Staying on budget at the grocery store is a difficult “adulting” challenge for all. Many of us have heard not to go grocery shopping while hungry, but that can’t be the only way to keep from over spending at the supermarket. Stick to your grocery budget with these five tips:
1. Plan out your meals.
The first step to staying on budget at the grocery store is to plan out each meal for the week. Plan out everything for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. If you are planning to eat out for a meal, then put that on the meal plan for the budget too.
2. Make your grocery list off based off your meal plan.
Base your grocery list only on the meals that you are planning to eat at home that week. Include everything you would need to make each meal on your grocery list. After you have completed the list, look around your kitchen for items that you already have. Cross off all these items from the list. This process will ensure that you don’t forget anything at the store and it will keep you from buying items you don’t need. Keep a running list on the refrigerator of things you need such as toilet paper, paper towels, or cleaning products. Add any other items to the list as they are needed.
3. Look for coupons from apps, stores, or manufacturer websites.
Lots of people talk about using coupons to save money, but coupon clipping can be time consuming and they’re often for items that you don’t use or need. Stick to using coupons only for the items on your list. Try not to buy things you don’t need just because you have a coupon.
4. Plan your trip.
Plan out your trip to the grocery store. Use the weekly ad for the grocery stores to see where you can find the best prices on meat and produce. Decide before you leave home if you are going to one or more stores and which items you will buy at each location.
5. Avoid unnecessary items not on your list.
Finally, stick to your plan. Try not to deviate from the list you have created. This will ensure that you stick to the budget. Stores try to distract you with sales on items that you don’t need with 10 for $1 or 2 for $5 sales. Buying in bulk can help you save money if you need it, but buying more than you really need can quickly put you over budget!