4 tips to help make grocery shopping a bit easier

Theresa Gengler, Staff Writer

Do you feel like you spend too much money on your groceries every week, and then end up throwing half of it away? You are not alone; many college students do not know if they are spending the right amount on food every week. Fear not.

We have some tips and tricks to help you overcome the uncertainties that come along with walking into a grocery store.

1. Write a list

Keep a grocery list on the fridge during the week. This allows someone to write down milk as soon as he or she finishes using the rest of the gallon. There are also apps that translate well to different needs. Bring! Shopping List allows the user to add other people (like roommates) to edit the shopping list in real time. The user can also create multiple shopping lists; one for household goods like paper towels and another one for your personal groceries.

By taking a list to the grocery store, people are more likely to stick to what is on the list, and not spend as much money.

2. Plan ahead

Plan out the meals a week in advance. Before going grocery shopping, sit down and think about what meals you will eat for the week. Do you usually have cold cereal with milk and half of a banana for breakfast and save the other half for a snack? Realistically plan for what you have time to make.

If you are in classes during lunchtime, it is important to plan around the schedule and remember that you do not need to have a four-course meal to eat well. You can also plan on having leftovers every so often to help clean out the excess food you may accumulate.

3. Execute

Choose a grocery store with similar ideas and prices as your needs call. For example, people who value organic or fair trade would be more likely to find products at grocers like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Conversely, someone who values budget friendly or a grocer with a Midwest vibe may be comfortable with Aldi or HyVee.

Once you have your grocery store in mind, keep an eye on their weekly sales and ads. This will help dictate which kinds of fruits, vegetables, breads and meats are going to be cheapest. By using the sales to influence the shopping list, a person is more likely to spend less money on fresher ingredients.

4. Keep in mind…

Remember to properly store food. It will last longer, and you won’t waste money by throwing as much food out. Freezing food that is not ready to be eaten yet is a great way to store meat, veggies and leftovers. Buying freezer storage bags can facilitate this process. Just be sure to label and date the food so it does not sit in the freezer for too long. Looking for new recipes to try out? Try myfridgefoods.com and enter in the food you have in your cupboards to see recipes to use it up.