I really hope I’m not the only one in the world who simultaneously loves to grocery shop because, well, food 😍🍕, but also hates it because it’s ridiculously difficult. In my family, we have a hard time of not only making a realistic budget, but also sticking to it once we are in the store. We also have to think about the reality of the food we’re buying. Are we going to have time to make it? Is this going to spoil in two days?
Grocery shopping is a life necessity, and it’s become my mission to become a master of it. So here are my goals:
- Master getting Mason into and out of the grocery cart (and keep him occupied while in it)
- Know the store I’m shopping in so I don’t get lost and grab 16,398 different items I don’t need or even want
- Make a list before I go
- Only pay in cash, so I don’t overspend
Not in practice, this seems like a “duh” list. Obviously if you have kids, you must keep them distracted. Of course you should ideally know what you’re buying and only buy those things, but it’s SO HARD sometimes! Like, I’ll see things in the baby food aisle and I’m like, “Yeah, Mason would like this!” And it’s like 12 month old food that requires the ability to chew well, and Mason is not there yet.
But, I’m going to try to be better. I will master grocery shopping!
My Master Plan
Since we’re always shifting around our budget, we modify it every month. However, we’re pretty consistent with the amount we spend on groceries each week – around $80. (Note: this is without Mason’s formula, because that would be half our budget 😬) So my next step to mastering the budget is pulling out cash for the trip. If I don’t have any more money to spend, I’ll put back things I don’t really need.
One way to know how much you’ll need to pull out is by checking receipts. So keep a few on hand after grocery trips, and look at what you’re buying and recall what you actually eat. Note: this isn’t a post on how to eat better… just your budget for grocery shopping. I’m realistic – I like me some Cheezits, so I make room in the budget for them!
Know Your Store
Then, go to the store you know the food is at, and be one track minded. Matty used to wander grocery stores slowly because that’s what his family used to do. They’d go on outings to the grocery store and spend hours at Walmart. When I would come down to visit, I could not believe it! I’m from a family of quick shoppers, eaters, you name it. But being quick and deliberate would help you master grocery shopping!
Mindful of The Babe
Lastly, if you’ve got kids, remember to plan for them. Mason likes to shop with me and look at everything on the shelves. I rarely need to bring anything else to distract him with other than his pacifier.
But if you are not as lucky as I, prepare for it! Remember to pack the diaper bag with grocery shopping necessities. Also, know if the bathroom has a changing table. I try to make sure Mason has a clean diaper prior to shopping, but s**t happens, right? Some stores don’t have changing tables, so be aware of that when grocery shopping.
And That’s It!
Hopefully, with more practice, I’ll become a master of grocery shopping. With our changing needs, it’s hard to be good at it. But we’ve done a great job recently – going to Publix, getting our fruits and vegetables, picking up lunch meat and bread, and getting their delicious pre-made, ready-to-cook meals because that is simply what works for us right now.
Another awesome thing Matty is great at using: iBotta. You can add your receipts to this app, and it’ll pay you back cash from your purchases! If you’re following my method of keeping receipts to see how much you’re actually spending, you already have them to scan. Matty makes a point to do this after each grocery trip. Use our code vaqamuv and it’ll give us $5 (if you use them, you’ll also get a referral code 👍🏼).
How do you grocery shop? Any pointers out there for budgeting for groceries or keeping kids occupied?