If you’re like me then you spend way too much money on groceries. And I’m the worst at coupons. I’ll save them, right? But then some magical force in the universe will make the one I actually need before a trip disappear. It’s maddening. I’ll know without a shadow of a doubt that I saved that coupon for crackers but when I go to find it, all I’ll find is just hundreds upon hundreds of coupons for cat litter. And then the next trip (when I’m desperately in need of cat litter), I’ll think, YES, finally I have coupons I can use. But then every single coupon for cat litter will mysteriously have morphed into coupons for laundry detergent. It has to be something I’m being punished for that I did in a past life. I refuse to believe current me deserves the universe’s mockery to such a degree.
But regardless of the cruel curse that is obviously upon me, I know I can do better at saving money on groceries if I’m just a little bit more organized and if I put just a little bit more thought into my trips. Because there are some easy tricks you can follow to save big money on your grocery spending.
1. Study the contents of your pantry more thoroughly than your mom studies your Facebook page to learn all of your secrets.
We waste TONS of money every year by simply forgetting that we already have a half used container of say, vanilla and then rebuying it to make cookies. Every week before you shop you should take stock of what you already have. Then, when you make your weekly grocery list, you won’t be wasting extra dollars on ingredients you totally own. Having trouble remembering what you have in there? Try a mnemonic device! Let’s imagine you have raspberry jam, pasta, saltines, tomato soup, chocolate cake mix, tea, and brown sugar in your cupboard. Well just turn them into a simple word using the first letter of each item. Like Rpstctb. See how easy and fun it is? You’ll remember Rpstctb as long as you live.
2. Then consume EVERYTHING like you’re at an open bar and you only have an hour left.
Now, that you’ve looked in your pantry and discovered, yes, you DO already have the breath of a thousand babies bottled up and at your disposal for all your witchcraft needs, you need to become serious about using it all up. As Americans, we let so much food go to waste every year. So spend some time googling recipes that will use up that coriander or spells that will totally curse your terrible boss with that toadstool you have sitting around. You’ll be cost effective AND save the environment at the same time (Unless you’re doing spells to cast about the end of days in which case, you just keep doing you).
3. Plan your meals based on sales and not based on a recipe you saw in a magazine at your dentist’s office.
Lots of grocery saving tips tell you to plan your recipes first and THEN go shopping. But that will lead to you buying lots of items at full price. The better way to plan your meals is to see what’s on sale and then Google recipes around those items. Like maybe you find great deals on chicken and beans that week. So now you know you should make a chicken chili. Or fill a bathtub full of beans and bathe in it, yelling, I made it! I’m the king of the beans! Look Ma, no hands. All beans! I’M THE KING OF THE BEANS!
4. Know your Route like you’re preparing to be a contestant on Supermarket Sweep.
We tend to pick up unnecessary items when we wander aimlessly down every aisle. So know your local grocery store inside and out and only go down the aisles with foods on your list. It will keep you from grabbing things you totally don’t need “because they’re on sale” or “because you suddenly remembered that the dog next door told you in a dream to poison everyone in your family and also, ‘could you pick up some peanut butter?’”