In professional practice I find that one thing that brings patients a lot of success is planning. Planning can help individuals make better food choices and healthier decisions. I find that planning is what keeps my home life anchored in sanity and balance as well. Like the Winston Churchill quote from WWII says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This wisdom still rings true today. Whether it’s meal planning for the week ahead, making a grocery list or prioritizing a simple to do list, planning is essential.
So, let’s talk about how to create a cost effective grocery list. Different households have different grocery shopping frequencies. No matter if you shop once a week or once a month, these step by step instructions can help de-stress grocery shopping.
Step 1: What do we need?
Keep a running list throughout the week to make sure things that get used up can quickly get replaced. The primary shopper, me in my family, won’t know if something is gone unless it gets put on the list. We keep ours on the fridge for easy reference.
Step 2: What’s on Sale?
Review your local supermarket’s sale circular. Whether you receive it in your mailbox or view it online, it’s important to know what’s on special for the week. Look for deals on lean proteins like chicken, fish, eggs, or whatever your family likes. Check out sales on fruits and veggies, whether fresh, frozen or No Salt/No Sugar Added canned. You’ll often find deals in the bread aisle on whole grain options as well.
Step 3: What’s already here?
Take an inventory of what you already have in stock in your pantry, cupboard, fridge, cabinets, or wherever else you may store food. It helps to keep staples like dried whole grain pasta, No Salt Added canned beans, whole grain rice, and flour always stocked as go-to ingredients for quick meals. You don’t want to buy something at the store only to find out you already had it when you return home and unpack.
Step 4: More savings?
Coupons! I’m not saying you have to go the extent of being an “Extreme Couponer,” but coupons can help save money, especially when the product is also on sale. You can access them the old fashioned way through the Sunday newspaper, download them onto your store’s loyalty card from their website, or print them off from sites like couponsuzy.com or coupons.com.
Step 5: Where’s the food?
If you frequent the same store week after week, you pretty much have a feel for its layout. Why not make your list reflect your flow through the store? If produce is the first display as you walk through the door, group all of your fresh produce items at the beginning of your list. If your next stop is the bread aisle, your list should reflect it. Make your list flows with the store all the way to checkout to ensure nothing’s left behind.