4. Shopping with a Grocery List
One of the things that we learned early in our attempt to save money is that grocery shopping without a list is a budget buster. To get a grip of our food expenses, we begin by creating a menu for the week.
Dinners first - we come up with dinners for each night.
Breakfast - we decide on what breakfasts will be available.
Lunches - we figure out any leftovers, then fill in with optional lunch items.
Next, we review what we need to make our meals. Then, we go through our pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to identify anything that we will not need to purchase. We then write down all of the items that we will need to make all of the food from our menu. (There are other ways to reduce grocery expenses, which I will go into later, this post is all about using a list.) We then go through all other grocery store procured items (ie: pet food, personal care items, laundry products, cleaning needs, etc.) and add those to the list.
At the store, we only buy things that are on the list. No extras...... we do add a snack or candy to the list as needed so that we will be less likely to add on at the store. Sticking to the list reduces the possibility of buying unhealthy junk, as well.