Plan Your Grocery List
The first step towards stretching your grocery budget is planning. Make a grocery list ahead of time and strive to stick strictly to the items you planned to buy. Choose a reasonable grocery budget per month, planning around one trip per week. If you’re the type of grocery shopper who runs to the store for groceries here and there throughout the week, this might be a big adjustment for you. The key is to pick out a weekly ‘menu’ filled with recipes that use similar ingredients. This way you can make one trip per week and none of your food goes to waste. Add the items to your list in Key Ring as you browse recipe ingredients, updating the quantity of each item on your list as you go.
Search for Sales Pre-Grocery Trip
Most people rely solely on checking out sales once they’re actually in the grocery store to save money. Looking at the weekly sales pre-grocery trip will help you plan your menu in a more frugal way. For example, if there’s a sale on chicken breasts in the coming week, you might want to look up recipes that list chicken as a main ingredient. If you go shopping without a plan, you might be pushing a squeaky grocery cart around packed aisles wondering how you’re going to make a meal out of the haphazard items you found on sale. Add items to your grocery list in Key Ring as you find good deals so that you won’t forget any sales.
Join the Club
The number one advantage of signing up for your grocery stores loyalty program is saving money. The majority of stores that offer loyalty programs only give sale prices to rewards members, so the weekly sales may not apply to you unless you sign up. Some rewards programs, such as Price Chopper, Kroger, and Safeway, even reward you with gas discounts. Bonus! Many grocery stores will send you coupons based on items you buy frequently so that you can save on them the next time you need to stock up. Don’t forget to store your loyalty card on Key Ring so that you can keep up on weekly sales and view available coupons.