I find that eating through our cabinet, and making an effort to cut down on our grocery bill is an excellent catalyst for saving money in all areas of our lives, and also a great catalyst for WEALTH creation! It gets in our mind, and we get to do bigger things by saving at the grocery stores.
In the past, I’ve personally had the most difficultly sticking to the grocery list. Whenever we needed a few items, we would go to the store and buy out the whole store, because the product placement, the convenience of already BEING THERE, and just the joy I have in grocery shopping – got me! It got me like incredible marketing gets us all!
Lately, I decided on a new strategy. Whenever we need an item or two at the grocery store, we make a conscious effort to just getting that one item, or just the items we need. This morning, we needed JUST APPLES. My son loves having apples for breakfast or when he gets home from school, and therefore, mama needed apples. I asked my husband what he thought a bag of Macintosh apples would cost, and he said around $5. So I brought just that: $5. I didn’t bring my wallet, or a credit card, or anything more than just this $5 for apples. I quickly thought: But what if they are more? And then I said that if a bag of apples is more than $5, then I’ll find a bag that is under $5 or get individual apples for $4 and change.
And so, we dropped our younger peanut off at school and confidently walked into Publix for apples. They had a few different options of apples, and the ones we liked were: $4.49. And so they were purchased, and we walked out of there like SAVING BOSSSSSSSSSSESSSSSSSSSS.
Often times, in the recent past, we would head to Publix for just apples, but then we would pick up some cheese slices, and some potato buns, and then we could use eggs, and then teddy grahams, and then some romaine lettuce, and maybe some organic beef, and oh yeah, look they have Gatorade for sale, let’s get that. And who doesn’t need a $3.97 Kombucha x 2 to start their day? Oh and maybe we should get four, because I would love one for tomorrow morning as well. And whatever I buy for myself, I want for my husband too.
And then the grocery bill for a bag of apples, would turn into a $67 or $97 impromptu grocery run. Now, these numbers you can adjust for what you buy, and what you need, and your previous and current habits – but I think we all get the point.
We end up buying not what we need, and really desire at that point, but everything and then their mother. Sticking to what you need for that day, or for that week, with urgency and consistency, will build your wealth creation mindset (and wallet). I am the first person who loves to indulge in an open and free grocery store budget – but staying disciplined at the grocery store, builds up that savings & wealth creation muscle more than anything else! It’s nice to work it out and get stronger – especially in this area. No one can take away your ability to BUY less, BUY smarter and SAVE more. And that’s pretty darn hot!
This past Sunday my husband wanted to make some homemade bread, but we needed flour. We had the spinach and artichokes he wanted to put inside of the bread, but he also wanted mushrooms. I headed off to Publix with my three year old and her very own shopping cart, and we purchased just these three items:
Flour x 2 = $4
Mushrooms x 1 = $2.49
(The toy shopping cart helped, as only these three things fit in here.)
It feels a bit strange at first to go off to the store, and be surrounded by thousands and thousands of items, but only walk out with three. It’s NOT what we are used to, and what we are used to is pulling into the register with a cart full, and things falling out. But what if we changed that bit around. What if we said: No more. What if we did what we need to do for our wallets and pantries and fridges and cabinets, and acknowledged the fact that we have PLENTY at home, and we only need what we need – not anything extra. Not anything extra regardless of the convenience, the marketing, the sales, the coupons, the everything else that makes us buy more than we need.
(Rare receipts those with just a few items, but we can all do it!)
But what if you don’t have time to go off to the grocery store every time you run out of something. Then sure, I totally understand that. Designate one day, maybe two hours out of the week to first make a list (which you can update daily), and then go with that list, and the exact money that you’ll need for all items, and purchase what’s on this list.
For us, this day will be Fridays, and we’ll go off to Aldi, and buy what we need for the week. I won’t purchase what we’ll need for the rest of the month, but just what we need for the next week. I’ve been tracking what we are running low on, and adding to the list. This way, creating the list, makes us really acknowledge if we really need something, or if it’s just a nice-to-have item. Nice-to-have-items you can leave back in 2017, because 2018 is full of necessity and urgency and consistency – habits that will build your financial freedom and wealth. If you forget something, or leave it off the list, you can substitute with what you already purchased, or you can use the above rule of going to the grocery store, and buying just that one item during the week.
As these habits are practiced, they will get stronger. They will get so strong that they will propel other strong savings & financial habits into the forefront. It’s a pretty bad-arse way to kick off this month, and hooray to everyone who will get this done.
Now: Designate a day of the week to shop, make yo list, and keep it lean!
Cheers Grocery Savers!