I heard some where at one point that every time you enter the grocery store you spend a certain percentage more then you intend to because you grab a few "ohhh, that looks good" kind of items. I've been trying to find that actual stat, but can't track it down. Regardless, I found all kinds of websites with tips on how to spend less at the grocery store and most had a lot in common. Some of the most frequent suggestions were
1. Going by the unit price, rather then the actual price.
2. Shop in season/sales
3. Don't fall for all the "sales"/ buy 10 and save, kind of deals. They aren't always cheaper in the long run.
4. Going with a list
5. Shopping on a budget
6. Making a menu to use similar items for the week
7. Eating more simple meals with less ingredients
8. Don't go to the store hungry
9. Avoid buying too many snacks/junk food and focus on meals
10. Have items you use frequently on hand to avoid frequent trips to the store
AND that's the one I'm focusing on today. I started noticing those "impulse" purchases after hearing that statistic, so ever since then I've been working on avoiding that impulse buying OR just avoiding the store all together. So, around here, I have things stocked up that we use often and try to keep things on hand that I know we use on a regular basis. For example, instead of buying one gallon of milk and going back next week for another one, I'll buy 2 or 3 (depending on how much freezer space I have available) and freeze the other two. YES, you can freeze milk and if you do it correctly you won't notice a difference in the consistency. First, you need to pour some out into your current jug to allow enough room for the milk to expand when frozen and not burst open your container. About a day or two before you're going to be ready for your milk take it out of the freezer and leave it out to TOTALLY thaw. It's important that it thaws all the way before you use it. Give it a shake or two before you pour it and it'll be fine. If you're really particular about your milk you may notice a difference, but we never have. Just taking that extra trip to the store just saved me a bunch of money because I won't go in and buy a whole lot of other things I never intended to get while buying milk.
So, like my title says, my goal is to avoid the grocery store for the next two weeks. Do you think I can do it? I went to the store today and spent about $50 on groceries and another $30 or so on household items, diapers and wipes. We're well stocked on all the basics and our pantry has plenty of regular items in it to get us through all the meals we'll need. I'm sure they'll be the occasional item that I missed, but my goal is to put off buying it until I really need to go to the store for a list worth of groceries. Anyone else want to try it? :) I'll let you know how it goes...