Groceries: Making a List and Checking it Twice

Sounds like a popular children’s Christmas carol doesn’t it? But making a grocery list is a serious budget keeper and money saver! Not to mention there is some truth in the “checking it twice” area. Let me teach you how to save a little money on your food, especially with the drastic rising costs.

Grocery lists can be written on anything. A napkin, a scrap of paper or you can actually use those cute little pads of paper that say ‘grocery list’ at the top that you can find at popular stationary stores and other locations. Don’t spend your money on such a frivolous item, but DO keep a grocery list.

Keeping a running tab of items that you are out of, need more of, or need for certain meals or recipes is a very smart thing to do. You can leave it on the fridge with a magnet or store it in a drawer. But when your family runs out of ketchup, don’t assume you will remember when you go to the store.

Here is a few personal examples of how a grocery list has saved our family of seven a few extra dollars here and there:

– Keeps us from spending money on items that we do not need. I used to not make a grocery list and wound up with food we totally couldn’t possibly eat in one week’s time and it usually spoiled.

– Keeps us from picking up items we don’t need because we already have them. A few weeks back I forgot to revise my grocery list when we went to Sams club unexpectedly one day. We picked up a huge thing of ketchup. Well, I sent my husband to the store to grab the things on my list and guess what he brought home? Three new things of ketchup. We have more ketchup than we need for awhile. I realize we will use it but it was money that could have been used for other things.

– Keeps us from forgetting items continuously. In approximately a week and a half’s time, we probably visited Wal-mart three times. Not one of those three times did we remember to pick up laundry detergent because I had not written it on my list I keep in my purse. When it came time to do laundry, I had enough for two loads (a family of seven requires a lot more than two loads!) and my husband had to make a quick trip out to Wal-mart for detergent. What a waste of time and gas when we were there enough times for other things during the week that we could have grabbed it too.

Grocery lists can and do save money, but you have to be willing to work at it.

Nicole Humphrey writes articles for the Scrapbooking Blog and for the Frugal Blog. She also guest blogs on a variety of topics. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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