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I wish every day were grocery day…

August 19, 2011

I woke up this morning absolutely starving, so I made myself a bowl of these:

Not the prettiest bowl of oats in the world, but they are mine so I will love them just the same.

Looking through my pantry and refrigerator made me realize just how badly I need to go grocery shopping. Lucky for me, grocery shopping is one of my absolute favorite activities. Everrr.…I write my grocery list at least a week ahead, and then revise it one or two times because something I want but don’t need sneaks on there. It reminds me of the mothers you see at the grocery store who have yet to notice the three boxes of fruity pebbles their kid hid in their cart. I guess I am my own relentless four year old.

Really though, I revise my list so many times because I am a college student, and although I have some form of monetary support, it helps me manage my money better when I shop within a budget. After a few years of shopping like this, I have learned many things about shopping smarter (without having to cut out coupons all day), so I thought I would share them with you.

1. Shop in bulk.

sams      Costco.com

There are a few things that I eat a lot of throughout the week such as spinach and baby carrots. Because I know I will inevitably have to make more than one trip to a regular grocery store if I buy normal sizes of these items, I buy them in bulk. It ends up being cheaper in the long run, and keeps my budget in its place. Buying bread in bulk is great, also, because you can freeze whatever you don’t need for the week and it will come out perfectly fresh and delicious whenever you pull it out again.

2. Shop before you leave your house.

I recently discovered that you can look up the prices of many food items from your local grocery store online and compare prices on other websites. In doing this, i found that spinach and bananas are cheaper at Sam’s than at Hy-vee, and that one brand of organic skim milk is over a dollar cheaper at Hy-Vee than the kind I was going to buy in bulk at Sam’s. For some reason, it ends up being less overwhelming to compare prices online than when you are in the store and some cranky person is about to run  you over with their cart.

3. Hit up the farmer’s market!

                    

Ahh the City Market of Kansas City. I love this place. Need I count the reasons?

Buying fresh local produce, is without a doubt, wonderful because not only are you getting better quality food, you are also helping local farmers. I didn’t have to tell you that though.

Another reason I love the farmer’s market is the prices. Produce is always sooo much cheaper here, and of higher quality and flavor than grocery store produce. It is best to do a quick walk through all of the stalls and check on prices, and then go back to the stands that look like they will give you the best deal.

And don’t forget to always bring cash. Always.

4. Last but not least, make your own food.

There are some items that are easy to buy pre-made at the grocery store, yet are just as easy to whip up at home.

For example, hummus. 

Hummus usually rings in between 3 and five dollars at the grocery store. Now that is just fine, and I have bought it many a time, but when I am really stretched budget-wise I buy a can of chickpeas for around a dollar, a lemon for 25 cents, some garlic for a dollar or less, and use the tahini from the jar in my fridge to whip up a fresh batch of delicious hummus. That leaves you with up to two and a half dollars more in your pocket. And those dollars add up over time.

I know this only hits the tip of the iceberg as far as saving money on groceries, but these four rules have helped me spend much less money in the long run. I hope they can do the same for you as well!

How do you save money when grocery shopping?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2011 7:04 pm

    i kind of make every day grocery day when i think about it…im at the store at least once a day picking something up inevitably! lol 🙂

    farmer’s markets always help me save money. i usually spend 20-30 dollars on produce now whereas before, in any given week, it was almost 60! eek

    xoxo ❤

    • August 19, 2011 9:01 pm

      20-30 dollars is all I bring with me when I go so I don’t have the choice to spend more. Usually I have money left over because everything is so amazingly affordable. Love it!

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