Plan your grocery shop? Does this step sound a little unnecessary? If you’re a total beginner at this, it might be a little meaningless to you right now. But it’s important to develop this step as a habitual part of your weekly grocery plan. As you learn the different techniques and tricks for saving money and spending less on groceries, you may discover that it is worth shopping at more than one store for your groceries. When you begin to do this, you will need to plan for it in order to make it worth your while and to save you time and energy and fuel.
With your grocery list in hand, decide which items you will purchase at each individual store.
I have three main stores.
Costco is a RARE stop for me, and in fact, I probably won’t renew my membership there. While there are several items that are cheaper to buy at Costco, I don’t think it’s worth my while to renew. And besides, my mom goes there REGULARLY, so if there’s something I really want from there, I can get her to pick it up for me. (I know that’s cheating, but it’s the truth!)
Sobey’s is my favorite regular supermarket store. It has better quality meats and produce than the discount stores, and it’s less expensive (in general) than Safeway or Co-op (the other two main supermarkets around here). I also receive a 10% off coupon for my local Sobey’s once a month. This particular grocery store has a monthly sale week called Dollar Days. During Dollar Days, there are many of my regular items on sale for $1. With my 10% off coupon, I can stock up on these items for $0.90 each! So during those weeks, it’s worth the extra stop for me.
A majority of my grocery shopping is done at Superstore. (Extra Foods and No Frills are basically the same thing, but Superstore is the closest to my home.) This is a discount store, almost like a warehouse store. It’s big, and the store brand (President’s Choice) is excellent quality on most of the products I buy. They also have a lot of no name products, which, naturally, are very inexpensive. If you shop here, remember to bring your own bags because they charge you $0.05 per plastic bag!
So, with my list in hand, I mark my items according to store. If I’m using my Master Grocery List, I will highlight all the Costco stuff in one color, and all the Sobey’s stuff in another. Everything else is assumed to be a Superstore purchase.
Another method is to do this step along with the previous step. Make your grocery list for each store individually.
Just use whichever method works for you. And again, it takes practice to figure out what you like best.