Grocery shopping can be a huge challenge to find what we need for prices that are great! Here are a few tips of my own and a wonderful link from Menus4Moms~thanks for posting such a great list...
Here are my tips:
1. Make that list. Inventory first, then make a list so you can plan your meals out. Decide if you are shopping weekly, biweekly or monthly or even everyday...this will matter on what you plan to get and to use.
2. Depending upon your decision of shopping frequency, look at your money too~how much can you spend right now to invest in stocking the pantry? Be sure you have cash ready to go or the check book is in balance and you KNOW how much to spend.
3. I'd suggest taking a calculator with you. I like to use on to figure the price per serving or pound so I can compare product to product. CALCULATE those prices~don't trust the shelves!!! Tip: I KNOW they put the wrong tags under the wrong products...seen it so many times!!! AND watch the register when they are scanning~sometimes THIS is wrong too! HINT: If at WalMart, they will (or have, so ask) give you the item FREE if it rings up wrong...BE WATCHFUL!
4. Decide if you have enough room to buy in bulk for sale items and items you use a lot. Storage is a huge consideration, and I like to, now I don't always get to, clean out the fridge~meaning wiped out and ready to go...crisper freshened up...I line with paper towel...have used dish towels to make produce last longer...there's a reason the lettuces are put in cotton drawstring bags...it keeps it from wilting! But prepare the areas for bringing home the food! Also you will KNOW exactly what you do and don't need.
HINT: When sprucing up the fridge for the new produce~use a light cleaning solution of either vinegar and water or bleach (1/2 cap full) per 2 qts of water to wipe out the inside. This will freshen and also kills off any bacteria. If you need to do a thorough clean~bring out all the condament containers and wash them under running water with soap...dry off and put back. How often do we wash the ketchup or mayo containers? If you do this after each use, then of course you don't have to do it now...but when kids are doing these chores, sometimes they tend to either try to get it done as fast as possible, or they forget...but this will keep it all germ free! Also I like to wipe the fridge handles daily. Just good cleanliness!
BACK to shopping~
5. Make your list arranged in order your store is going to be in...if it's produce first then list those items. Next, if it's meats, then list those; if it's canned goods or dry goods such as baking supplies and sugars, then put those next. Order that list a head of time so you don't have to do it as you go. This will save you loads of time in the store. Also you can have your children make the list too. Download this FREEBIE for making an easy shopping list:
6. Grab sales papers or coupons you might be using. I am not one for much of this because I am more of a scratch cook, but for those who prefer these foods, the money saving in this area is essential. Did you know if you have a specific brand you prefer you can go online and print out coupons for about anything?? Put the brand name or even the name of the item and up comes all the sites~shop online for the best cents off deal before hitting the store! (This isn't about food, but we needed shoes here, so I have a fav store so I went to their site and ordered with FREE shipping! Also got money off by signing up to get their news about deals! Never will I miss that by one get 1/2 off again!!) Remember to do your homework about your list...
7. I am going to defer you to Menus4Moms for the fifty tips to save~
from Menus4Moms! I would like to kick in just one thing about using left over rice...I understand it is not good for health as it quickly breaks down into sugars, so if you are pre or diabetic, consider making just enough rice so there are NO left overs and don't precook. Health is worth a BUNCH! Check out the right sidebar for a FREE weekly menu plan from Menus4Moms!
Here's to living and loving on less! How are you working your grocery shopping excursions and SAVING???