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Ten on Tuesday: The Preachy Edition


Apologies in advance.  I get preachy when it comes to grocery shopping.  (Just ask Erin!)  Yes, this week's Ten on Tuesday topic will get me started. . . we're talking Ten Ways to Save at the Grocery Store.


A little street market in Paris.

I am not really all that good at saving at the grocery store -- I don't tend to scrimp when it comes to cooking and eating.  But I do make good use of the money I spend!


A little corner market in Amsterdam.

Here goes!  My Ten (Preachy) Ways to Save at the Grocery Store:

  1. Cook and eat at home!  It costs so much more to eat "quick" foods -- at restaurants, at fast-food spots, even already-prepared "convenience" foods.  Sure, it takes a commitment to sit down to a home-cooked meal every day -- but it's worth it. . . in cost-savings, in your health and fitness, in your family relationships.  (Sorry.  Preachy.)  Even through the busiest of times -- when I was working and going to grad school and dragging my kids to their activities and helping with homework (etc.) -- we sat down and ate a home-cooked meal every night.  It took a commitment -- but I absolutely know it was worth it!  It started as a cost-saver, and continues because it works.
  2. Shop once a week!  The fewer trips to the grocery store you make, the lower your food bill will be.
  3. Plan ahead!  Plan out your menu for the week ahead; take into consideration what your schedule looks like and plan your meals accordingly. 
  4. Check out the sale flyer for your grocery store!  I take a look (they're even available online now; I have my store's flyer sent to me by email) before I plan my menu for the week.  That way, I can plan meals around what type of meat is on sale; what type of fish is available; what veggies are in stock.
  5. Make a list!  Make that. . . a detailed list.  Use your menu plan, figure out what you have; what you need.  Note quantities, weights, specific details.  Planning and list-making take some advance time -- but they are so worth it when it comes to shopping and cooking for the rest of the week.
  6. Use the list!  I carry my list (in a little spiral bound notebook I keep in my purse) into the store - with a pen in hand.  I cross off items as I put them in the cart.  I make sure I have everything on my list before heading to the check-out line.  (Can you say "Geek Shopper?"  That's me!) Do not deviate from the list!  Need what you buy. . . buy what you need.
  7. Do not go to the grocery store when you're hungry.  And, if possible, go alone!  (If I have either of my kids OR Tom with me, they put things in the cart when I'm not looking.  I get to the check-out line and wonder where some of the stuff came from.  Tom is the worst offender.  Totally.)
  8. Avoid coupons!  I know this sounds counter-intuitive.  But most coupons are NOT for things you want.  They are for things food manufacturers WANT you to buy.  My grocery store spits coupons out with my receipt -- based on what I have just purchased (kind of creeps me out).  9.8 times out of 10, these coupons are for brands or items I would never use.  I don't even take them.  (Do you ever see coupons for vegetables?  milk?  meat?  No.  They're usually for a new brand of cookies or snack foods or convenience rice or something you probably don't really need.)
  9. Don't purchase non-food items at the grocery store!  If you need shampoo or Tylenol or pens, pick them up elsewhere.  They are generally overpriced at the grocery store.
  10. Join Costco (I wish) or Sam's Club (my only option, sadly) to save on bulk purchases!  I hit Sam's every six weeks or so for paper products, bulk canned items I use regularly, things like that.  It takes a certain restraint at Sam's. . . use a list; do not deviate; and, whatever you do, avoid the candy bar aisle!


Another little street market, this one in Montmartre.

And so ends my Preachy Rant about Grocery Shopping!  Have a nice day!


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I agree with your every word and live by it, too. However, I always forget something on my list. Must start checking off items. Good idea!


I make a list and then usually forget it at home. When I do remember it things are much more efficient!

I agree with you on coupons. They generally are for things that I never use.


I agree with you on almost all of this, there are a handful of things I do buy that sometimes have coupons, but I usually seek the coupon out instead of getting a coupon and seeking out the item (if that makes sense)


I'd like to get better about the list! It might help mix things up a bit in the menu department too!


Wonderful list!


Excellent!! Love your photos -- I wish there was more of that here.


I cross off my list and double check it, too! Great photos!!


Mom! You sound just like her, but it is all sound advice. Although in Paris I would break all the rules and go broke.

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