How to Save Money on Your Next Trip to the Grocery Store


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 or

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.


Happy New Year!!

New Year 2015

Happy New Year!!! Just like you, I can’t believe it’s 2015. As the New Year began, one verse of scripture came to mind, Isaiah 43:19:

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (KJV)

This verse makes me think about doing a new thing (or things) for the New Year. With careful thought, I developed my list of New Year’s Resolutions to help create a healthier, more organized life for me and my family.

  1. Drink more water. Everyone knows the old guideline to drink 64 oz of water a day, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. My job requires me to talk all day to patients and coworkers alike. All that time talking means there’s less time for drinking. For this year, I’m committed to measuring out my fluids for the day, keeping my water bottle nearby at all times, and then actually drinking the water that sits next to me all day.
  2. No fast food. You might be thinking, “A dietitian eats fast food?!?!” Just like any other person with a full time job, a household to run, kids to care for and a marriage to nurture, time is short. If you fail to plan, it’s easy to fall into the trap of the convenience of the drive through or the pizza delivery guy. This year, I’m committed to avoiding fast food by planning ahead. Which leads into my next resolution…
  3. Consistent meal planning. Planning meals ahead of time saves money at the grocery store and time spent trying to figure out what to cook during the week. I’m committed to sitting down with the weekly grocery ad and making a list for what our family needs for the week. No more two and three trips to the store each week.
  4. Exercise. Since I had my second child last spring, structured exercise has not really been a part of life…at all. This is actually ironic since I used to be a D1 college track star at Ohio State…Go Bucks!! That was kind of a long time ago (not really), but that’s still no excuse. To get back into the swing of things, I’m committed to working out 2 days a week for at least 10 minutes. Public health recommendations are to get moderate exercise for 150 minutes a week, which works out to about 30 minutes 5 days a week. So I have a little bit of work to do. Baby steps!

So, that’s the jist of my New Year’s Resolutions. What are your goals for 2015?