Welcome to Day 1 of 31 Days to Super Savings at Centsable Couponing. With this series, we want to help you learn to save money on groceries and other necessities. Today’s topic is why you need to develop your own shopping strategy in order to maximize your savings.
What is a Shopping Strategy?
Everyone who has ever stopped at a store to “pick up just that one thing” knows that this is rarely what happens. While you’re in line you remember that you also need that other thing for tomorrow’s dinner. This leads to five extra ingredients that you may have in the pantry, but will buy in case you don’t. Next thing you know, you have a shopping cart full of stuff.
When you get home, you discover that you already had three of each of those extra ingredients you picked up. This is where your shopping strategy will help save you from spending when you don’t need to.
When you know what you have in your pantry or cupboard, you won’t be tempted to buy ingredients “just in case”. Just keep an inventory list taped to the back side of the pantry door and check things off as you remove them. You decide how many of each item you’d like to keep in stock. When you’re low, you simply add the item to your shopping list.
I use the form below from Organized Home. They have great printable lists for free download.
Making a Menu
Making a menu is a helpful way to keep from buying things you don’t need or won’t use. If you can plan meals out a week or a month ahead, you can shop according to what your recipes will require. As you decide what you’ll be making you can refer to your pantry list and shop the pantry first. You can then add needed ingredients to your shopping list.
For great recipes, I still refer to my grandma’s old red and white Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book. The classic dishes are favorites around our house.
The first and most important thing to remember about a shopping list is to TAKE IT WITH YOU. I am a great list maker but tend to be lacking as a list taker.
Something that has helped me with this forgetfulness is to make my lists on my cell phone. I have several apps as well as just a note section that reminds me what it is I’m supposed to be shopping for. I’m much better at remembering to take my phone everywhere than a written list.
The other great thing about your list always being with you is that you will know what you need if you come upon an unexpected sale.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your first day of our series and have an idea of how you might start building your own shopping strategy. We’ll build on this tomorrow with an all new topic to help you learn to save even more money.