Someone asked how we keep our grocery bills low even though we have a family of six. It’s actually pretty easy! Here are the ways we can keep our spending down in this area:
To have a plan
Make a meal plan for the week. Decide what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Make sure 2-3 of these dinners are super easy for those nights when you are “too tired to cook”. Throwing pasta in some water and warming up a glass of pasta sauce is easier than a trip to McDonalds. You can save a fortune eating out if you plan well. We have a template in a Word document and below is a list of the family’s favorite dishes. So if we’re not sure what to plan for the week, let’s just access some of the options at the bottom of the sheet. Seriously, it sounds exhausting, but it usually takes about 20 minutes. When you’re done, we’ll print it out and put it on the fridge so they know what meal options are available no matter who’s at home.
Make a list
We make a list of all the items we need based on the meal plan. We use Cozi (a super great family planning app) to make the list, leaving items we buy every week like milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, etc. That way we don’t forget about staples. Since Cozi is an app shared by our entire family, it is accessible to everyone online or through a smartphone. We used to use old-fashioned paper lists, but we always seemed to forget or the wrong person had it. Using an app makes our lives so much easier!
We were online grocery shoppers before online shopping got cool during the pandemic. The groceries we buy online at Vons are more expensive than the ones we buy in-store (even if they say it isn’t). We buy large two packs of lettuce online for $ 6 when the bright orange sticker on the front clearly says $ 5. Why should we knowingly spend more online? Here’s the rundown: You won’t be tempted by impulse purchases when buying online. Grocers aren’t monsters, but they are fantastic at tempting you with things you don’t need. You probably don’t even notice! Online, I use the search bar above and refuse to look at anything else on the page. Find, click the item, locate, click the item, and then repeat until you are done. We regularly spend 20 to 30% less per week online.
Stick to your list
There are times when we cannot shop online, especially when we are on the go. Millions have been spent on the psychology of your shopping habits. You probably won’t win. During these times we only allow ourselves 3 things that are not on the list. Setting a limit on impulse purchases is a great way to see how many you would toss in your cart.
Hopefully this helps! Have fun shopping!