All the wallet has to say is, "Ouch!" If you shop without a grocery list these days, you're doomed to a larger bill.
Here are some ways to use grocery lists to save you time and money.
Before you begin to plan your menus, look through the weekly grocery sales flyers.
Some expensive items, such as coffee, meats and produce are on sale somewhere.
If you were to buy all the items on your grocery list at each of the supermarkets in your local area, the bill would come out about the same on average.
If your coffee brand is usually $10, but is on sale this week for $7 at another store, you're money ahead to make a side trip for that coffee.
Stock up, if you can.
If chicken is on sale from a good butcher market, go by that store and save.
If you have a freezer, stock up.
When you organize your menus by what's on sale, you'll save a significant amount of cash.
Let's say there are four supermarkets within a few miles of you.
If you use the sales flyers, make grocery lists for each store.
Each list will be shorter, making your shopping quicker and saving a remarkable amount of money.
You can test this theory by noting the regular price at your usual store.
When you get home, calculate your savings by subtracting the sale price from the regular price of each item you saved by going elsewhere.
You'll be pleased at the result.
How many times have you not checked your inventory at home before you went shopping? You get to the store and see ketchup.
You can't remember if you've got enough at home, so you get it just in case.
Perhaps you could have waited until it was on sale.
It's easy to make a spreadsheet list of everything in your cupboards, frig and freezer.
Keep a post-it type pad handy in the kitchen.
As you use up your items, mark it on your food inventory list.
Once a week, before you plan your grocery lists, reduce your spreadsheet inventory by what you used.
This also makes it easy to see at a glance how many meals you can make with what you've got.
When the ketchup gets low, it goes on your grocery list.
Meanwhile, you're watching the sales too.
Unless recipe booklets or magazines are on your grocery list, resist the checkout temptations.
You'd be surprised at how much these impulse items can add to your bill.
The last secret to saving money at the grocery is to stick to your list.
If you use these tips, you can realize savings of 30-50%.
It all depends on your carefully planned list.