Here are my TOP 10 tips for shopping a 30 day calendar:
1 – Stick with the list. You’re going to have limited space, so pass on the box of cookies, they won’t fit.
2 – Email or text the list to your smart phone. I’m likely going to forget the paper I wrote on, but I rarely forget my phone.
3 – Talk to the butcher for your meat. If you go shopping toward the end of their day, they are likely going to give you a better price. Especially if you tell him you need 5 lbs of chicken breasts. I’ve befriended a butcher or two at a few stores, and find that I get the “because you are my friend” price. When seafood like Alaskan salmon or halibut is in season, I pre-order. Butchers love that too.
4 – Have the butcher or deli pack your meat in one meal serving sizes. Freeze it until you need it. They will do it for no extra cost.
5– Oddly enough organic milk, with fewer preservatives lasts longer. Horizon milk has an expiration date usually about 1 month out. Regular milk is closer to 2 weeks. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s better for you and it keeps you out of the store.
6 – Freeze fruit. I buy extra bananas, berries, kale and spinach for smoothies. It’s a great way to get the vitamins and nutrition from fresh fruit. Freeze it in one layer on a cookie sheet, then store in a ziploc bag.
7 – When in season, and if you don’t have a well stocked garden yet, go to the farmers markets. Farmers are awesome and there’s not many of them around. Nothing like buying veggies from the edge of the field
8 – Usually the coupons print from the manufacturer about 1 – 2 weeks before the grocery store puts the same item on sale.
9 – Watch for, and get to know sales. We have twice yearly case lot sales where I stock up on cream of chicken soup, chicken stock, or boxes of peanut butter or pasta. If your store does not do case lot sales, talk to the store manager about deals for buying lots of items at once.
10 – I split my list between the regular grocery store and bulk stores like Sam’s club or Costco. Hygiene, paper and cleaning items at the bulk stores, food items at the grocery store. The only food items I like to buy at bulk stores are blocks of cheese and butter, otherwise I’ve price checked and have found for the most part, meat is about the same price in both locations.by