Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Best Way to Save Money at the Store

Do not go to the store. Do not walk into the store, and you cannot spend any money there. Sounds easy, right? Yes, I know you have to eat and there are things you need, but the question is - do you need them right now? Or could you put it off a few days? A week?

I know there are people who seem to need to run to the store practically every day. First of all, I don't want to take the time necessary to do that, and second, I know that if I walk into the store I will be more likely to buy something I don't really need, along with whatever I went in there to buy in the first place. I'm not an impulse buy type of person, I'm a can't resist a good deal type of person. So, if I see a good sale, and especially if I have some coupons, I'm going to stock up. What this really means is that I have practically everything I could need in my house at any given time. I may not have exactly what the teenagers think they want, but no one is going to starve. It also means that I should never have to pay full price for anything - except certain basics like flour and eggs.

However, I cannot go to the store every day or even every week. Yes, I get the best deals possible, but a lot of good deals still add up to a lot of money. If I get $300/month to spend, and I spend it all in the first week (not that I do - just sayin'), then I need to use the stuff I already bought instead of going to the store for more - no matter how good the sales look. Besides, I wouldn't have room in the pantry or freezer.

Keep the basics on hand, always - rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce, cream of mushroom or chicken soup, frozen veggies, hamburger or ground turkey in the freezer, canned tomatoes, flour, tuna, etc. Everyone's basics are different, so you have to figure out what you use on a regular basis and then keep that on hand. Keep a running list or inventory of these basics, so you know when you start to run low. That way you won't start making dinner, realize you are out of something you need, and have to run to the store to replace it. Honestly, I've never done that, but I've heard people do. If I ever do happen to run out of something, I just adjust my dinner plans and use something else, rather than running to the store.

And, if I don't go to the store, I don't spend any money. Of course, when I finally do go, we may need a thing or two.

ETA: (9/12/08) I found this article in my email today, Get Free Groceries Every Week, and it seemed to go right along with this. All tips that I could have, maybe should have written myself, but didn't. I do need to follow #5 a little better and remember to get coupons other places than just my Sunday paper.


  1. Man I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow and I know that it's going to cost a small fortune. Yeah think the family wouldn't mind eating kraft dinner for the rest of the month? LOL

  2. I was thinking about going shopping today, but I just didn't need enough things to make it worth the effort. I am getting low on flour and eggs and onions, so I probably can't put it off any longer than next week...

  3. I know we tend not to go until we absolutely have to. But then we spend enough money to make up for the weeks we missed. Darn, I think we are running out of milk again, and I forgot to pick it up.


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