I find supermarket trips therapeutic. I get to spend alone time plus I enjoy discovering new products sold in the market. Unfortunately, grocery trips could mean “gastos” and if I’m not too careful, my grocery bill might balloon up. There was a time the husband and I spent more than P10,000 in our weekly grocery – and we only had one kid that time! When we were just starting, we also go to S&R to buy food for the weekend even if we went to Landmark already the day before.
Thankfully, we learned and we are now wiser with our spending. Here’s what we did: 1. Don’t bring the kids.
This is my cardinal rule when it comes to grocery shopping. In my experience, kids tend to point at whatever is enticing to their eyes and throw a fit slash (inadvertently) make a scene in case they didn’t get what they want. Aside from causing a scene and the annoyed look from other shoppers, buying what your child wants could mean additional pesos on your grocery bill. In my case, my kids want branded snacks – and a pack of Chips Ahoy doesn’t come cheap.
In case you insist on bringing your little one, avoid aisles that could trigger “Buy me this” moment.
2. Stick to a list.
I always make a list of things I need to buy in the grocery – and made sure to stick to it. It helps me buy within budget, which means added savings too.
Here’s another tip: make it a habit to check the expiration date. You don’t want to throw food away after a few days in your kitchen shelf, do you?
3. Buy in bulk or in biggest sizes.
I came from a big family, so I’m used to seeing my mom buy in bulk – tissue, detergent, toiletries, and anything we can store. From her experience, buying in bulk allowed her to save more compared to getting smaller sizes.
Since then, I made it a point to buy dry, long shelf life items like shampoo, conditioner, and my kids’ soap and lotion in bulk or in their biggest sizes. These items last for minimum of one month, which means I can allot the P1,000++ from the budget dedicated to these items to savings or other important items.
4. Fill your cart with fruits and veggies.
Do you want to save up from meat without compromising your health? Fill your cart with lots of fruits and vegetables. It minimizes meat consumption and at the same time, keeps us healthy. I always cook dishes with veggies either in it or on the side and so far, we were able to prolong meat in the freezer. 5. Place big items on the farthest part of the cart, where your eyes can easily see the big purchases.
Sometimes, you have to trick your eyes and make it believe that the cart is full. One of the things my husband and I do to “trick our eyes” is we place the biggest items on the farthest part of the cart. When I push the cart, it creates an illusion that the cart is full already. It worked, so far. 6. Avoid the unnecessary.
Everytime I go to the grocery, there is always this urge to go to the snacks and chocolates aisles and indulge myself with sweets. Of course, I didn’t give in since aside from health concerns, these treats are unnecessary and could add up to the total bill. After all, these treats and sweets don’t come cheap.
7. Bring your own plastic bag.
I have to put my hands down on the Quezon City officials for initiating this “No Plastic” movement. It minimized plastic use and helped save the environment. Despite the extra bulge in my bag, I still opted to bring my own grocery bags instead of paying P2.00 per plastic.
Fine, it’s just P2.00 (times 5 or 6, depending on the bulk of our grocery items), but it’s still an amount worth saving. Yes, I’m that kuripot.
If it’s any consolation, bringing your own plastic bag often comes with freebies. In the supermarket I frequent to, they usually partner with household brands and I get to try them for free since I bought my own plastic bag.
8. As much as possible, pay in cash.
This is a cardinal rule. My husband hates using credit card, though I find them convenient at times. With credit card, there is a tendency to go overboard and exceed the budget since you can “pay for it come payday.” As much as possible, we use cash to make us more aware of our spending. Plus, we hate the idea of paying for something at the end of the month (except for utilities, of course).
What about you mommas? Any grocery tips you would like to share?
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.
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I also have a list every time we go to the grocery to make sure that I will buy everything that we need. I buy bulk and big-sized stuff too in S&R to save more. For #8, I prefer to use credit card for cash rebates. 🙂
I always have a reusable grocery bag whenever I go out just in case. Aside from being more environment-friendly, they don’t hurt my palms as much as plastic bags do!
Youve got here real helpful tips. We also buy in bulk as we are a big family. We pay in card though because of the points but then I pay the card asap. Ihihi. Yes, it would be a real help not to bring kids with you but then we always have the boys when we do out grocery. Its so malungkot if wala sila. Hahaha.
I agree with sticking to the list kase dun minsan nawawala sa budget when there isn’t a list. I bring my kids to the supermarket. Buti na lang my daughter is disciplined not to make turo turo all the time. 🙂
Nahihirapan talaga ako sa #2 mommy, minsan pag nasa grocery store sobrang happy ako. Always my happy place.
I also pay in cash for weekl, but every month I do grocery i bulk so I used a credit card to get points. I also love grocery
I love grocery shopping because I consider it a bonding experience with my hubby and son as well. It’s a teaching opportunity for my son too. 🙂 Great tips you got here! We’ve learned so much about grocery shopping too over the years and now have a system that works.
I agree that it is therapeutic when doing groceries. But i love to have my kids around. We use the opportunity to teach our eldest lifeskills and incorporate some lessons in math, science, etc. When it comes to “pabili”, we usually brief our son that he cannot ask for anything not on the budget. We love our grocery moments.
I always use card for groceries as I don’t usually have that amount of cash and sayang ang points. Hehe. Great tips though.
Agree with #3, most especially! Unfortunately, most Pinoys prefer the sachet-sachet and budget pack variants, thinking that they are saving through that. Although when there are new products I want to try, I admit I buy the smaller variants, of course.
As for the credit card, onga. Mas masakit kasi maglabas ng cash. Ramadan na ramdam ang paggaan ng balsa. 😀
We live with my inlaws and we share expenses for food and utilities on a monthly basis. We do however, still go to grocery to buy our basic needs. My husband also hate to use credit card everytime we go on a shopping. And because of him, I learned to control my expenses hehehe.
I also used to pay in cash more, but when we moved to Korea my hubby told me that people just prefer to use card for its convenience. But I totally understand your point and also plan to use more cash when spending money with my children, so they can physically see the money leave my hands haha. My daughter also nowadays wonders how I spend money with the card…which I think is the problem with cards ngayon, kids don’t see the money literally being spent so they don’t understand its value. Thanks for sharing these tips, I also liked the idea of putting the bigger things at the back. Smart!
I love grocery shopping. The supermarket is one of my happy places. I am guilty of going overboard when doing grocery but I’m learning nowadays. Thanks for the tips!
I totally agree with the first, never bring the kids. Pero still hindi pa din kami makatiis haha, sinasama pa din namin sila kapag may time.
Thanks for the good tips. I was talking about this with my husband and I agree, we should avoid carrying our kid along if we want to avoid the miscellaneous expenses.
It’s really hard to stick to a budget when grocery shopping because it’s one of the things I love doing and the supermarket is my happy place!
If I can take the kids, I always do 🙂 Grocery is our bonding
I love doing the groceries but I don’t like the paying part hehe… Minsan isang delata lang ang bibilhin ko and then I ended up with a full cart.
Yes, budgeting is so important. It helps you save for other things and plan for emergencies.