If you are the head of a household, you can also assign each member of your family a role so that shopping duties are shared. This can ease some of the pressure if done consistently.
There are also a few tools that will be helpful -
- A printable grocery list that is hung in the kitchen. These can found online or stationery stores for little to no cost. Make sure that it is accessible to all members of the household and that the person doing the grocery shopping has it with them. Having this while shopping eliminates the likelihood of wandering around or forgetting an important item. You can also get an estimate of how much you will spend on a grocery trip.
- A coupon organizer or small accordion-style organizer. Not only are the tab customized to your shopping needs but there are some with separate holders but for those who buy in large quantities, there are some in binder styles that have shopping lists and meal planners included.
- Large and small paper clips along with a #10 envelope. This is best for the person getting started with coupon shopping or do not use them to a great degree.
Once you choose a list style and organization method, here are some tips to consider since shopping needs vary with each household.
- Start a route. Set aside one day or pre-determined time frame to do all of your shopping. Making several small trips during the week can eat up your gas and time.
- Set aside time to clip coupons and get your list together. If times are tight, then do not buy anything that is not needed. If there is an item that is a rare find and lasts a long time, then go online to see if you can find a coupon or a rebate form.
- Do not ignore the discount stores. While these are not a place where you will find brie samples, these are great for buying non-perishables at low prices. Especially since manufacturers have recently eliminated smaller sizes of their products. Dollar stores are place where overruns and other discontinued items are found at a low price.
- Do not shop on Mondays as items are seldom replenished from the weekend rush. Though many of us have little choice but to go grocery shopping on the weekend, choose Sunday over Saturday because this is the first day of sales. On Saturdays, traffic is heavier and items are likely to get picked over.
- Do not be afraid to buy bulk food items. Many of us have memories of those large barrels containing dried beans being taken over by small children and thrown across the store. These days, these containers are child-proof as well as mounted to a wall and the beans or nuts are dispensed in a more sanitary way. While there are some exceptions in certain stores, you can use your better judgment as to whether it is a worthy buy.
Finally, you may want to go in with a friend or close relative on buying certain items. If two parties are in agreement as to the terms, this can help solve temporary money problems.