Monday, December 9, 2013

#PROJECTMOVEOUT : Groceries

Millennials are smart and like some of my friends, always try to beat the system. Although this may be true, I realized that even my smartest friend of my friends still makes poor choices when grocery shopping. This friend and I went grocery shopping a month ago and we both went over budget (him way more than me). Since I now have a job where I have the luxury of not spending more than $20 on groceries, I sometimes catch myself making some of these similar mistakes.

So I thought of some tips.

Start from the furthest aisle

If you think about it, supermarkets are designed with produce first and then your diary, meats, and frozen foods last. Well, sometimes your toiletries are in the last few aisles too. Either way last time I went, I kept trying to remind myself that I still needed frozen fruits. And that aisle was toward the end of our journey. So as I walked every aisle, my trip got more and more expensive. Then at the end, didn't get what I exactly needed from the freezer.

You know the layout of your favorite supermarket. Map out how you want to shop. Cause going aisle by aisle aimlessly is destined to make you spend more money. Of course it is always fun to see what's available, and how would you learn about new foods? In that case, leave a part of your grocery budget for splurging. That cushion will help prevent overspending.

Grocery List

I know it makes you feel like a soccer mom, but it is necessary. You are destined to forget something and spend more money overall. Just make the list. It will help you with knowing which aisles you need and don't need. If you really really want to save time, maybe sort your list by the aisles in your supermarket. Cause besides spending too much money on groceries, we also spend a lot of time in the supermarket.

Pick up the circular!

Once again, I know you're not a grandma but this will help you in the future. This is a habit even I have strayed away from a little but need to bring myself back to. Reading the circular gives you one up on what deals are available and useful for your shopping trip. You'll know if nothing on your list is on sale from the beginning, instead of anticipating that there will be. Or you'll find out a big chunk of your list is on sale. This happens a lot during BBQ season.

You can also look up the circular online before you go. That's a true pro move. That way, you know about how much you will spend on your sale items. If you want to take it even a step further, some supermarkets allow you to price everything online. Therefore you'll know how much you'll ring up at the end of your trip. Personally, I don't do this, but probably will once I have children. It would allow me to budget more closely and save a ton of time.

So how did I spend on $20 on groceries, you ask?

Bread
1lb Sliced White American Cheese
Raw Spinach
Cheap Boneless Chicken
Eggs
Ramon Noodles
... and splurge on a few small items.

Grocery shopping is something you will have to do for the rest of your life. Make sure you do it well. Supermarkets create as many obstacles as they can to make you spend more. Don't let them win. You still need money for that night out on the town with your other 20-something year old friends.Oh and General Tso' Chicken.