I don't normally go the grocery store that often. Not because I don't enjoy going. I actually really do! I don't go too often because I don't necessarily need to. I plan my grocery trips well enough to where we can make several meals over the course of two, sometimes three weeks, that we don't need to go but twice a month. Grant it- I don't cook every day and we do go out to eat at least twice a week/end so that helps.
I want to share with you my grocery store routine in hopes that I can make your grocery experience a little more fun, resourceful and inexpensive!
1. Plan Meals
I don't plan meals down to the day we'll actually make them, but I do spend about an hour on Sundays browsing my cookbooks and Pinterest for new recipes to try and old ones we can make again. We decide how what recipe we feel like making that day so that it leaves us with choices and flexibility, just in case.
2. Make a List
Of course, the fastest way to blow a diet, blow a budget, and/or forget important items at the store is by not making list. My list honestly never ends. I have a notepad by my refrigerator I use to write down ingredients we're running low on or toiletries we need more of as I go about my week. As soon as I get back from the store, I begin another list for the week. Of course, on Sundays when I'm picking our meals, I'm simultaneously writing down all the ingredients I need, as well as writing down where I found the recipes and what the titles are in case I need to reference them quickly while at the store or at home.
3. Clip Coupons
H-E-B has always been my go-to grocer. One of the many reasons why I shop here is because of their coupon program. They have digital and printable coupons I "clip" from my online profile on their website. Once I have my grocery list set, I go to my heb.com account and begin browsing and selecting coupons for what's on my list. I do this right before I head to the store so that I know the coupons are valid (they give expiration dates on them), and it takes me about 10 minutes. That 10 minutes, on average, saves me about $10/ trip. Once you select the coupons, they are added to your "selected" list. At the checkout, you enter your phone number and password/ code you create when you sign up. The digital coupons that your purchases qualify for will automatically be applied to your total.
4. Stick to A Route
I always begin in the produce department and work my way around until I get to toiletries. Because of the exact same route I take every time, I actually make my list in order of items I come across first. For example, all my fruits and veggies are at the top of my list followed by meat and seafood. Then, it's pantry items like pasta, rice, seasonings, and canned goods. Next, it's dairy. You get the idea. This keeps me focused while shopping and prevents me from grabbing items I don't necessarily need.
Do you have a grocery store routine? I'd love to here your shopping strategies.