Frugal Friday: How to Prepare for the Grocery Store

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It’s no fun going to the store without a plan. Seriously, that can be a recipe for stress – if you are taking your kids along – and for overpaying for things you KNOW you could have gotten cheaper if only you had a plan and prepared before stepping foot into the grocery store.

In order to keep from going to the store without a plan and walking out frazzeled, here are some simple things you can do before leaving the house:

:: Make a list. Look at the store(s) weekly ad, find out what is on sale, read blogs (My Favorite thing) with your stores deals, and then create a plan. Make a menu for that week based on what is on sale, what you already have, and what you will pick up at the store.

:: Prepare your coupons. Go through and get out or clip the coupons you know you will be using based on what is on your list. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a grocery aisle trying to corral children and sort through coupons at the same time. No fun.

:: Print any online coupons. This is a big one for me since I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes for items that you don’t normally find coupons for in the Sunday newspaper inserts. When I use coupons at those stores, they’re normally internet printable coupons that I’ve found by reading blogs that share the deals for those stores. Also, check your store’s website to find out if they offer coupons that you can print off of their site. You can also check and to find out if there are any printable coupons there you could use. And make sure to find out if you can combine your stores online coupons with manufacturer’s coupons for more savings. For example, I can combine a Whole Foods store coupon with a printable manufacturer’s coupon.

:: Load coupons onto your store loyalty card. There are a number of different online websites that allow you to load coupons onto your stores loyalty card so that when your card is scanned, the coupon comes off your total bill. The nice thing about loading the coupons is that you will probably only do it once a month, and those coupons are good all month. Just register with the site that has e-coupons available for your store, and load them onto your loyalty card. Here are a few I know of:

:: Pack snacks for the kids. This will help to keep your child happy and help you to avoid opening up that bag of snacks before you pay for it.

:: Make sure you have everything before you leave the house. List, coupons, snacks for kids, and a plan for which stores you are going to shop at.

:: Shop and save. Save time by having a plan and money by being prepared. :-)

How do you make your grocery trips easier to manage?

For more Frugal Friday tips and ideas, please visit Life as Mom.


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4 Responses to “Frugal Friday: How to Prepare for the Grocery Store”

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  1. I mostly hate shopping with my kids, but the grocery store is not too bad. I usually shop at Trader Joe’s, Farmer’s market, and my CSA, so I don’t have to deal with coupons (which I’ve never been able to handle anyway). Trader Joe’s doesn’t care if you open a bag of something or unpeel a banana while in the store, so we snack our way through, and farmer’s markets are always giving out delicious samples. When I take my kids to Target, I always go by the toys first and get my toddler one to play with in the cart. Then we return it before we check out. Thanks for stopping by Eco-novice.

    • Sandra says:

      Betsy, I’m right there with you. I’d rather not shop with my children, but it’s something that I have to do frequently, so, I’ve tried to find ways to make my shopping trips a little less stressful and more manageable.

      You know, I didn’t know that about Trader Joes! That they allow you to eat food like that in the store – even fruit! Wow. I can’t let me kids know about that. 😉

      And I’ve done the same thing when we go to stores like Target. I’ll pick up a toy to keep my littlest one occupied for a short amount of time – and sometimes, it’s really short!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. go alone, hee hee. =)

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