7 ways to save time and money at the grocery store

Some people love the grocery store. Some people would rather be anywhere else. And if you're the latter, check out these 7 tips to help you save time and money at the grocery store.

1. Meal plan for the month.

Make a list of meals you’ll need for the entire month. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It sounds unrealistic to plan out what you’re going have for dinner for a month. But! This forces you to make a grocery list that will supply all you need in one month. It also cements that you’re only going to the store once a month.

2. Plan and make meals that you’ll want to eat.

Meals don’t need to be fancy if everyone ends up fed!

Make variations of meals based on your families likes and dislikes. Get any kids or family members involved, too. Have them pick out a meal that they would like to either eat or help make. If you ever feel like you’re in a rut and eating the same meals, plan one new meal a month, more if you are feeling more ambitious.

3. Make a list (and stick to it).

Easier said than done – but it works!

Write down every ingredient needed for your meals for the month. Don’t forget to include breakfasts, lunches, snacks, etc.

Once your list is made – check your cupboards and freezer for ingredients you may already have. Find the difference and add it to your list! For example, if you need 8 cups of mozzarella cheese and you have 2 cups at home already, you will need 6 cups. You can get in and out of the grocery store in no time and you won’t be overbuying items.

4. Look at the calendar to plan your ideas.

We live busy, busy lives! – look at what you have going on for the month before making your meal plan list. This helps maximize what exactly you are needing to buy and reduces that chance for you to buy too much. Plan quick and easy meals for nights when you have baseball practice and dance lesson. This also stops you from stopping for fast food!

5. Go once a month.

How many times do we go to the grocery store for a few things and end up with a $100 bill? Way too often! Sounds daunting, but it is doable. At first, you’ll feel like you’re spending a lot of money, but the truth is you’re getting things for an entire month.

You should freeze things to ensure longevity for the things you/your family might use a lot of (i.e. bread, butter, chicken, ground beef).

And we realize you can’t buy a months worth of perishable items. If you prefer only fresh ingredients rather than frozen, you may need to run to the grocery store for perishable things (i.e. bananas, lettuce, etc.). Just factor this into your budget.

6. Go shopping first thing in the morning.

How many times have you gone grocery shopping hungry and ended up with Gushers, Twinkies and Ice Cream in your cart? Been there, done that!

Avoid shopping hungry and go right away in the morning. More than likely the grocery store has restocked for the day, too. You’ll feel accomplished and then you have all day to do everything else.

7. Keep it simple and have fun!

Don’t overthink it. Make adaptations to fit your lifestyle so grocery shopping and meal planning are less stressful.