Grocery shopping is probably the last thing a woman (or any person, really) wants to think about, but alas, we must try to stop our hanger in its tracks. In my world, grocery shopping is constantly in the “ooops I forgot” life column, but thankfully, there are smart ways to navigate the chaos that is the grocery store. Aside from my initial credit card overspending (Gucci had a sale and I forgot about everything else in the world), I am a certified survivor of adulthood. I owe most of my survival to the grocery store hacks I’ve acquired over the years. Learning how to feed myself efficiently and inexpensively is, sadly, the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
So here’s how a smart woman like myself goes grocery shopping (and kills it every time).
1. Before we dig into the money saving tips, we should all be aware of a grocery store secret weapon. It will change your life.
It’s a pack of mint-flavored chewing gum. A smart woman knows that chewing something mint-flavored will curb any and all cravings that might pop up. Those pesky cravings always result in overspending in the checkout line and we do not want that.
2. Next, I hope you know that running to the grocery store on any old day of the week is not so smart.
There are certain days of the week and specific times of the day that will make your grocery bill less expensive. Shopping on Wednesdays will give you access to the best weekly deals. This is the day that most (double-check with your neighborhood store) grocery stores release their advertisements. Sales will end if the stock runs out, so make sure you get to the store on that Wednesday, and try to go early in the day.
Sundays can be the best grocery shopping days and the worst for these two reasons. Sundays are good for those good ol’ Sunday newspaper deals — however, the crowd on Sunday can be ridiculous. A smart woman will have to choose wisely on any given Sunday. Is the $5.99 rib-eye steak really worth constant grocery cart crashes and screaming kids?
Bonus tip: Become familiar with the staff to get the inside scoop on new shipments day. Be loyal to one grocery store and become acquainted with the staff and the layout of the store.
3. Grocery shopping apps are great for keeping an inventory of your kitchen items.
This will reduce the risk of doubling up on items you don’t need. Every smart woman should know their kitchen inventory and have a good understanding of when items will be expiring and of what needs to be replenished first.
4. The most shocking and beneficial thing I learned about grocery shopping is in reference to checkout time.
After running up and down aisles and doing math problems for discounts a million times in my head, I just want to check out and go home. Well, I was only able to do so after reading teacher Dan Meyer’s post proving that the express lane is not a guaranteed express checkout. Also, going in any lane where there might be more people with fewer items in their carts will not get me out faster either. The quickest way to get to a cashier at a grocery store is by standing in the line with fewest people — no matter how many items they have.
5. And lastly, this is what gives a smart shopper the smart title.
Don’t fall for every 10 for $10 deal (or whatever the price may be). Life changes once you stop trusting the savings in this deal. Do your own math and figure out if there is actually a discount, and if it’s worth lugging 12 large jars of pickles from your car to the house. The smartest way to buy in bulk is at wholesale grocery stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club, and to only buy certain groceries in bulk. According to U.S. News, non-perishable items and toiletries save the average consumer the most money when bought in bulk.
Be smart. Let savings and easy checkouts forever be in your favor!