Tips For Grocery Shopping

Ever since I became an adult and got my own place, I've had to do a very adult thing.... grocery shopping.  Let me just start by saying, grocery shopping isn't as fun as it used to be, because you have to pay... for like.. everything!  Seriously, stay a kid as long as possible, because before you know it you're comparing prices of different types of broccoli.  If you're at that stage of your life then let me help you out and share what I have learned from this whole "adulting" thing and help you save a buck or two.

Please note that this is just what I have learned and there has been a lot of trial and error.  Sometimes you've just got to make mistakes to learn on your own.  Hopefully I can help you avoid some of those mistakes though!  Here are some of my tips when it comes to grocery shopping.

One.  Expiration Dates //  If you're buying fresh produce it is so vital that you read those expiration dates.  Make sure that you're not getting something that's going bad in just a few days.  Milk is a big thing to pay attention to.  Dig to the very back and chances are you'll find the newest batch.

Two.  The Deli Section //  For some reason I always thought the deli section was super expensive, but it's not at all!  Plus, the prodcuts are so much better for you than the packaged stuff.  A little tip I noticed was that whenever I ask for 1/2 a pound of something they always accidentally cut more than 1/2 a pound, but only charge me for the half pound versus what they cut!

Three.  Avoid The Outside Aisles //  I saw this next fact in a commercial one day and I double checked to see if it was true and it totally is!  The outside aisles are stocked with the most expensive name brands!  Avoid the outside aisles at all cost and take the extra steps to the middle and get the cheaper products.

Four.  Make A List //  This is the most important tip of them all.  Make a list and stick to it!  Go through your cabinets, see what you need and go from there.  Stick to your list and don't buy extra stuff you don't really need.

Five.  Buy In Bulk //  Sometimes it just makes sense to buy certain products in bulk.  Toliet paper, dish soap, peanut butter, toothpaste, etc.  Obviously, don't buy things that expire quickly!  Be smart with this one and don't max out your Costco credit card.

Six.  Compare Prices //  It is totally normal to gravitate towards the brands that your parents use, but make sure you're double checking the prices on everything.  Contrary to popular belief, you don't need name brand products all the time.  Dish soap is dish soap.  Salt is salt.  Know where to cut corners and where to splurge.  You'll learn this one as you go along on what brand names you prefer over others.  It's really all about trail and error with this one!

Seven.  Make Multiple Stops //  This one is totally a personal opinion and it works for my household, but that doesn't mean it will work for everyones.  Omar and I usually make a day where we run errands and go grocery shopping.  We will start at the dollar store and pick up some items that just aren't worth more than a dollar.  Aluminum foil, garbage bags, candles, paper towels, and ziploc bags to name a few must-haves.  We also get a coupon in our mail every two weeks for the dollar store so it takes our $30 bill down to $20 instead.  Next, we will head to Aldi.  I have never been to Aldi until one opened up right by our house.  It's a ton of non-name brand items sold for way less.  We even compared the prices of things we bought at Aldi to Wal-Mart items and Aldi won everytime!  So we always stock up on things we need there and get as much as we possibly can.  Lucikly, the Wal-Mart is right next door to Aldi so we will go straight to Wal-Mart and get all of the items we couldn't find at Aldi.  For instance, the Morning Star Vegetarian "meat" is sold at Wal-Mart, so we have to go there to get it.  I know this sounds excessive, but everything is right next to each other and we only do big trips like this when it's needed.  Besides that we just go to Alidi or Wal-Mart depending on the day, but literally both of the buildings are right behind our apartment.

Eight.  Coupons //  Does this one really need an explination?  I'm not saying to fill a binder full, but take advantage of those free coupons that come in the mail!

I hope these tips help you as much as they've helped me!  This is totally based off of my own experiences and I'm always up to learn a new thing or two.

xoxo, Michele


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