Stick to your Shopping List!

Estimated Monthly Savings: $80

Many monthly expenses are fixed, leaving little room for extra savings … until you get to your grocery budget. Luckily, there are many tricks to help you save money at the grocery store, making room in your budget for something more exciting than tater tots and granola bars.

The very best way to start saving at the store is to make a list. Scratch that.  The very best way to start saving is to make your grocery list and then stick to it. There are so many choices at the grocery store, so many “deals”, so many temptations. If you have a list, you will help cut out the biggest budget buster: impulse buys. That’s not to say you can never buy donuts, or gourmet cheese, or ice cream. When you see something you want at the store that is not on your list, simply add it to next week’s list. This also works for non-essential items you forgot to add to your current list. You can add a question mark (?) next to an item if you aren’t sure if you have a backup in the pantry at home. Then, sometime before your next trip, review your list at home to see which items should be confirmed for the list (almost out of coffee!) and which can be removed (why do I have 7 cans of peas?).

You can also prioritize your list with essential items such as milk, bread, and protein at the top of the list, and non-essential items at the bottom. If you reach your budget before you reach the end of your list, at least your cart will be full of smart choices for your health and your budget.

The more you shop with a list, the more you can tailor your shopping experience to maximize savings and minimize your grocery bill.  Give it a try and see how much you can save!