Budgeting at the Grocery Store
I’m not a stranger to the grocery store schemes and marketing tactics. I’ve had days where I went in hungry, bought a grocery cart full of food and still didn’t have much to eat. Fast forward to becoming a dietitian and learning how to outsmart the grocery aisles and budget my way to a healthier life.
So today I’m sharing my top ten mistakes made at the grocery store that impact your budget’s bottom line and leave you frustrated with yourself.
Top 10 Mistakes made at the Grocery Store
#1 – You’re shopping all the aisles. Do you need to go down that aisle? Unless you have a mission or like to spend time browsing all the new products, shop the perimeter instead. Most of your healthier, whole food items will be there. When I do need to go down an aisle to get oatmeal, canned veggies, flour, rice, or some occasional Banza mac n’ cheese…I walk, grab, and leave.
#2 – You’re grabbing all pre-cut fruits and veggies. If there’s one you’re not sure how to cut up, message me! I’ll show you how! You’re paying for packaging (hi, more plastic waste) and usually you’re paying WAY more per pound/ounce than you would buying it whole.
#3 – You grab sale items without looking at all the options. I get it, you want to get in and get out quickly. But if you never stop to evaluate what you really need, you’re going to waste money and food down the line. Do you need a bag of oranges that’s on sale? Or do you see your family only eating two or three? Take some extra time and shop your options. Store promotions like 10 for $10.00 does not always mean it’s the cheapest option.
#4 – You don’t make a list. You’ve heard this a million times, I get it. Make the damn list anyway.
#5 – Your stomach is empty walking into the store. If that’s the case, you’re better off looking for some clearance pre-cut fruit (the only time I buy pre-cut) and eat it before you get started. Shopping hungry leaves your mind vulnerable to all the extra food you don’t need to buy.
#6 – You give up on eating healthy because it’s too expensive. I could write a book about this and this one is why you’re here! You do not have to get the collagen powder, the expensive supplements, the grass fed beef or the latest and greatest trend in order to be healthy. Keep it simple and keep up with me on Instagram for more tips on this one.
#7 – You spend your money mostly on food that is not nutritionally dense or filling. Now, I’m not saying you can’t buy food that isn’t dense in nutrition. However, if your cart is full of things that won’t leave you full like fiber, protein, and fat…we have an opportunity for improvement.
#8 – You don’t know how much you spend a month. Track it or reflect on your credit card bill monthly for groceries and see what you’re working with. If you’re spending $350 a month and want to bring it down to $300, split the amount into four weeks and there’s your monthly-ish budget.
#9 – You’re overwhelmed. It’s okay, take reworking a budget one step at a time. I’m going to keep breaking it down for you into a simple step-by-step process. Take a deep breath and work with yourself.
#10 – You don’t have an organized plan AND you didn’t shop your pantry first. Use my free download below for a meal plan sheet (it’s cute) and an organized grocery list. It’ll keep your trips short and to the point!
Bonus – you didn’t plan a budget for beer! 😉 Or any treat / extra beverage. If you know it’s apart of your lifestyle, build it in.
Can you relate to any and all of the above? We’ve all been there and it takes time to improve your meal planning and budgeting skills. Stay tuned for my FREE webinar e-course that is coming out early FALL! I cannot wait to finish it up for you all, so make sure to join my Mug Club Mailing List so you get all the details FIRST!