There’s so many things that you could look up online, like. A recipe that calls for butter milk. You can make your own butter mouth by just using milk and pouring in a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice, and voila, you have buttermilk that you don’t have to buy a full container of, and you can just have that at home.

[00:10:33] So if you have something that you feel like, Oh, I have to have this for a recipe. I typically never follow a recipe to a T, and I know that like frustrates my husband, but a lot of the items is like, well, I don’t have this. I’m just going to substitute something else, and it’s totally okay. So don’t feel like you have to follow every single recipe to a T baking.

[00:10:55] It’s not as flexible as other recipes, but you can use all [00:11:00] kinds of different things. Like instead of having sour cream, we use just plain Greek yogurt. And you can use that and that really can save money because you already have it at your house. So look at different things that you have so you don’t have to actually go to the grocery store to buy one thing.

[00:11:18] It’s also important to shop the perimeter of the grocery store for healthier options. You’re going to, if you go to the perimeter of the grocery store, so that means don’t walk through the middle Isles. That’s where you’re going to find food that can last. You know, years, like your dried goods, like rice and beans and canned items and box cereal, and it’s pretty much all the processed stuff.

[00:11:43] And so if you want to eat healthier, it’s really important to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. So you’re going to go by the produce section, the, the meat, the deli, um, the seafood section, the, um, like dairy, cheese, eggs. All of [00:12:00] that stuff, the milk. And so if you try to focus on just hitting the perimeter and eating off of those sections, you’re going to have a healthier diet overall.

[00:12:11] So that’s one way to help with curbing spending, because when you go down all those middle aisles, you can get tempted to buy things that are not as healthy for you. That might not be on your list. All right? Another great one is to cherry pick at expensive grocery stores. So if you don’t know what a cherry picker is, what it really means is when you go to a grocery store and you just pick.

[00:12:35] The great deal and you don’t get anything else. So when you look at an ad for let’s say Fred Meyer, and they have grapes on sale for 99 cents a pound, instead of going to the store and buying everything you need there because they have grapes on sale, you would just go there and buy the grapes and buy [00:13:00] whatever other things that are on an amazing sale and leave.

[00:13:05] This will help you to take advantage of the good deals at grocery stores. And you want to do that at the higher end grocery stores because the lower end grocery stores like Walmart, their prices don’t fluctuate much, but at higher-end grocery stores, they do. So if you are a cherry picker, you’re going to be able to save a lot more and take advantage of the great deals that more expensive grocery stores have.

[00:13:31] Another way to save money on your groceries is to make food from scratch. This is clearly way helpful, and I’m like, you can buy chopped tomatoes and they’re going to cost a lot more than just buying a tomato and shopping at yourself. And so you’re spending more when you have that kind of thing happen.

[00:13:52] But also if you just buy. The ingredients to make a soup for yourself instead of buying canned soup, it’s going to [00:14:00] be a lot cheaper. It’s gonna be a lot healthier for you. Plus, you know what’s actually inside of the inside of the soup or whatever you’re going to make. And if you have food allergies, like my husband has a lot of food allergies and we have had to make almost everything from scratch.

[00:14:17] Like I make salad dressing from scratch and sauces from scratch and like all of the things, because I’m not able to just use a regular, you know, jar of, of ketchup or whatever it in I want to use. And so that has helped us save money, but it also helps us know what’s in the product. And I really, I like knowing that it doesn’t have anything bad in it for me.

[00:14:44] Okay. Another way to save money on groceries is to ask yourself if you really need this before you put it into your cart. And this really helps you to check inside yourself of like, am I just getting this [00:15:00] because I’m hungry? Am I emotional right now? And I just want something to help me feel better? Like we all have rough days, and I know for me, I turned to, you know, chocolate or getting eating a bowl of ice cream.

[00:15:15] But when we do that at a grocery store. And we ended up buying stuff that really is not good for us. And so think about like, why are you wanting those things? Is it really good for you? Are you doing it just because it’s a great deal? And I’ve had to stop myself like I’ve been, I was at grocery outlet, um, recently, and they had.

[00:15:34] A sale on um, Gogurts and it was like cotton candy flavor Gogurts and it was a full pack for 50 cents. I think there was like 12 of them in there. I’m like, that’s a great deal. But then I like, I started thinking it through to myself like, why am I wanting to get this? Like one, I don’t want my kids to be eating cotton candy-flavored yogurt.

[00:15:56] Clearly that’s not good for them. And I was really just [00:16:00] liking that it was a great deal. And just because it’s a great deal doesn’t mean you should buy it. So realize like, is this something you want your family to consume? Even if it’s a great deal, it might not be a great option for you to buy. All right?

[00:16:17] Another tip is to know what you have in your pantry, in your fridge and your freezer before you go shopping, so you’re not buying duplicates and realizing, Oh, I already have cilantro in my fridge and now I have way more cilantro that I could ever use. And it’s just going to go bad. So if you know what you have, this really helps you so you don’t buy too much, especially when it comes to produce, because this is one of the biggest areas where people end up throwing away the majority of their, their food waste.

[00:16:52] All right? The last one is to be open to buying generic. So I know some people are really focused on wanting [00:17:00] to. To just buy, like there’s only a certain brand or a certain type of, um, of food that they want to get. Like I will only use Prego, um, uh, pasta sauce or if you have something like that. But if you’re willing to go to generic brands, you’ll typically find a lot more savings.

[00:17:22] And so be okay with trying the generic. And a lot of times. It’s just as good. One thing I’ve noticed by really looking at the ingredients list is that by buying generic, you typically have less ingredients in it, which I really like because then you, you have less, um, less, less fillers in it. And I’m like.

[00:17:46] Looking at soy sauce. This is one that has really helped us because we, we’re, my husband is gluten-free, and so looking at soy sauce, if you look at all of the regular soy [00:18:00] sauces that you can buy at the grocery store, most of them contain wheat and you don’t even think that like soy sauce should have wee in it.

[00:18:07] You can buy the gluten-free versionĀ of the soy sauce, which is going to cost you a lot more, or look at the generic. Um, soy sauces and most of them have no wheat in it. And you’re, it’s gluten-free, but it’s not labeled that way. And so take a look at the generic, especially if you have food allergies. We have found that we have a lot easier time buying generic than buying the name brand because the name brand has a lot more spices that has a lot more fillers than generic.

[00:18:39] So check that out as well. All right, so stay tuned for our next lesson and we’re going to talk more about food waste.

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