Since this is a brand spanking new year. One of the things that I would like to do is trim our spending on groceries and shop more wisely.
I have been trying to cut more coupons and to remember to bring them when we do our weekly shopping. I have made myself a coupon holder and categorize the coupons so they are easier to file and find when I need them. I would also like to cut down on our shopping trips to just twice a month. Sure we may spend a extra hour or two at the grocery store but we will save on gas with less trips. I do more meal planning preparation than I have done in the past and making my grocery list out according to the menu has helped tremendously. We stock up on the basics and adding them to the grocery list as we run out helps to make sure we do get those items on the next trip.
When we do our grocery shopping we always go as a family. It helps cut down on time and believe it or not it cuts down on impromptu spending on items we may want but don't need. Although Katie never fails to beg for certain items. Sometimes I allow it but most times it's a firm no. Unless of course she gets to her dad first, then I usually end up a little irritated but I won't make that a battle.
I also found that eating before we shop helps with keeping our spending down. You NEVER want to go shopping hungry, you end up with way too much junk food and less money in your wallet. I have done way too many times.
I always carry a calculator with me so we can keep track of our purchases so far and see where we are with our budget but I think it would be an absolutely fantastic idea is if grocery stores provided programmed barcode scanners so all that you have to do is scan the item and know where you stand with your spending. It would just keep track of the spending for you. I wouldn't even mind having to pay a small fee or better yet a deposit to use one. When I lived in Ohio and shopped at Aldi's, you would have to pay a deposit to be able to shop with a cart. The deposit was only a quarter at the time but you would get the quarter back when you returned the cart.
I also try to steer clear of convenient stores. I only step foot in one if it absolutely necessary. Milk tends to be the same price as what you would pay at the grocery store but soft drinks are over the top at these places. Not to mention toiletries and vitamins. And yes I do know you could earn points or store dollars but to me it is not worth it unless you shop there all the time and can afford the inflated prices to begin with. It's common sense to me. Spend a little more time once a week at the grocery store or constantly go the EASY( because that is why the call them convenient stores) route but pay more.
I would love more ideas on how to save and come out on top, so if you have suggestions, I am certainly open to them.