Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thrifty Thursday-Grocery Shopping Tips

Thrifty Thursday
My friend Rachel at Busy Mommy is hosting a new meme that I plan to participate in. All you have to do is share a Thrifty Tip. I was planning about writing about this on my blog anyways so why not link up!:) Yesterday the Weight Watchers web page had a great article about shopping tips that you can do to keep your fridge full without emptying your wallet. I got a long way to go on saving money at the grocery (I have a family of 6), but I have started becoming more accountable for my grocery spending by blogging about what I spend. (You can see that post here.) Groceries are at an all time high and trying to eat healthier is sometimes hard . So here are the 10 tips they give and how they apply to me!

1. Plan ahead!

One of my favorite quotes is Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail. It really is true when trying to lose weight, save money at the grocery store or whatever. I have a desk drawer that I keep recipes in that I want to try. I have a folder that I keep the ones in that I want to try soon. Then I have a folder that I keep all of the recipes that I plan to make for the week and a list of the meals I am planning to make. Next, I make a grocery list after checking my pantry. So, that is how I plan ahead for meals.

2. Cook from recipes

As I said before, I take my recipes and make a shopping list from recipes. The recipes are my planning guides. I also know exactly what I need and I won't run out during the week and have to go back, which saves gas money too because we have to go to the next county for lots of things that we can't get here or are higher priced.

3. Shop While Your Kids are Busy

I refuse to take all four of my kids grocery shopping with me. I have been there and done that and it makes it a really hard day! I can't concentrate on buying the lowest cost item. I just want to get out of there as quick as I can! I also don't have time to pull out my points calculator and see which food is the better choice. I will either go by myself on Saturday while dh keeps the kids or dh and I go together and Granny watches the kids! Kids also usually want something and that can make the bill higher too.

4. Shop on a full stomach

The Weight Watchers article recommends shopping after lunch or dinner. If you are full you will not give into those last minute impulses and end up spending more money than you should.

5. Savings are under your nose

Most stores stock expensive brands at eye level; look on the highest and lowest shelves for lower-cost generics and in-store specials. Also, give yourself a moment to peruse the in-store flyer with its unadvertised specials. I like most generic brands and use many quit easily.

6. Use coupons judiciously

Be honest with yourself and cut only the coupons you need. Saving 50 cents on jelly isn't any good if you weren't going to buy jelly in the first place. And save those coupons for when they really count; for your store's double or triple coupon days. I love coupons and as a Weight Watcher's member, we are given several for Weight Watchers foods. i probably would have never tried them if I did not have a coupon. I LOVE coupons!

7. Buying in bulk doesn't mean automatic savings

Dry goods and some convenience products are good bets for bulk-buying: Paper products, cleaning products, flour, sugar, vinegars, peanut butter and grains. Never buy oils (which go rancid), spices (which lose flavor) or perishables in bulk. A 10-pound box of apricots won't have saved you anything when you throw half of it away. I like to stock up on things when I find good deals, but I know some things just won't last and so I am careful of that.

8. Produce: Fresh vs. Frozen

Some produce is great frozen while others are not. Here is a list of which things you should buy fresh or frozen. Some are pretty obvious!

Fresh: cucumbers, ears of corn, greens, lettuce, radishes,zucchini/summer squash, apples/pears, bananas, citrus, pineapple

Frozen: beans/peas, bell pepper strips, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chopped onions, corn kernels, winter squash puree, berries, peaches/apricots

9. Buy meat and fish once a month

I do like to buy meat when it is on sale. I try to buy most all of the meat I need in the beginning of the month. I need to search out sales more though!

10. Keep a cooler in your car

I live in a small town and I have to go to the next town. So this is an idea I really want to implement. The Weight Watcher's article says that your shelf life will be reduced by letting these items sit in your car. I have had trouble with ice cream so I started getting those brown bags that they have in the ice cream section and that seemed to help, but I love the cooler idea!

Well I hope you can use some of these tips to help you save money, but have great food that helps you stay on your personal eating plan.

4 comments:

Janice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

Great tips Lorie! Thanks for participating.

thewwchick said...

Awesome tips! My son is playing "hot cross buns" on his recorder & it's making me nuts. I can't concentrate on your blog when he's being musical. I'll come back later to catch up. I'm sure you can relate to this comment with 4 kids of your own! lol

thewwchick said...

Ooooo...I load my Kroger plus card with "virtual coupons". go to http://www.Kroger.com to find out more about it. They also have shortcuts.com you can participate in through the Kroger site. I saved $57 on my last $200 grocery trip to Kroger. I paid only $143. Not too shabby. I collect coupons like a crazy lady. :)