Friday, June 14, 2013

Meal Planning Series Part 2-How to shop stress free

Tip 1

When shopping with small children, bring a distraction

I like to keep a container of a snack my son likes ( goldfish, organic teddy grahams etc.) to enjoy when he gets hungry and cranky.

I also keep a mini notebook and a pen in my purse just for him. I make him a list to use while I shop. It makes him feel like he is helping and keeps him busy.

Tip 2

Always have a list!

Whether I am shopping for the entire month,just for the week or picking up a few things I ALWAYS have a list. If I didn't, I know there would be at least something I forget.

I like to organize my list by sections of the store (i.e diary, produce, meat etc.) this makes the shopping trip go much quicker and helps me to not forget anything.

I like to carry a copy of the list of meals I will be making... often when grocery shopping I will see something like Red White Vinegar and wonder why I would even have that on there. Having the meal list reminds me what it's for.

Tip 3

Pack an emergency supply kit

This may seem a bit extreme and odd but I assure you it is not! ha ha Not only do I bring a snack for my son I pack a small snack for myself and maybe even a water bottle. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is NOT.A.GOOD.IDEA! It will lead to buying treats you don't need just because your hungry. (Trust me I have learned from experience)

OR you could pick up a delicious cup o joe at Starbucks if there is one nearby. ;)

Tip 4

Bring your thermal bags

Having these in your car will keep frozen food cold while you go from place to place and keep your purchases from spoiling especially on a hot summer day.

Tip 5

Clean out your car!!

Having a messy car full of stuff leaves no room for groceries. 'nuff said :)

Tip 6

Pick up cooler items last!

Start with the non- freezer, refrigerated section first. I always pick up the cooler items and produce last to make sure it stays fresher longer.

Tip 7

Stick to the list!

I've mentioned this before but it is VERY important to save money that you stick with the detailed list you have written up.

So that's it! Those are my stress free grocery shopping tips! Hope these help!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping Series Part 1- intro

I am asked almost weekly from family, friends, friends of friends, people at my church and so on how I meal plan. How I save money at the grocery store and how to use coupons. 
Well, it's not an easy job. It takes detailed planning, research and organization but soon it will become routine. What once took a couple days, for a couple hours a day, I now can plan out my month of meals, clip coupons and organize my list by store in around an hours time. 

Here is how it's done.

I grocery shop once a month. I plan out my meals and shop for an entire months worth in only one trip. 

I make 3 stops, Sam's, Super Walmart and a Bakery outlet. 

It takes me about an hour- hour in a half to shop (depending on what else besides groceries I need to get) in Walmart, 30 minutes in Sam's and about 10 minutes in the Bakery. Having such a detailed list helps me get in and out quickly.

I buy some in bulk.

I make as much homemade as possible.

I set a budget and DO NOT go over it. -If you want to save money you have to discipline yourself to stick to a certain amount. 

I use a calculator. It helps to make sure I am sticking to my budget and it is much easier than adding it all up in your head. (Being good at Math is not a gift I possess) 

Get yourself a binder, to hold your calculator, shopping list, and coupons. (I will go into more detail with this later) My binder sits next to my pocketbook in the front of the cart for easy access. 

Don't forget to look online for coupons! I rarely will spend the extra money to buy a newspaper to clip coupons from and instead with print them off from online. will lead you to where all the great deals are at.

So that's how I do it! Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and a video or two.

Part 2- How to shop stress free
Part 3- Planning out your meals
Part 4- How to use coupons and where to find them
Part 5- Organizing your grocery list
Part 6- Creating a shopping binder
Part 7- Making homemade to save money

See you later for part two!!