Monday, December 31, 2012

Revamp Your Grocery List

Do you ever go grocery shopping thinking you've spent a certain amount and then check out and hear the cashier say "your total is blah blah blah" and you think OMG, how did that happen??? 

A few years ago that was a regular occurrence for me. I found that I was often spending more than I thought I'd spend, impulse buying, forgetting items I needed, etc... It's so frustrating when you go to cook a meal for your hungry family and then realize you're missing something you need!

I started revamping the way I shopped and the way I made a grocery list. Since then, I walk into the store knowing exactly what I'm going to spend and I have to say that 9 times out of 10 I'm right on the money and I rarely forget what I need to get.
When I make a grocery list I start by writing down the days of the week at the top of my paper. I write in what meals I'm going to cook each day. I save a lot of money and have less waste by choosing meals that share ingredients, especially fresh produce. I also try to plan at least 2 meals that will have quite a bit of leftovers so that my hubby can have some food to take for lunch every day. 

Once I determine what I'm going to cook I start making my list, I go one meal at a time and write all the ingredients I'm going to need for that meal before I move on to the next so that I don't miss any needed ingredients. I section my list out in a couple columns and try to group everything according to it's location in the store so I'm not running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. After I have all the ingredients I need for my meals, I fill in my extras (breakfast stuff, diapers, snacks, etc...)

Then I make a price next to each ingredient. I don't know the exact price of everything I shop for but I know close enough to estimate: Yogurt 4, Hamburger 8, Chicken Breasts 7, Onions 3, Milk 3, etc... I round down items that are only slightly over the dollar amount and round up when it's over by .$50 to the next dollar. When I'm done I add it all up and have an idea of what my cost will be. This usually gives me some wiggle room, if I grab a few extras while shopping (pack of oreos, ice cream, etc) I still don't go over.

I spend an average of $100 - $120 a week for a family of 5 including diapers for 2 kids and paper products, I cook a meal pretty much every night and I don't use coupons. This year I plan to start to venture into the world of coupons and hope to save even more.  Last year I started making some of my own cleaning products and laundry soap and that helps too. I'll share more on that later.

Here is what my grocery list looks like:

Check out Revamp Your Grocery List: Part 2 for a free grocery list printable!

1 comment:

  1. This is good! I hate to admit it, but we usually spend what you do but for only two people!! That's not good at all. We definitely need to cut back and quit buying anything and everything without determining the cost! Planning our meals will be a huge help :-) And sticking to a list, another. Thanks for being so smart when it comes to buying groceries Cortney!! You're a big blessing :-) ~aunty paulette