Someone asked how we keep our grocery bill low despite having a family of six. It’s actually pretty simple! Here are the ways we keep our spending down in this area:
Have a Plan
Make a meal plan for the week. Decide what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Make sure 2-3 of those dinners are super easy for the nights you are ‘too tired to cook’. Throwing pasta in some water and warming a jar of pasta sauce is easier than a trip to McDonalds. You’ll save a fortune on dining out if you plan well. We have a template on a Word doc and at the bottom we keep a list of family favorite meals so if we’re stuck on what to plan for the week, we’ll just grab some of the options from the bottom of the sheet. Seriously, it sounds exhausting but it usually takes about 20 minutes. When done, we print it and place it on the fridge so that no matter who is home, they know what the options are for meals.
Make a List
We make a list of all the items we’ll need based on the meal plan. We use Cozi (a super awesome family scheduling app) to create the list and we leave on items we purchase every week like milk, eggs, fruits, veggies, etc. That way, we won’t forget a staple item. Since Cozi is an app shared by our entire family, it’s accessible to everyone online or on a smart phone. We used to use old fashioned paper lists but we always seemed to forget it or the wrong person had it. Using an app make our life so much easier!
We were online grocery shoppers before online shopping became cool during the pandemic. The grocery items we purchase from Vons online are more expensive than the ones we buy in the store (even if they say they aren’t). We buy large two packs of salad for $6 online when the bright orange sticker on the front clearly says $5. Why would we knowingly spend more online? Here’s the scoop, you aren’t tempted by impulse buys when you buy online. Grocers aren’t monsters but they are fantastic at tempting you with things you don’t need. You probably don’t even realize it! Online, I use the search bar at the top and refuse to look at anything else on the page. Search, click the item, search, click the item, and repeat until done. We consistently spend 20-30% less each week online.
Stick to Your List
There are times we can’t do online shopping especially when we are on the road. There have been millions spent on the psychology of your shopping habits. You aren’t likely to win. In those times, we only allow ourselves 3 things that aren’t on the list. If you set a limit on impulse buys, you’ll realize how many you were going to throw in your cart.
Hopefully this helps! Happy shopping!