Monday, January 28, 2013
How to Save Money: Changing your shopping strategy.
I was talking to a friend the other day about my enchiladas.
I was making up 4 batches at one so that I could put a couple of casseroles in the freezer.
She mentioned she would love to be able to make freezer dinner, but she couldn't afford to buy the extra ingredients to make more.
This made me realize just how different my shopping strategy is from the majority of households.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like the majority of people spend their weekly grocery money on the food they are going to eat THAT week.
I don't do this.
I buy the items that are the best price and as much of it as I can.
Let's say I have $100 to spend each week.
I will use $60-$70 of it on sales, clearance, and bulk.
And only $30-40 on things I need for the week like; milk, cheese, fresh produce.
When I plan my weekly menu I look at the things I already have on hand from previous bulk purchases and then I only have to get a few missing items.
So if The Grocery Outlet has organic pasta for only $0.89 a lb I will buy 10-20 of them.
That way when I am making pasta dishes, I do not have to run to the store and pay $3 a lb for it.
I already have it in my food storage and I paid 1/3 of the price for it. And I have enough to make several Rotini Casseroles for my freezer if I want.
If Annie's Organic Black Beans are on sale, I will buy a case of them. I do not "need" a case of black beans for that week, but I know I will use them eventually. Then on Taco Tuesday, I can grab a can of black beans I paid $0.99 for instead of running to the store and paying $1.89.
Buying when the deal is hot saves you a ton of money in the long run. It takes a few weeks, even months, to get into the groove, but once you make the transition, you will see your dollar stretch farther and farther. In addition, you will have fewer and fewer last minute trips to the store for that "one thing" that ends up being "six things". An added bonus is you usually have all the food on hand for several different emergency dinners when you need dinner on the table fast.
If needed- start out small. Set aside $20 a week for bulk purchases, and slowly convert over until the majority of your money is going toward sales and deals.
It's amazing to see your storage shelves fill up with food without any change to your budget.