AJ & KJ: Congratulations to our winner of the Cardpool gift card giveaway! It’s great to give back to those who have given so much of themselves. We hope you enjoy the gift card and get some great use out of it. Enjoy the site…we certainly have!
Pick the grocery shopper
AJ: we’ve mentioned previously that groceries and meals are squarely within my wheel house. As responsible and reasonable as Kirby is, the grocery store is no place for him. He’s swayed by large quantities of items we rarely eat that live in our pantry for months on end even though he means well and truly does intend to eat all 96 pop tarts! Personally I’m an efficiency grocery shopper. My lists are organized by rows in my store and are outlined for specific dates to coincide with sales ads.
Create a grocery list
My grocery lists start months prior to my actual grocery shopping. They’re drafted based on the meal plans I create along with basics we regularly purchase (onions, milk, eggs, toilet paper) and I reference them alongside sales ads for up to a month prior to the week that I will need the items. Many times canned goods, frozen items and meats go on sale at some point within the month I will need them, but were I to wait until the week I needed them, they might be as much as 4 times higher priced.
Utilize store clubs & learn their sale schedules
I belong to two store clubs in addition to Costco and use those discount and coupon opportunities weekly. Most stores issue ads on Wednesdays along with weekend or one day specials. Some weeks this is tedious and somewhat irritating, as you would have to make three trips some weeks in order to get everything you need on the days in which they are actually on sale which is why pre-planning is crucial. One program we utilize frequently is the Tom Thumb “Just 4 U” system. You can find coupons online or via their iPad/iPhone/Droid apps and load them directly to your account. Just be sure to check the receipt when checking out to make sure the coupons were loading properly!
Planning weeks (or months) in advance creates financial flexibility
Beginning to pay attention to your grocery list four weeks in advance might seem absurd, but it actually simplifies our lives especially with regards to unnecessary financial strain. Planning is far less stressful than overspending in my world. Research has allowed Kirby and I to get ahead on our savings month over month which ultimately means we’re contributing to our savings at an increased pace. Plus, time is on our side, so we are saving early to see if we can get on track.
Practice makes perfect
KJ: The more you plan, the better at it you get, and the less time involved in each step. Much like building a budget for the first time, you don’t really know how to plan for what to normally expect let alone how to plan for anything unexpected that comes up. So start planning and create a system. If you find your system is causing you too many headaches than what it fixes, then tweak it a bit until you find your stride.
- What grocery ads do you use regularly?
Do you plan ahead?
Tell us how you plan your meals for your family.
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