Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Recession-proof Grocery Solution

During our first few married months, I'd pick up grocery items in random, I'd care less about prices, and I'd do the grocery shopping wherever, whenever! But after coming up with my grocery shopping system, I end up buying only the things I need, making me spend less time and money. How'd I do it?

1. Set up a grocery list. I have a notepad and pen in my kitchen. So every time I run out of kitchen supply, yes even in the middle of my cooking, I can easily jot it down on my list. I buy only what's listed. Nothing is forgotten. Shopping time is cut short.

2. Set up next week's meal plan. That way, I buy only the ingredients I'm surely gonna use.

3. Set up a grocery frequency. During my carefree grocery days, the more time I spend in the grocery, the more time and money I end up spending. I reduced my grocery frequency from thrice/twice a week to once a week and learned 1 week is a good duration for properly stored fruits, vegetables, dairy and bread to remain fresh. Saturday was my grocery day last winter. But with summer just around the corner, I changed my schedule to Tuesday to free our weekends for travel.

4. Find a price-friendly supermarket. I used to grocery hop, thinking I could save more by buying sale items in different stores. But on top of burning more gas money, I end up so exhausted that grocery shopping has become a dreaded half-day chore! So I gave my loyalty to Longo's Fairview for the quality of their fresh food, and No Frills Brant for their reasonable prices. Store loyalty cut my shopping time too, because as I got accustomed to the store layout, I spent less time searching.

5. Get a points card. Since I frequent Longo's and No Frills for our groceries, I got myself a Longo's Thank You Card and a President's Choice Mastercard. They're free. Plus, with my points accumulating with my purchases, my next bag of groceries will be free!

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The Wife in Stilettos