I’ve been thinking a lot about how I grocery shop. It may not be the most efficient way, but it works for me and for us as a family. I clip coupons when I can, and read the circulars so I can get the most bang for my bucks. Every two weeks I go through my kitchen, make a list of the things I need, and head out to Walmart. As much as I generally dislike having to shop at Walmart, the low prices are a siren song to my frugal little heart. Plus, I can take all those circulars there and they will price match, so I don’t have to run all over town.
Recently, I’ve added a pre-Walmart trip to Aldi, because if anyone is going to beat a Walmart price, it’s Aldi. Their selection isn’t as vast as the behemoth box store, so I can’t get everything I need, but I can get quite a bit. This is good on many levels, including that my time in Walmart is greatly reduced.
Of course, I fill in during the week as I need milk, eggs, and bananas. These are the things we always seem to use up in seconds (either that, or my son is hoarding fruit under his bed and I’m too scared to look). And because it is fun for me, I like to go to Sprouts on Wednesdays because they let their circulars overlap and so there are double the items on sale that day. They also have free coffee samples. Oh, and their produce just seems fresher and is often cheaper that the aforementioned behemoth.
I don’t meal plan because it feels constrictive and I prefer to figure out dinner on a day to day basis. I keep staples around the house (I have a refrigerator and a deep freeze) so I can have the freedom to change my mind. I like to think I have enough cooking know how to make substitutions for ingredients I don’t have on hand, or I just don’t make that recipe until do.
So that’s what I do. I reserve the right to amend my process at any given time, especially given that I’m about to ask: How do you grocery shop? Have you developed any tricks to make it easier/faster/cheaper?