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One of the most common topics I discuss during meetings with financial coaching clients is how to save at the grocery store. Buying groceries is a common denominator for everyone at any stage of their financial journey. 


And if you have gone to the grocery store (or bought groceries) at all lately, you know the price of groceries is continually increasing. Below are some tips to help you save monthly dollars when buying groceries.


Meal Plan

If you have heard it once, you have heard it a million times. Meal planning will help you plan meals throughout the week, allowing you to create a grocery list with just those items. Understanding how your week will play out is key to setting yourself up for success. I know personally things come up all the time during the week to derail our plans (parents asking us to come to dinner, unplanned leftovers, etc.), so honestly, I only try to plan for three main meals to make during the week and purchase groceries tailored to those meal needs. I always have on hand spaghetti and sauce, bread to make sandwiches, a head of lettuce, canned or frozen soups, boxed rice, frozen veggies, and chicken that I can make for meals on those “off days” when something doesn’t pop up, and now I need a meal for dinner.


Make the Grocery List

Making this list will limit the “peer pressure” of impulse buying all the marketing people at the grocery store are hoping you will do without a plan. Aimlessly walking up and down the aisle and grabbing things as you see them leads to overbuying in a hurry. And sometimes duplicate buying. I fell victim to this over the weekend. I ran in quickly to grab a few quick items I knew we needed as my husband drove circles in the parking lot with napping kids, and as I ran past an end cap, I saw parmesan cheese. I knew we were having pasta that weekend, so I grabbed it. Once I was home, I realized we had a full, unopened bottle waiting for me in the pantry. – Make the grocery list!


Shop Sale Adds

Shopping on certain days of the week can help you save.

And no, not because potatoes are cheaper on Tuesday, but because you could hit your store's weekly sales add and save big. In our local store this past week, eggs were on sale for $0.99 a dozen. That is a great savings if you’ve bought eggs lately! We also like to see when they put bell peppers on sale because our 3-year-old would eat a whole one every day, I think (I know, I am fortunate to have a child who loves veggies – mom win!), so shopping the sale adds on produce is sometimes how we tailor our meal plan and shopping list.


Store Apps

If you haven’t downloaded your store app yet, let this be your gentle reminder to do that now. Some stores have gone to this as their loyalty program, and again, you can save some much-needed dollars here. Depending on the store or item, it could be a discount/certain dollar amount of the item or, at times, a BOGO offer.


And being a loyalty program is not the only benefit. If you are really trying to hone in and know exactly what you are spending each grocery haul and trying to stay under a specific number, consider placing a pick-up order. This way, it eliminates the possible impulse buys of avoiding even walking into the store, and you can see in real-time as you hit “add to cart” what your total checkout number will be (give or take a few dollars based on weighted items like produce.) If you aren’t sure you like the idea of a pick-up order because you want to be selective, that is a-okay – use this same method of “adding to cart” in the app as your grocery list! Again, you can see in real-time how much you will be spending on that specific grocery trip and can omit or make edits to your items before getting to the checkout. This is extremely beneficial if you are trying to set a target dollar amount to spend and don’t want to do math as you walk the aisles.


Chat GPT

And while on the topic of using our phones to help at the grocery store, here is another unique way to save on groceries! As Chief Operating Officer and Financial Advisor Amanda Sharratt shares in a Question of the Week video, she uses Chat GPT to help create menu ideas for budget-friendly meal options, as well as ideas on how to use random items in your fridge for a meal you may never have thought of. She also puts technology to use by asking it to make two meals using the same ingredients to help stretch those groceries for you, saving on your bottom-line budget number.


If you are trying to work on a monthly budget and need guidance or help creating one from scratch, we have a financial coach on the team to help you in these areas. She can help create your budget with you, discuss strategies like those noted above in various areas to help you save money, and help keep you accountable during your budgeting journey!

Saving Better at the Grocery Store

March 27, 2024

Lindsey Curry

Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers is an SEC-registered investment adviser firm.  The information presented is for educational purposes only and intended for a broad audience.  The information does not intend to make an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed.  Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers reasonably believes that this marketing does not include any false or misleading statements or omissions of facts regarding services, investment, or client experience. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers has a reasonable belief that the content will not cause an untrue or misleading implication regarding the adviser’s services, investments, or client experiences. Please refer to the firm’s ADV Part 2A for material risks disclosures.

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