Thursday, June 25, 2009

Help me become a bargain grocery shopper!

I'm 25 years old and have never been on my own.

I know, I'll pause a moment while you gasp in shock!

That won't be the case much longer! My mom is getting hitched next month and of course will be moving and my sister is gone. She's not quite going to sell the house yet, so that leaves me, and eventually will lead to getting a place of my own!

I don't pay rent but do my fair share of pitching in and helping with the expenses! One thing I have not yet had to do was be on grocery duty... but obviously now I will.

So this is where I come to you....

What method of budgeting for groceries has worked for you because now I'm going to have to factor this into my budget? And what have you found that you can live with and live without. But most importantly, in what ways have you found you've been able to save? I just want to make sure I do the grocery thing wisely, and do what's best for my budget!

Thanks for your help!

On another note. It's coming down to the wire. My best friend Monica's wedding is this weekend, so let the festivities begin. This morning I was out of the house before 7am to go pick up my bridesmaid dress that had to be altered and make sure it fits and it fit like a charm. It's the most beautiful jade color. It's going to be such a fun weekend. I'm so looking forward to it!

So now I just have to get through school tonight and work tomorrow and let the weekend begin!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


Mrs. Newlywed said...

My biggest grocery tip is menu planning. That way you only buy food you NEED. If you buy the Sunday paper, you can plan your menu based on what is on sale that week. That is what we do.

We also buy a lot of things at ALDI [discount grocery]. We went from spending over $200.00 a week on groceries [Mr. N eats a lot!] to less than $50.00.

Rebecca Jo said...

I will say - its different buying for one or two then a whole family... so try not to be wasteful... invest in some air tight sealing things for meat or veggies!

And I'm a HUGE coupon shopper! Can save some great money with those tiny clippings!

Have fun this weekend!!! Cant wait to see pictures of your dress!

Kendra said...

Plan ahead, buy off brands or sales, get a big freezer to store meats and stuff you got on sale.

Biggest saver for me: I buy a shopping card at whatever store I use (usually WalMart) for whatever dollar amount I budget for the month. When the card is empty, I'm done shopping! It really helped me stop buying what I don't need.

Aishlea and Brandon said...

I agree with the others... plan your menu to avoid buying things you don't really need or impulse decision buys.

I didn't live on my own till we were married last year, so don't feel bad! :) It was very hard for me to go from cooking for my family at home of 4 to just my husband and me. We have used lots of rubbermaid containers!

Have a great weekend!

Lindsey said...

My biggest tip is to buy the things you use the most in bulk - for me that's toilet paper, chap stick, olive oil, pasta sauce, granola bars, etc and it saves so much because I only need to buy it once a month (sometimes every 2 or 3 months).

Juliet said...

Wow people have some great ideas!
Don't worry about not having lived on your own, it's over-rated.
BUT, when you are cooking for one I agree that it is a good idea to have extra containers and things like that. I always found it easier to cook a big meal and then save some, than try to cut down a recipe.

As for saving money, I was never very good at that. I did hear about a website called "grocerymom" where you get helpful tips on coupons etc. Good Luck! You'll do great!

Annie said...

I also think planning ahead and coupons makes a difference for me. I love coupons! If I make a list I only buy what is on my list. If I don't have a list I tend to buy A LOT of stuff that I don't need. I also check ads to see what's on sale as well. I usually do my grocery shopping at Super Target down the street from my house, which can be a little dangerous ;)
I saw someone else posted about ALDI, I think I'll check out that place. Sounds like they saved a lot of $$ there!

Heather said...

Best tip....NEVER EVER EVER go shopping HUNGRY!!!! You will leave with all the chips and cookies ever invented lol.

Seriously though, it's not a bad tip. I also try REALLY hard to mostly buy generic brands. I always look at all the similiar items and compare the prices. You also need to look at the price tag section where it says how many cents per ounce the item costs. This is the best way to compare price bc two items may have a different weight.

And I see someone else suggested Aldi's! They don't have everything you need but shopping there has saved me a lot of money as well. they have good cereal for $1.50!

Whitney said...

It's hard to shop for one. What I do is buy chicken and fix one chicken breast at a time, that way I don't have a lot of the same thing left over {because I hate leftovers.} I might fix one chicken breast as lemon pepper and have noodles with it, and the next night I might fix oven fried chicken fingers. This way, the chicken is in the freezer and lasts much longer. Also, if I do taco meat, I might have tacos for dinner and then the next day for lunch have a taco salad. This cuts down on costs. Also, I have a subscription to ALL YOU mag - they have GREAT coupons!

Adorably Distracted... said...

