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Make a Shopping List – and Use It!

We love food, we all do, and some of us love it more than we should. This is why a grocery list is an important tool in the arsenal of the frugal. For me, going into a grocery store without a shopping list is like giving a kid a blank check and sending them to the toy store. Sometimes I even make the mistake of going to the grocery store hungry, and that is just asking for trouble.

Your grocery list should contain all of the necessities for a good healthy diet (we’ll include some links at the bottom to help), and maybe a few treats here and there to keep you sane. The grocery list is one of the few bills that YOU get to control the price of. Take advantage of that! Put together a sensible, healthy shopping list, and get rid of your brand loyalties.

I emphasized getting rid of brand loyalties for a reason: if you can shake brand loyalties out of your brain, then a whole bunch of new coupons will become available to you! When you go on vacation you typically have a plan, you have a plan on how to get to work, and you probably have a hundred plans a day, so why not plan your grocery trip and potentially save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year?

Here are the steps that we generally take to create a useful shopping list:

  • Begin with staple items
    • Milk
    • Eggs
    • Vegetables
    • Bread
    • Meat
    • Fruit
  • Then add in other common items
    • Butter
    • Cheese
    • Ketchup
    • Mustard
    • Any other sides/condiments
  • Add in some treats (but be lean in this area!)
    • Fruit snacks
    • Cookies
    • Ice Cream
    • Frozen Yogurt
    • Italian Ice
    • Sorbet
  • Next move on to non-food items
    • Toothpaste
    • Mouthwash
    • Floss
    • Cleansers
    • Soap
    • Bathroom Tissue
  • Once you have compiled your list begin searching for coupons
    • Locate, print, and cut out the coupons and attach them to your list
    • you can also use a coupon organizer, or any other system that you have set in place.
    • In addition to coupons, try to take advantage of “buy one get one offers!”

Additional Tips: Find out if your grocery store accepts competitor coupons (most do), this will save you on gas and time. We’ve heard that some grocery stores double and triple the value of coupons, and we think this is worth looking into as well! We will be doing some research to see what we can find.

Shopping List Help: http://www.grocerywiz.com/

Fun Facts: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/13-things-your-grocer-wont-tell-you-1155099/

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