Stop & Shop Trip #4
Date: Friday, March 23rd
Stop & Shop Trip #5
Date: Sunday, March 25th
Drum roll please…
In my last update I had spent a total of $243.13 on groceries. Since then I have spent another $225.35. Add those numbers together and you’ll see that I spent a grand total of $468.48 at the grocery store this month! That’s $151.36 less than February! The original goal was to cut my spending by 21% and only spend $489.84. But by following the tips provided I surpassed my goal and cut my spending by 24%!
Here is a recap of the tips that helped me achieve this goal:
1. AFTER making your list, clip coupons for the things you need. (check supermarket websites for coupons too)
2. Know your budget and bring only cash to the store with you.
3. Avoid taking children (in my case, a junk-food-loving boyfriend) to the store with you.
4. Use ALL the items in your pantry, fridge, and freezer before buying more.
5. Buy non-grocery items (cleaning, health & beauty etc…) at mass market retailers like Target or CVS where they tend to be cheaper.
6. Compare prices of the items at eye-level to the same items on the higher and lower shelves.
7. Buy generic or store brands BUT make sure you still compare prices.
8. Use the Portable Barcode Scanner (if available)
I followed all of the above rules for the remainder of the challenge with the exception of rule #1 (coupons aren’t for me). I switched it up a little during the week of March 18th. Instead of getting all my shopping done for the week on Sunday night I went to the store two different nights during the week to grab things I need. Usually I would not condone this, but it actually worked out in my favor, I only spent $91.78 that week. I actually learned something about grocery store trends in the process of breaking my shop-once-a- week rule, which leads me to the following additional tip:
9. Timing is everything: observe your grocery store’s trends.
I discovered that Wednesday night is an ideal time to shop because that is when my store releases their new sale advertisements and also honors the sales items from the previous week. Meaning more in-store savings for me (and all the other smart shoppers out there!)
All in all I am grateful that I decided to take on this challenge. It just goes to show that if you are mindful of your shopping habits and take the time to make a list, plan your meals, and use all the items in your pantry and fridge before buying more, you can significantly lower your grocery bill. If I can continue to save about $150 per month on groceries I will be in great shape by the end of the year (and $1,800 richer).
I’m ready for my next money saving challenge!
Do you have any ideas for me? Where should I try to cut my spending now?
For some help with budgeting and tracking your spending, visit ConsumerCredit.com