How To Make A Groceries List And Stick To It

Budgeting for groceries is a science and an art. Everything must be balanced: time, income, available store, preference, mood, seasons, and more. When most shoppers visit the store, they’re just there to pick a few things: A bottle of beer, some bread, and maybe milk for the kids. As they walk down the isles, items start to make their way into their shopping cart magically. Before they know it, they have a full cart and are faced with a huge bill. Ideally, there’s nothing worse than wasting time and money all in a single shot. When preparing a shopping list, it’s easy to forget something to put on your list. 

This is why making a grocery list can feel complicated. However, it’s possible. Here are some tips to get started.

1. Plan Your Meals

Planning your meals is the first and the most critical step in planning your grocery budget. Without prior planning, many families find themselves overspending by buying more than they need. Sometimes, it is also a case of not buying enough and making several mid-week trips to the store. If you follow For Keto Life diet, ensure you set a relevant budget to meet your diet’s requirements. You want to have a meal plan before preparing your grocery list. You can plan your meals for a whole week, and this should also include plans for eating out. A grocery list helps you with things you need for your meals. Additionally, it will also save you plenty of money.

2. Check Your Stock

There are specific kitchen items that you’ll always need to have around. This includes basic items such as oil, salt, rice, sugar, and spices. You may also need to have the staples you use in simple meals like canned tuna, tomato paste, and pasta. When making your shopping list, take stock of your pantry items. Ensure you note down any staples that need to be replenished.

Additionally, ensure you don’t forget anything you need. Consider attaching a sticky note on your fridge or a running list on your phone, and write down items as they run out. This will help you to remember what you need to replace easily.

3. Budget Monthly, But Plan Weekly

As you track your income monthly, also consider tracking your grocery bills monthly. Many people prefer tracking weekly, though it’s a personal preference. However, it’s easier to stick to a monthly grocery bill. This means you can go for two weeks without shopping. On the other hand, you can also plan your meals per week. This helps you to avoid eating out or ordering in. Even though you can still plan your meals for a whole month, it doesn’t sound realistic. Having an idea of what you’ll be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner helps you shop accordingly.

4. Include Quantity

How much do you need? Set a goal to reduce how many trips you make to the store. There’s one effective tip that’s proven to help you save money: stay out of stores. This is a simple and effective tip that anyone can apply in their lives. So, if you consume tea, ensure you write how much tea you’re buying and be specific. Be accurate as this helps to remove the guesswork come shopping day. If applicable, you can also break down your list by store. Buying from different stores is effective as it helps in the price comparison.

5. Consider a Freezer

Freezers can be the most ignored place in the kitchen. Once you store something there, it’s easy to forget that it even exists. When you’re creating your grocery list, ensure you “shop” your freezer first. Assess if there’s anything you can use for your weekly meal preparation. Consider the items that have been in there for a while and need to be consumed. This prevents you from doubling up on things and wasting food you paid money for.

6. Be Realistic

Sometimes, how we choose to eat can take over when we’re shopping. In most cases, this can lead to plenty of uneconomical purchases. For example, if you want your family to eat healthier, it’s best to buy more healthy items. However, try to be as realistic as possible. If you know your kids hardly eat fruits, stocking plenty of them that spoil too quickly may not be the best use of your budget. If you commit to a change in your eating habits and buy something out of the ordinary, ensure you have a good backup plan.

Also, remember to take advantage of seasonal bounty. This means buying fruits and vegetables when they’re at their best quality during the season. You can still add a few extra seasonal items to your produce list – like tomatoes and zucchini. Finally, never shop when you’re hungry. You will not be able to resist some expensive, unnecessary items, no matter how hard you try.