Have you ever gone shopping and then at home you realized that you forgot something. This happens ever day by thousands of people so you are not alone. Did you forget to take your coupons or didn’t give them to the cashier at checkout?
It’s now time to focus your organizational skills on your grocery shopping and keep the money in your pocket. Here are ideas to support you on this road.
Planning your food shopping trips
-Start by collecting the flyers from the supermarkets you normally shop at. By checking your flyers first you see what is on sale and then you can create your weekly meals to include the sale items. For example, if chicken is on sale, chicken will be on the menu this week. If you love salmon and it’s on sale…then treat yourself without breaking the bank.
-Coupons – start collecting them from newspapers or even download them from the internet and add more savings to your grocery budget.
-Create a system to keep your coupons organized. Purchase a coupon organizer to house all those great deals. Though only keep coupons for those products that you actually use. Sometimes even with a brand name product coupon it’s still cheaper to purchase the store brand. If you are going to buy the brand name anyway, then definitely take the savings.
-On the day you are organizing your shopping list, check the expiration date of your coupons. In my coupon organizer, I have a section that says, “expiring soon.” Depending on how often you shop, this can be within a week, two weeks or a month. You go there first to stock up on your favorite foods or household products…don’t want to lose those savings.
Get into the habit of planning your meals out each week. Choose a day of the week to do your shopping and stick to it. The day before is when you organize your menus.
-Once you’ve completed your menu, you can create your shopping list.
-It’s also important to take a current inventory of your pantry and add any staples that are running low.
-Keep a shopping list posted to your bulletin board or refrigerator where each family member can let you know what food or product is out or almost empty.
-Create a shopping list that is similar to the layout of your store. If there are several stores that you go to, then you will need to organize your list by store.
-The internet has free shopping lists, though I find creating on the computer your own customized list works fine. Create three columns: one for the product, one for whether it’s on sale and the last column to indicate if you have a coupon.
-Attached your coupons and any ads to your shopping list….in case there are discrepancies in the store.
-Bring a calculator to keep track of your bill…don’t want to be surprised at the register.
Hint: Stores are set up that your milk and bread are in the back…so you have to pass many other products before getting there. How many times have you gone in for just milk and impulsively bought something else and you paid the full price. Weekly planning will keep you focused on the sales and savings.
You are now organized: flyers, coupons, menus and shopping list. If you are just starting the “organized” path of food shopping, it will seem like a lot of work. After a few weeks, you will become more efficient and the process will not take as long.
If you really want to motivate yourself, keep a log of the amount you saved each week. If your budget allows, treat yourself to something special with your savings.
Have fun shopping!
Copyright (c) 2007 Pat Brill