Saturday, January 25, 2020

grocery shopping.




last weekend, i shared about our grocery trip on instagram. what was supposed to be on the lower side of what we normally spend ended up being over $200. two hundred dollars. for food + essentials. it's bananas to think about. (see what i did there? a food pun.)

since sharing, i have had several great conversations about how other people budget + shop for groceries. (some are in my insta highlights if you're interested!) in my quest for developing a grocery plan, i have learned some valuable tips + lessons + information.

i need to stop right here and explain myself a little. (i rarely feel the need to do so, but in this instance, context is important.) i never in my life have had a grocery budget. i've never even had an actual budget for any of my income. up until jared + i were married, i lived with my parents, so they bought the majority of food. i would buy all the fun stuff, like makeup + toiletries + new items. (*remember this.)

fast forward to the day jared + i got back from vegas after eloping. we went grocery shopping right after the plane landed since jared had to go back to work the next day. he said this to me, and it has been something we joke about still to this day: "i usually spend $60 on myself, so we can probably spend $80 for the both of us, right?" now hear me when i say this: i was on a post-elopement high from the previous two days. i didn't really care about anything like groceries at that moment, so i was like suuuuure! (please, please tease him about this for all the rest of our days.)

three weeks later, i finally had to tell jared, I AM HUNGRY. i know this sounds so silly. why didn't i just say something? again - post-marriage bliss. i was still blissful, but i was also starving.

over the following years, i would come to loathe grocery shopping. but then - FINALLY - i had this realization last year, and it changed my shopping habits forever: i am the type of person that looooooooves to try a new product when it comes out in stores. so there i was, filling up my cart with mug cake mixes + kombucha + snacks, but i wouldn't ever actually buy essentials. (*see the correlation? all fun, no logic. lolz.)


some changes i've made + new ideas i want to implement:

-  use what is already in the pantry/cabinets. i am so, so bad at this! but just this week, i made an effort to look at what i had before deciding i need more. i have several bottles of shampoo + body wash that i put under the cabinet because i wanted to try the new one i purchased. (*again- i love trying out new products!) i plan to use all of those up before even thinking about buying more. same goes for makeup. i have been using up all my powders that had just a liiiiittle bit left in the compact, and i have stretched them out for over a week! small changes add up to less money spent.

-  stop buying pre-packaged goods i can make on my own. growing up, one of the things i remember doing alllll the time was grating cheese before we sat down for dinner. i started buying shredded cheese after i got married, and it's silly + grated block cheese is 1000 times better anyway. this goes for other things, too. i never, ever buy pre-cut fruit, but i can stop buying things like expensive "healthy" cookies and making my own. [like these banana cookies.]

-  look at the weekly sales for good deals. i don't know how much i will do this, but if it's an item that has a really good sale (meat, BOGO, essentials, etc.), then i can save a few bucks. again- those small things add up!

-  make a master list of meals. i started writing down meal ideas in a notebook that i can refer to when making a meal plan for the week. this will cut down on decision making, which is one of my pain points in the process of grocery shopping.

-  use ibotta for cash moneyyyyy. it takes five minutes to find the items i've purchased + then add a photo of my receipt. they are literally paying me to do it. [here is my affiliate link if you're interested.]

-  meal prep my breakfasts. i usually eat a perfect bar for breakfast each morning, which adds up to $13 a week. if i make these energy bites or this oatmeal bake, it's so much cheaper!

-  utilize my instant pot. the best invention ever!

-  calm down at trader joe's. LOL. i was spending $60 weekly on - you guessed it - new-to-me products! but this week, i needed three things + i actually stuck to it. my total was $8. EIGHT DOLLARS. not going to lie, i was reeeeeeally proud of myself.

-  make a list before i go shopping. i need structure or i'm just going to end up with random things that won't go very far.

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that was a lot of words about grocery shopping. if you have any tips or tricks, let me know!

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