I just listened to two audio chapters in Grocery University, which I introduced to you last week. Carrie, the blogger who made the 19-part series, has a lot of savvy tricks to reduce your grocery bill that were new even to me!
The first chapter is on menu planning, which cuts down on extra grocery trips and helps avoid eating out and ordering take out. The trick, Carrie says, is to make a grocery list around sales, then plan the meals based on what deals you’ll be getting. People usually do the meal planning first. It’s not about changing what meals you make, just timing them to sales.
Tip: Carrie compares grocery sales at five stores each week, but she only shops at the 2-3 stores with the most deals.
Her grocery list is comprised of:
- What’s on sale that week.
- What’s at a stock up price (to replenish her pantry).
- What she absolutely needs to buy that week, even if it’s full price.
Carrie’s goal is to buy the main items in her meal plan at a great price. She spends 15-20 minutes each week to plan meals and says she eventually developed a feel for meal planning around sales and can “wing it.”
The second chapter I listened to was on stockpiling, a crucial part of Carrie’s strategy to saving money on food. The idea is not to buy just a few extra of an item on sale, but to buy enough so that you won’t run out until the next stock up sale comes along. Generally, three months. Some items, like ketchup, go on sale during the summer but not again during the year. So when ketchup is at rock bottom, buy enough to last your family a year. (In my family that’s one bottle.)
Tip: Don’t let lack of space stop you from stockpiling! You can stash food in the basement, garage, even under your bed. (Just remember where you put it.)
More advice on stockpiling:
- Aim for a three month supply of the foods you use most often, or more if an item only goes on super sale once a year.
- Check expiration dates before you buy.
- Make sure your family likes a product before you stockpile it.
A lot of couponers get addicted to amazing deals, but what’s the point of buying more when you already have a full stockpile? Save money by eating your stockpile.
Get the remaining 17 audio files (about two hours) of Grocery University lessons and tips. Carrie’s advice is worth every penny!
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