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This is what saving money on groceries looks like - a colorful confection of delicious food!

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$337.59. It’s the last number I see as I inspect the budget grocery column. My breath slides into a sigh, while my emotions drift into disappointment.

Shoot.

I missed my goal to spend under $300 on groceries.

I console my loss by making an internal resolution to try, yet again. I’ll train better for the next grocery round. If I keep my saving money routines like making a list, using apps, and shopping once a week, I’ll be able to chalk up a financial win.

That is the scrap I want to win. Save money release the last debt – a big bear named, mortgage.

Debt is not a moral failing, but it can limit your options, especially when it comes to being able to invest for retirement.

Good Life. Better.

Focus List

Before the store, I ensure to have a list. A master list of everything missing from the fridge and cupboards, which I take a quick inventory of before I set foot in the store.

Occasionally, I need specific ingredients for a unique dish. I prefer to see myself as a culinary artist, but I’m really a creature of habit who prefers convivence over craft.

I love quick, easy dishes. Which looks like buying the same items week after week. Universal items that can be folding into almost anything. I avoid special ingredients that I use once and then rot. Waste is a bigger offense than a close-to-contact fart.

Vegetables like onions, peppers, spinach, and mushrooms are ingredients that I use daily from scrambled eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch, and burritos for dinner. Just like any cooking routine worth its salt, simple dishes with healthy ingredients.

As long as I stick to that list and don’t get swayed by the colorful sugary confections, I can cash in a win for saving money, meal planning, and a healthy lifestyle. Winning was meant to taste good.

App Attack

From loyalty apps to reward apps, the digital age has increased my savings.

In my corner of Montana, I have four stores, but I only use two because the other two are across town. Convenience is still king!

It’s a duel between Albertson or Walmart. I prefer Albertsons because their store is cleaner, they seem to treat their employees better, and it’s closer.

I use Albertson’s loyalty app frequently. Before I shop, I select the coupons for what’ on the list. If needed, I select items while in the store which happens when I take Mr. BuLL. He is the wild card that loves to buy bulk on discount even if it’s not on the list. I’m the list checker who has tunnel vision for items on the list. All that other food is dead to me.

By now, the app has figured out my frequent purchases and my preferences are at the top which is equal parts convenient and creepy.

This app ushers discounts on what I buy, and points are built. Every other month, I cash out points for $10 off my bill.

The win is even bigger, if I use it in combination with reward apps. Reward apps like Receipt Hog, Fetch, and Coinout will pay rewards when receipts are captured. The payout is as small as the effort but still money is green and will grow my account!

Weekly Training

As with any successful fighter, wins are found in routine. I train once a week.

My resources are limited which is why I grocery shop once a week. I’m not a fan of shopping. Mostly, the part where I have to use self-control and say no to my inner 5-year-old. It takes time away from free and fun hobbies, and it is costly. Of all the weekly routines, grocery shopping is the most consistently consuming event with its parking, browsing, line standing, and other adulting frivolities.

A weekly installment, instead of daily, saves limited resources and prevents temptation like buying pizza this week, which was definitely not on the list!

Winning Combination

Saving money on groceries feels like winning but it’s hard! All the training, focus, and effort.

But it’s the little wins that build momentum: seeing 30% saved, devouring itemized discounts, and taking little chunks of money and throwing it at the mortgage principal. It’s the bright lights of being debt free that make shopping shenanigans worth fighting for.

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6 thoughts on “Saving Money on Groceries: Busted Up Bill

  1. Heather Marie Somers says:

    Great ideas!

  2. With Mrs. Max OOP in Canada, I have been doing a little grocery fiscal fight myself. I tend tend to buy those $5-6 cooked rotisserie chicken “loss leaders” but don’t buy any of the margin leaders. I also use the Hannaford App that also has learned my shopping style. I had a coupon for $8 of a $50 basket, huge deal. $131 and $191 the last two month, we usually spend about $500 on the two of us.

    1. Good for you, Max! You two are doing a stellar job with saving money on your groceries! What do you do with the savings?

  3. Hey BuLL! It’s awesome that you don’t spend much on groceries yet eat such delicious and healthy food. Keep it up and you’ll get to your goal soon. You’re almost there 🙂

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