One for All Alaska Blog

Financial Fitness Friday: How to Starve Your Grocery Bill

Posted by Jess on May 23, 2014 11:45:19 AM

FFF_5-162My couch has peanut butter on it. Underneath, there are remnants of a Raisin Bran breakfast, and I can almost guarantee that a half dozen utensils have been eaten by the overstuffed cushions. My house is a messy eater. Or is it my family?

In some ways, I prefer casual lunches in an armchair, because I can easily ignore the groceries we destroy. At dinner time, when we’re gathered round the table and all plates are in sight, I witness our weekly grocery budget being stirred around and scarfed down with NO leftovers. Money spent on food? It’s like flushing cash down the toilet.

I’ll bet you love to eat as much as I do – but no one is a big fan of their grocery bill.

To cut the fat from my grocery store spending, I’ve adopted a few surefire tricks that you’ve likely heard of (although maybe never tried). For instance, the rule to never shop on an empty stomach. SO true! When I’m hungry, everything in the store looks delicious. I’m not going to skip the snack aisle like I planned, because my stomach has overridden my budget-conscious brain. To keep your pocketbook intact, you’ll need to fill up before you leave home.

My next guilty habit is that I don’t tally my tab appropriately. When shopping with plastic, I don’t keep a close eye on how much I’m spending, which oftentimes results in a higher-than-planned grocery bill. To avoid this issue, shop with cash. It will force you to keep count of what goes into your cart, and if you’re over your limit in the checkout line, you’ll have no choice but to downsize your bounty to fit your budget.

Finally, know where to go for your items. I shop in certain stores for produce and meat, but other stores for canned staples, etc. Making separate trips would be a waste of gas and money, so instead I plan to pick up certain genres of items when I know I’ll be near that place. This takes a bit of foresight, but it saves me from paying higher prices for lesser products. 

Who knew grocery shopping entailed so much strategy?! I’d rather tear through the store like the cookie monster, blindly inhaling everything in reach – but thankfully, I’ve learned to curb my spending appetite with these few handy tricks and more. Share your own insights below! I’d love to hear your tips. 

Topics: Financial Fitness