Last week I ‘started over’ with my shopping habits, it’s not all that easy to reign in the need to just walk into a store and spend, buy what you need, not think much about what the bill will be, but I am a little competitive with ‘myself’ so, once I start tracking what I am spending again I start challenging myself to do better. So, here is “Step Two” (not to be confused with the two step, but dance if you must)
1. Take a look at what you have in your cabinets, fridge, freezer, pantry. You are going to find you have things you’ve bought on impulse months ago, pushed to back of cabinet and never used. USE these things or put them in a bag to donate. Do something with these finds or you’ll end up throwing them away some day. (oh yes, this is me too!)
I still have leftovers from last week’s whole chicken. Time to make chicken pie and freeze whatever may be left for future soup? I still have leftover Ham steak for our weekly dinner with eggs (egg sandwiches or omelets). Found cans of Kidney beans (dusty) for Chili and some frozen breaded Perdue Chicken (chicken parm subs?)
2. Write your weekly menu (different order than step one). What items did you buy last week that you didn’t use? what is in your cabinets that you pushed to the back ? If you are reading this post you have the internet, go to Pinterest or google several other sites and search on recipes for leftovers or the ingredients you have and start using these things, stop wasting your $$ and time.
3. READ, browse through your weekly grocery circular. WOW, there are things on sale that you use more than once a month, buy extra, plan your menu around these items. (have you noticed we are NOT using coupons YET?!) Revise menu if needed.
4. Write your Grocery List. and REMEMBER to Bring Your List with You. (my biggest mistake!!)
So, we are going to ‘take inventory’ of what we already have, make a menu planned from our inventory, what is on sale and what we really need. Make a plan and stick to it. Of course, life gets in the way, we change plans, too tired to cook or get off schedule, there is flexibility in our schedules and should be with our menu’s but if you have a plan, a list (oh god, my dad would be so proud of my importance of lists) you will find it much easier to keep yourself from overspending.
Hoping to hear of your successes and failures too. We’ll work together to get better at this.
If you are ready to skip ahead to electronic assistance with lists, deals.. some sites i use for help are www.couponmom.com (she has a great ‘list’ feature) www.krazycouponlady.com (you may need to ‘search’ for your grocery store) and www.howtoshopforfree.net (i stalk this site for gas rewards tips). Friend $ensible Deal$ for daily finds by others.
Coming soon: Couponing and saving the lazy way!