How to Shop Smart – Groceries

by Berrak on January 4, 2012

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Grocery shopping: Some love it, some hate it and most have absolutely no idea how to do it. I, for one, love going to the grocery store when I’m hungry, which is possibly one of the worst things I could do while grocery shopping.

Here are a few tips to shop smart at the grocery store:

  • Follow the weekly specials: Every grocery store puts out weekly specials & they have those available online. Some stores run their weekly specials starting on Sunday, and other stores have a different weekly schedule.
  • Plan out a weekly menu: If you know what you’ll be cooking during the week, you’ll only need to buy the supplies necessary for that week. That way, you aren’t wasting food or running out in the middle of cooking in a rush to grab a missing ingredient.
  • Make a list: Along with the weekly menu, make a check list when you go grocery shopping. That way, you’re focused and aren’t wandering the aisles, being distracted by items you don’t need.
  • Have a budget:  Don’t go into the grocery store with unlimited funds. Have a weekly budget for groceries and stick to that.
  • Use your store savings card: Virtually every retail store out there has a rewards program for their loyal customers. So take advantage and shop the sale items to maximize your money’s worth during your grocery run.
  • Clip coupons: Clipping coupons is cool again and it’s not just for your mother. You may not be cut out for extreme couponing but why not save money when you can? You can print out coupons from various websites or go old-school.
  • Make a pantry check list: You know what’s worse than coming home from grocery shopping without the one thing you absolutely need? Realizing that you still have 3 boxes of that pasta you only make on special occasions, not including the one still in your grocery bag. Sound familiar? If you make a check list of the items in your pantry, then you can keep track of your personal inventory. Just because you aren’t a grocery store doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep track of the items in your pantry.
  • Try the store brand: You don’t have to buy brand name for every item on your list. Do your research and see which items you can buy store brand while getting your money’s worth. You’d be surprised at how much money you save.
  • Go high-tech: While you may not have time to sit down and write a grocery list every time you go shopping, you can keep an ongoing list. Using apps like Remember the Milk will make it easier for you to keep track of your list, and there’s no ‘forgetting the list at home’ since you can access it from your phone!

The common denominator is to stay organized. On average, we throw away 15-20% of our groceries. Let’s not forget that it’s actual money you’re throwing away, so shop smart!

Berrak, born in Turkey on April Fool’s Day, is a newly minted U.S. Citizen, and one of those rare DC natives. She lives (and works) in D.C. with her fiance, their hyper kitten and her Penguin Posse. She’s been sharing real, honest-to-blog stories with the world since ’03. She has a love (read: obsession) for all things social media, writing, and books. She’s been working since she was 16 (from retail to law firms to corporate), and has plenty of horror stories to share now that she’s doing the freelance thing.
 How to Shop Smart   Groceries
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