Grocery shopping is hard because it's so easy to get side tracked. We like to try and plan out our meals before we go to the store. We get the bags of frozen Chicken breast, which would be perfect for you. You can just take one out... and reseal the bag. I use coupons when I can but be careful they aren't tricking you into buying more. If you have to buy two to use the coupon, make sure that the discount pretty much cancels out the price and that the product will last long enough for you to use it. You can go online and get free coupons! all you have to do is install a program that helps you print them... Look for generic when you can. I know if there is a difference, I don't really notice it. I think the biggest thing for us was actually noticing how much something costs and comparing prices. Trust me, you'll learn to like cheaper stuff! I try to pick and choose what I spend the money on... fruits are pricey but their important to me... so I make sure to leave room in the budget.

Hope this helps!! Good luck!

stepfabulous said...

I think too of the biggest things that have helped us significantly cut our grocery cost have been mentioned: By non-perishables in bulk, toliet paper, granola-bars, paper-towels, trash bags etc.
Then plan a menu, write it out, see what I have already, then make a list off of my menu for my missing items. I typically by all my staples at the beginning of the month then I freeze the meat and other stuff that I consider, then I go to the store every 2 weeks or so and buy what I need fresh and only what I need for the upcoming meals. There is also a blog called that posts coupon links, sale items, etc. on her blog - it's great. She also gives out tips on where to shop ad how to shop there. When I wanted to cut my monthly food budget in half, I spent a lot of time there! It'll get easier, I promise!

rootsandrings said...

I plan my menu on Sunday, shop on Sunday evening and never buy anything that's not on my list. I play a game with myself to see if I can get my total to be lower than last week. I only cook my me and my hubby so I cook recipes that are easily frozen.

Niki said...

I need these tips too! I am not a bargain shopper at all:)

Anne Carr said...

I lived with my family until I got married last fall at 24. No worries! It's where God has you, and it doesn't matter what other people think about it.

Money being very tight, shopping is a stressful issue for us. Like many of the above comments said, MENU PLAN!! That has helped me SOOO much! If I make time to sit down on the weekend and plan out all the meals for the next week, it makes shopping SO much cheaper (and easier!). I live 5 minutes away from a Walmart and a Meijer, so I have my pick of who has the best sales. Walmart has a few things that are by far cheaper though.
I love their Mom's Best Naturals cereal ( that is only $2.18 a box, and their milk is usually $1.89 a gallon. Stuff like that. If you plan our your dinners, factor in at least one night for leftovers, it's so much easier to spend less at the store.

And as far as what we do without -- I make as much from scratch at home as I can, pretty much stopped buying pop, chips, junk food. It's not very healthy and it's expensive. (although I do love it...LOL)

Hope this helps a bit.
Happy shopping! -- you can do it!

Anne Carr said...

Oh, and big bags of frozen chicken breasts that go on sale for $5 each! I always have a stash of those in the freezer and it's perfect to pull out a couple pieces for dinner. It makes buying meat MUCH cheaper!

The New Black said...

Congrats on being on your own! Really, it's great.

My biggest suggestion is to plan ahead. Don't go to the store without an idea of what you are going to buy.

There are some things that we like, but I only buy when they are on sale. If I know they go on sale often, but aren't on sale at the time of my trip, I skip it.

It's also a little hard to buy for one/two people vs. a family. I am a big fan of making a dish and then freezing individual portions to take to work for lunch or for an easy dinner. Saves waste.

Bailey said...

Hi, I'm new to this whole blogging thing. Ive been reading your blog for awhile now and I figured this was the perfect post to comment on. Im in college and out on my own finally, Ive been learning how to cook for myself and my fiance, and it will take some time to get used too! I really dont have much to contribute, everyone has already, ALDI's, and the magazine ALL YOU. My mom turned me on to that magazine and you will save you alot and give you a ton of household tips =)and also, look at the small grocery stores around town..they usually have good weekly ads on some things! Good Luck!

Jacquie said...

I also use a Walmart card and load it up with my budget amount twice per month. When it's gone... it's gone.

I love leftovers, so I always make more than for that one meal and eat leftovers for lunch or supper the next night.

You'll get the hang of it pretty quickly!

a boy a girl and a pug said...

My tip make a list and stick to it. I make a list then search for coupons online and it's like a bonus if I find any. I freeze a lot of stuff too like breads and tortillas because with just two of us it's impossible to go through one loaf in a week. Also, farmer's markets for fruits and veggies...a million times better and I bet your Florida ones are amazingly awesome!

Marissa said...

I would plan your meals ahead of time and put your budget amount in an envelope.