Planning Saves Time and Money

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on December 30, 2008

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to spend less at the grocery store, Andrea from MommySnacks.net is one blogger who can help you do just that! She shares the deals and steals each week for stores like Kroger, Meijer, CVS and Walgreens. The valuable tips she shares with us today are sure to set you on the right foot towards sticking to your resolution and spending less at the grocery store.

I can shop at 4-5 stores with our 19-month old in 2 hours (or less). Some weeks, this turns into a workout as I’m speeding through the stores knowing that I have to be somewhere shortly after my shopping trip. But, honestly, shopping at 1 or even 5 stores can be done efficiently and productively if you plan your trip.Just like Erin plans her meals each week, a little preparation with your shopping plan goes a long way! You will never find me in a store without a list of some sort. It’s partly because sometimes I just can’t remember, but also because it helps me stay focused on what I went there for.

Here are a few steps to plan your shopping trip to save your time, sanity and hard-earned cash!

  • Make a list! Or, as I refer to it: List It. This may seem like an obvious thing, but I walk through the grocery seeing so many people without a list. Creating a list before you step your feet into the grocery helps with your efficiency and your money-savings. You may resist urge to pick up temptation items if they aren’t on the list.
  • Clip your coupons. Or, as I say: Clip It. When you shop for items, you will inevitably have to have those non-negotiables (milk, eggs, produce, etc) but then your list will probably also include sale items that match up with coupons. When your list is created, you can clip or pull the coupons (for binder organizers) and paper clip them together to make check-out a breeze!
  • Shop! Which is very simply taking your list, clipped coupons and going to conquer the sales one store at a time! I have a mini-binder I keep in my purse at all times. The binder has several dividers inside that I use to keep each store’s clipped set of coupons. This makes it efficient at the check-out because I can simply pull out the coupons for that store and hand them over organized.

This approach works well for menu planners too because your list will include all your weekly menu ingredients. So, there is no rushing to the store to get something that was forgotten.

I hope you find the List It, Clip It and Shop approach helping you save time and money!

If you are new to couponing, you don’t want to miss Andrea’s Shopping with Coupons: A Beginner’s Guide to Saving. She also has several files available to help you track your spending in 2009! A big thanks to Andrea from MommySnacks.net for sharing her wisdom with us today!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielsen5 December 30, 2008 at 8:29 pm

If you had your choice, would you prefer to shop every week or every two weeks?

Blessings, Beth Ann

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Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net December 30, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Erin, I’m so happy to offer a guest spot for you today!

Have more fun with your family and hurry back – we’re all hungry for your menu plan!!!

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Anonymous December 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm

big suggestion: make your grocery list according to store layout. If there’s a sale price, note it on the list next to the item along with size. If you have a coupon, note that with amount, size. (details are important, do use your own abbrev).
I use a clip clothespin to attach to the top of the ‘seat’ where I can see it without holding. Billfold, coupons keys and phone are in my ‘fanny-pack.’
I’m lucky enough to shop by myself and have it all organized. This saves a lot of time and wandering. Going to a different (new?) store is very difficult, though.

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Sherry December 31, 2008 at 3:04 pm

I agree. I have a list that is set up according to my main grocery store’s aisles and have it under protective sheets. I then mark with a china marker what I need and can wipe off. :D

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