Going grocery shopping is assumably easy for most individuals but for some of us it's down right frustrating. Trying to get your toddler into a cart is hard enough. Top that with a poorly planned grocery list, two temper tantrums and a hungry tummy and you've got a recipe for disaster and misspent funds. If this sounds like you, then read on because I have a couple of do's and don'ts for your next shopping trip to make life a tad easier.
1. Don't wait until the last-minute to create your grocery list. We all know that grocery shopping with a list is extremely helpful, but trying to create a list 1 hour before you're supposed to go shopping is a terrible idea. You will find yourself over-whelmed, frustrated and more than likely wind up winging it, resulting in poor decisions.
Do: Make your list at least 2 days before your shopping trip. This gives you enough time to go through the cupboards to ensure your not over buying (purchasing doubles). It will also give you time to clean your fridge out and make space for the incoming food. There is nothing more frustrating than going on a huge haul and coming back to a dirty kitchen, and crowded fridge of condiments. So now you can't put your groceries up until you spend time cleaning.
2. Don't make an unrealistic budget. Now, hear me out. The purpose of a budget is accountability. It's a system put in place that will help to keep you accountable to what portion of your finances you're spending on food. HOWEVER, it is also meant o be realistic. If you have a family of 8, please don't allow yourself $200 for a full months grocery budget to feed your family. It's physically impossible unless you are an extreme coupon person. You do not want to set yourself up for disappointment because of a far-fetched goal.
If budgeting is new to you, then..
Do set a budget that is $50 less than what you originally spend. For example, if you usually spend $250 per grocery trip, then budget yourself at $200. This is when your grocery list is going to help.
3. Dont place items on you grocery list that you know are more of A.) a unnecessary pleasure B.) know you're trying to get away from and C.) that you know will place you over you budget. What I mean by this is, if you can get the generic version of pork n beans for $0.43 c per can versus Campbell's $0.75 c per can, then get the generic. I do understand that some brands just operate better and taste better than their generic counterpart. However, I can personally ATTEST to the fact that almost everything from Aldi is absolutely amazing and a fraction of the cost versus their brand competition.
Do try to place items on your list that can be substituted.
4.)Don't be so anxious to shop the sales.