I love grocery shopping. I repeat, I loooovvve grocery shopping. It truly brings me joy. I love pushing my cart up and down the aisles, looking at all of the brightly colored produce and ordering seafood at the deli just to be extra. Grocery shopping makes me feel grown, sexy and in control.
But, ya girl is on a budget. As much as I’d like to buy up the entire local Trader Joe’s, my wallet says no.
I’ve had to learn how to buy food that I’m excited about and eat healthy while staying within my grocery budget of $60 dollars per week. When I first started grocery shopping for myself in college, I had a budget of $150 dollars per week.
Looking back, I’m not sure what I was buying, but I know that I was having a ball in the grocery store. Since then, I’ve been able to cut my grocery budget in more than half by shopping smarter. And, I STILL have a ball in the grocery store. These tips have helped me to stay on track. Let’s get into it.
Don’t Buy Processed Foods
Buying processed foods like packaged snacks, cookies and crackers can cause your grocery total to skyrocket. It’s likely you’ll need to buy a couple boxed or packaged goods, but limiting these purchases will help you save and keep you focused on the good stuff – fresh meat and produce.
Try to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store, where the fresh food is at, and pick up whatever looks yummy.
Only Buy Produce (and Meat) on Sale
But, Saung! You ask. Meat and produce are expensive! You riggggghtttt. Buying fresh meat and produce can be expensive. But, it doesn’t have to be. Sales are where it’s at and nearly every grocery store has regular sales on meat and produce.
When I go into the produce section, I buy whatever fruits and vegetables are discounted. When I hit the deli and the meat section, I keep an eye out for brightly colored tags that scream, discount! And I answer their call by dropping these low-priced goodies into my basket. Ka-ching!
Don’t Go Grocery Shopping on an Empty Stomach
There’s nothing worse than being surrounded by food while your stomach is growling. I know from experience that when I go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, I end up grabbing more food than I normally would and spending more money that I planned.
Those cookies look extra scrumptious and those salty chips seem to whisper my name when I’m hungry. Ladies, before you go grocery shopping, eat a little snack. Get something in your stomach so you can keep a clear head and stay focused while you shop.
Stick to What You Actually Need
I’ll admit, I’m often the first person to resist making a shopping list. I love to flow and allow myself to adapt what I buy based on what I see in the store. But, I’m better able to stay on budget when I make a grocery list and focus on buying only what’s on the list.
Okayyyy, I sneak a few “impulse buys” in there too but I don’t feel guilty about it, knowing I still focused on my grocery list. Make it fun by adding check mark boxes to your list. Girl, get you a brightly colored pen and check off each item when you toss it into your basket. It feels good to see those check marks accumulate and you’ll feel confident walking to the checkout line when all is said and done, knowing you got everything you needed.
Leverage Store Membership Cards
Store membership cards are where it’s at. I’m talking Safeway rewards, Fry’s points, and H-E-B programs. Seriously, grocers are literally helping you stay on budget by asking you to swipe a card at the checkout. That’s all you have to do to reap the rewards. These grocery store programs are free to join and come with bountiful benefits. Take advantage ladies!
Do you have any grocery shopping hacks to add to the list? We’d love to hear how you stay on budget each week!