3 Simple Don’ts & Do’s of Grocery Shopping on A Budget

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There are 100’s perhaps even 1000’s of ways to save money on groceries, but if you are truly time crunched, or  grocery shopping on a budget for the first time  and feeling overwhelmed as to where to start trimming your grocery budget today’s list is for you.

3 simpe don'ts and 3 simple do's of grocery shopping on a budgetToday I am concentrating on just 3 things I think you shouldn’t do if you want to save money at the grocery store and 3 things you should do if you want to save money at the grocery store. No long step by step list this week, just simple advice that works.

3 Don’ts of Grocery Shopping

1. Don’t shop without a list

Shopping without a list guarantees you are going to forget something and that means another trip to the store, wasting time and gas and probably money on groceries you buy when you are there that you didn’t  need.

Even if you don’t make up a menu, at least take the time to make a list of 7 meals you can eat next week for dinner and then make sure you have the ingredients for them, if not add those items to your list. Then think of 2 to 3 things you can eat over and over for breakfast, and 2 to 3 items you can eat over and over for lunches.  Make sure you have all  the items you need to make them on your list. Then take a few minutes to go through your pantry and see if you have enough day to day basics like milk, eggs, fruit, toilet paper, etc. . Also add a few basic snack items. There you have it a simple grocery list made.

When you get to the store stick to your list and avoid adding extras.

2. Don’t shop hungry

This seems like such an unimportant thing but trust me it is super important. When you are hungry, you will stray from your list,  and you will rush through the store so that you can get something to eat, and in doing so you will forget items. Extra items lead to more money spent. Forgotten items lead to extra trips to the store, and again that leads to more money spent.

Make sure to eat first, and then shop.Your wallet will thank you for it.

3. Don’t grab and toss

Even though you have a list, don’t just plop the items in your cart. Take a second to compare prices on different sizes of the item and different brands. This tip alone could save you $100’s of dollars each year.

3 Do’s of Grocery Shopping

1. Do use simple coupon apps.

I love ibotta and Checkout 51 because choosing the coupons I want is so simple. With Checkout 51  all I have to do is upload the receipt to the app when I get home.  Ibotta is a few extra steps but still simple, see my Ibotta tutorial for step by step instructions. I generally save at least $1 to $2 dollars a week with these apps and that is without buying a lot of processed food. These apps save me money on bread, milk, eggs and vegetables. Over the course of a year  that weekly savings add up to around $50 to $100 saved.

2. Do take a moment to look at the sales flyer

Even if you just take 2 minutes to flip through the sales flyer when you arrive at the grocery store of your choosing you can save money with this step. You might discover for instance that chicken breasts are on sale and then you can change your menu plan around a bit to include chicken this week, and leave out something that isn’t on sale. You might discover your children’s favorite brand of mac and cheese is on sale for an incredible price and if it is grab a few weeks worth. Stocking up on a few sale items each week will start to put wiggle room in your grocery budget fairly quickly.

3. Do take 5 seconds to evaluate what is in  your cart

Before you go up to the checkout take a few seconds to evaluate the purchases in your cart and challenge yourself to put back at least one item each and every time. Chances are you didn’t stick to your list 100%. What item that wasn’t on your list can you live without? Put it back. Even if you did stick to your list 100% see if there is one item on it that perhaps you could wait one more week to buy and therefore have one more chance for it to be on sale.

Looking money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Saver Tips Tuesdays, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Friday Link Up,

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  1. Great Tips!! Simple but all valid ways to save without much effort.

  2. love these dos and don’ts! They are so very true and serve as a great reminder! Stopping by from thrifty Thursday!

  3. I found this post from Frugal Friday Link Up Party. These tips are great! I had no clue about the CheckOut 51 app. I am going to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I would add “shop fast” to #1 about shopping with a list. When I have a list in hand (especially a categorized one from eMeals 🙂 I can hit up only the areas of the store I need to be in so fast you wouldn’t believe it! By not wasting time and avoiding temptation areas, I save tons of money! Great tips!

  5. I’ve never heard the ‘put one back’ idea. That is genius. Game changer.

  6. Great Tips! I never shop without a list….my luck i’d get to the store and forget what I needed to make dinner…then have to go back….Lists are great!

  7. Hi! Thanks for the tips! I’m a little late getting here (I found this link on Pinterest), but if you don’t know about it yet, I just found this free app called Flipp. It has most of the flyers for stores in my area for free, and I can “clip” items I want to remember to purchase when I’m at the store. I found it when I was looking for the Checkout 51 app. Thanks again!

  8. Terry Shiflett says:

    Another great shopping app is Flipp. It shows you all of the current ads for all of your local stores.


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