5 Common Sense Tips Moms Need to Know For Saving Time and Money at the Grocery Store
Guest blog by Alicia Werle
So many of us are limited on the amount of time that we have each day to get things done. Moms especially are asked to wear so many hats and represent so many roles in our families.
From being a full-time career woman to being the housekeeper as well as the taxi cab driver, errand runner and of course we still have to be the head chef of our home and cook most of the meals. With all of those things going on at once we have to figure out how to master the art of saving money and doing it in as little time as possible.
Here are 5 simple steps to help us busy moms get in and out of the grocery store as quickly as possible and heroically saving money while doing it.
Tip #1: Always walk into the grocery store (or any store) prepared with a list:
You might be surprised to know that over 80 percent of us are not prepared when walking into the grocery store and do not have a list made out of items that we are planning to buy. The truth of the matter is that most of us go in with 4 or 5 items in mind that we intend to pick up for dinner that night and then end up walking out with over 15-20 items or more in our cart.
Skimming the aisles is a bad idea for many reasons including staying within a budget as well as the amount of time it wastes. If you make out a detailed list of the items that you are shopping for and only go in for specifically those items, it will make your grocery store trip a much more efficient one.
Tip #2: Never go into the Grocery Store with an Appetite
So this is the one that I am guilty of myself from time to time as I am sure that most of us are. When you go to the grocery store hungry we tend to lose sight of why we are there and focus on all of the food that looks so good to eat at that very moment. That is where these stores get us. When we shop hungry we tend to purchase twice as much and this simple mistake can take our budget completely out of control.
Always carry a snack in your purse to make sure that when you are headed into the store you having something in your stomach so that we can get in and out quickly while saving time and money.
Tip #3: Shop from your own Stockpile First
A very simple and quick change that we can make is to shop from our own supply of food that we already have. By taking a few minutes to look through your pantry and fridge for items that we already have in stock it can save you hundreds of dollars each month and more importantly give you more time to do other things.
For example, you might walk in your pantry and see that you already have spaghetti and spaghetti sauce which are 2 components that you need to make a very quick and easy pasta dinner for your family. Then you look in the freezer and notice you already have Texas Cheese toast which also goes great with it. Now you can very quickly walk in and out of the grocery store with only grabbing the hamburger needed to finish the meal.
Tip #4: Try to Consolidate Shopping Trips
How many times have you gotten home and realized that you forgot something on your list? How many times have you woken up the next morning and realized that you had given your little one their last probiotic or multi-vitamin the day before?
Unfortunately, with our busy and hectic schedules, we sometimes cannot keep up with all of the things that need to get done. New items seem to keep arising and keep being added to our to-do list.
One thing that can keep us on task and save us time and money is to do our very best to keep a running list of items that are needed either on our phone or an old-fashioned sheet of paper. When we do this we save ourselves time and money by not having to make 3 to 4 trips to the store each week. We can then consolidate all of those to 1 to 2 trips at the very most. Your time and gas tank will thank you later for this.
Tip #5: Avoid Putting items in your Cart in the Check out Lane
This one has been making grocery stores and pharmacy stores money for years. It’s a very clever trick. You are waiting in line for the person ahead of you to finish up and you happen to see a magazine that has news about your favorite celebrity on it and you start reading. All of the sudden you are next in line and you have not caught up on all of the latest gossips yet. You then spend $4.00 that you had not intended to spend just to finish reading the article.
Another easy mistake we make is you have walked into the grocery store and have broken rule number 2. You are starving and cannot wait to get home to eat. You grab that coke and candy bar found only at the checkout lane, throw it with the rest of your items and you are out the door. The problem is that $2.50 for a coke and $2.00 for a candy bar can add up doing this several times a week or month. Try to avoid this marketing trick that the stores use to get you to purchase more items.
These are just a few quick ways to make our lives as moms a little bit easier and more efficient. After all, we want to do all we can for our families while being the best CFO that we can be. Utilizing these tips on a weekly basis and planning your trips can make such a drastic difference. Let’s be the best mom’s that we can be and use these 5 simple tips to save time and money at the grocery store.
Alicia Werle is the owner of Breaking Free Financial Seminars. She teaches monthly seminars on how to actively become debt free through couponing.