Pay Less than your Friends on Groceries for the Rest of Your Life (Starting this Week)

I woke up in my apartment to a stinky smell. For a couple minutes I tried to ignore it, put my pillow over my face (bad idea), rolled over, but the stink loitered all around me.

Stumbling into the dark, my “Spidey senses” concluded groggily the smell was in the kitchen. Sniffing around, I realized the stink was around my fruit basket. Peaking at them, I saw the warning signs and smell them too.

My bananas and melons had gone bad…again. Not only is this annoying but COSTLY.

Every week I’m dumping out old food or leftovers I “promised myself” I would eat. What my friends and I realized is we would waste $100’s a year in groceries and spend above that on eating out. Felt like a failure. Have you been there?

I couldn’t cut out my eating out, it’s one of my favorite treats to myself, but the grocery bills kept climbing.

So, I set out to cut down my grocery bill so I could spend guilt-free on eating out. Tracking my grocery bills for a couple months showed some striking patterns…

  1. Plan your Meals for the Week (ALL of them): Think about your daily routine. Usually, your breakfast and lunch are going to be similar i.e. you wake up and eat breakfast | you eat lunch at work. Dinner is where most people go astray. Plan through your week and think about your habits, if you usually eat out Friday and Saturday, DON’T buy food for 7 dinners during the week, just 5. Essentially, your groceries are “Buy as Needed” and not “I’ll just buy what looks good.”

2. Shop on Wednesdays: Studies have shown (and my personal studies) that Wednesdays are when store sales are at its peak. Funny, most people don’t know that and shop on the most expensive days: Saturday and Sunday. As an added tip, try shopping on Wednesday evening, many stores try and move more product before the next sales cycle. Also, bonus..enjoy the clear aisles, free of husting shoppers!

3. For food that doesn’t spoil fast, buy in bulk when a sale hits: If there’s a sale on gallons of milk, that doesn’t help you, it’ll go bad in a week or two; but, if you love Chunky soup (for example), when there’s a sale, invest upfront the cost for more than your weekly meal plan. Then, slowly use the soup for meals going forward. Think about what foods you eat regularly (nutri-grain bars, frozen meals, snacks) that have a long shelf-life. Invest in buying those in bulk when a sale runs and save money this month.

4. Don’t go to the Grocery Store hungry: When I was in college, it was the norm to stroll over to the gas station or the Kroger and start going to town on the processed food. Those devilish Little Debbies! Don’t do this! Fill your stomach with some tasty treats beforehand, then you’ll be able to shop with a clear head and full stomach.

5. Look up and Down each shelf (not just in the middle): Name brands are notorious for sitting right in the most convenient spot for us….in the middle, right where our eyes are. These name brands prove the most profitable for grocery stores, and, as humans, we naturally tend to just look straight ahead and not do the extra work of scanning up and down. You’ll tend to see off-brands, but very similar to your name brand counterparts.

After implementing these steps, I realized I was cutting $15–30 off my grocery bill each time which adds up quick. This saved money can then be used to enjoy myself out to eat or to buy a round of drinks without going overboard.

That’s the beauty of just stepping back for a second, re-evaluating HOW you do something, and make some quick changes.

You could start this week saving this money. Show your friends. As groceries get more expensive, now you know how to combat it.

Feels great doesn’t it?


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