Be Smarter When Grocery Shopping

by Kay Lynn

Grocery Cart

Food is a large category in the Boomer household budget and I would guess in yours as well. I’m not a proponent of monotonous meals of beans and rice, but do want to make good choices to be able to live within the budgeted amount. Several strategies have worked for us to stay within budget.

Coupons. I started using coupons to shop after a divorce many years ago when trying to survive on a smaller family income with two small boys. (Thank you Mom for this advice). This is a habit I never lost and Mr. Boomer knew he found true love when he used a coupon on our first date and I never blinked. My rules include to only clip coupons for items I would use and even if I don’t think I need it now, clip the coupon.

Club Shopping. Some grocery items are a better deal at Costco or Sam’s Club. We regularly buy milk, eggs, coffee, toilet paper and dog food at the warehouse store because these items are just about never beatable in terms of quality for the price at a grocery store. We also use coupons now that Costco regularly sends these out; but only for items we would buy anyway.

Flexibility. Be flexible in what you buy week to week. I only buy meats at the grocery store if they’re on sale. So, if steak isn’t on sale we don’t have steak that week.

Stock up when items are at a great sale price. This means buying 10 cans of chicken noodle soup when it’s 50 cents a can even though we won’t use that many for 2 months.

Substitute items you wouldn’t normally purchase if they’re on clearance. I don’t normally cook turkey tenderloins, but when the package is $1.50 on clearance I find a recipe online and make it. Always check the marked down items in produce, dairy, meat and bakery.

These strategies allow Mr. Boomer and I to eat well (including dining out once in a while) within budget. I would enjoy learning from you. What ways are you smarter in your grocery shopping?

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