How Do You Grocery Shop?
One day I was having a conversation with my Boyfriend while he was grocery shopping. I found this conversation so fun and interesting. He is a single dad of 4 kids. So through my conversation, I not only got a man’s point of view on grocery shopping but I also got a dad’s point of view. I realized from our conversation that different people have different habits on grocery shopping.
So it got me to thinking….. How do you Grocery Shop? For my boyfriend, he just wings it. He didn’t have a list. He didn’t have any idea what items he already had at home. He had not made out a menu. He didn’t have a budget limit. I was in total amazement that he even left the store with stuff that would actually make meals. To me, I have to go to the store prepared. If I did it like him, I would come home with $200 worth of groceries, way over budget and still nothing to eat.
So the question is, How Do You Grocery Shop? I start by making a menu. Usually, I make a two week menu of dinner ideas. No need for me to make breakfast or lunch menus because we usually eat simple meals at those times. Almost always there is food in the cabinets for the first two meals of the day. After I make my menu for the two weeks, I then take the menu and write down all the items I need for each meal. I go meal by meal on the menu so I don’t miss anything. As I am writing down items, I will add to my list anything I know I am out of or may need/want for breakfast, lunch or snack. I have a board on the fridge that we write down things as we run out throughout the month, so I make sure these get put on the shopping list. After my list is made, I then go through and cross off anything I already have. Now that my list is narrowed down to what I actually need at the store, I then search through the internet for coupons of the items I need. I will make a notation on my shopping list if I have a coupon for that item so I am organized when I make it to the store. Lastly, I go through my list and write down how much each item will cost so I can calculate how much my shopping trip will be. I have been grocery shopping for my family for approx. 21 years so I am usually pretty accurate about the cost of things. Most of the time my lists are within my budget. BUT, if for some reason I have less money or went over budget, I will adjust my list accordingly, making changes to items or changing meals to get me within budget. Now that my list is ready and coupons are printed, it is off to the grocery store. Even at the grocery store I have a system of shopping so that I don’t miss anything. I cannot be one of those people who just randomly goes to one aisle then off to meats then back to freezer. That’s total chaos to me. I go to the back and work my way to the front aisle by aisle.
My system sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? I would much rather do it the way my boyfriend does it and just wing things. It would never work for me. Plus, I have found that when you have to stick to a budget, you MUST have a plan. My way does take several hours of planning. But, the end result is staying within budget, saving money and having some very good, scrumptious, home cooked meals that makes everyone happy. So I am curious, How Do You Grocery Shop? I would love to hear your systems, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR STORY IN THE COMMENTS.