Ok- who is trying their best to stay home during this quarantine but keeps running out of something and needs to go to the store?? In my efforts to find toilet paper I have forgot Half & Half, Coffee Filters and a couple other things. Here is a list of ways to eliminate multiple shopping trips throughout the week that will keep you out of the stores AND help you save money!
- Menu Planning
I know it may be a hard concept for some, but if you can take the time right now to think out the next week of meals and snack, you can go to the store ONCE and be done. START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY- and build from there – you may just need 1 or 2 items to throw a meal together and not have to buy as much. You may like going to Costco but then you may still need to go to other stores for the fill-in items. If you can get everything you need at ONE store, that is even better Smart & Final has the large items like Costco but also regular grocery items as well. I have been able to get my whole list there before. Grocery Outlet has worked well, and also Walmart and Target- but I have had to deal with larger crowds.Here is a basic printable for a menu and shopping list– if you google “free menu plan shopping list”, there are so many to choose from so you can find one that works for you.
- Make a List
If you are heading into the stores, MAKE A LIST. Once you have made a menu, make a list. Don;t forget to put things like foil, oil, butter, half & half or any staples you need to make everything. If you are shopping at a store that sells your household and beauty items then add those too. Don’t panic if your totals end up being higher at the store when you do this- You are shopping long term, and this will still be less than the multiple trips you take- those add up, especially when you impulse buy or are hungry when you shop.Tip: Once you make a menu and list- take a picture of it, that way if you go to the store and forget it-you have it on your phone= I learned this the hard way!!
- Utilize Pick Up and Delivery Services
Instacart has the options of almost all grocery stores and you can choose what you want from where. Is there a fee-YES, but you are not using your time and gas, and you won’t be in the stores with other people. Some grocery stores have their own pick-up and delivery services as well. In the past you may not have wanted the fees, but now it may be worth it because you are quarantined at home. If stores have a pick-up option you will be able to just drive up and have them load your car for you also.
- Utilize App Coupons and Cash Back Apps
Before you shop, if your store has an app- load the coupons to your card. If you use Cash Back apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51 or Fetch, check through those and see if what you like you can save or get cash back on them. A quick scan through the coupons or a quick picture of your receipt can get you great savings with minimal effort. For the apps I use all the time and how to Get and use them GO HERE
- Stick to Your Budget
If you decide what you have to spend BEFORE you go shopping you will be less likely to buy unnecessary items. If you order your groceries online you will be able to see your total and know if you need to take out or are able to add anything else.
I used to hear from people that they just don’t have the time to do some of these things, but if you do take the time now while you have it- it gets EASIER. Then when this quarantine is all over you will have developed some money saving habits that will last!!!
If you have ANY questions or need someone to walk you through menu planning, budgeting, online grocery ordering just email me Diana@pantryoverflow.com I would love to help you!!