Have a Plan and Shop Like a Pro

Planning a shopping trip is not a lost art—it’s a smart tool to get the most for your money. Here are six steps to plan the perfect grocery adventure on a budget.

Shopper at Whole Foods Market

Planning a shopping trip is no lost art — it’s a smart tool to get the most for your money. Being a budget shopper, it soothes my mind to have a plan before I get to the store. That way I don’t make frequent detours into the fancy champagnes or coconut milk ice cream bars (unless they’re on the list!) If I’m clear about my resources and intentions I enjoy the bounty and feel like a champ at the register.Here’s my method. Before hitting the store, I:

  1. Decide roughly how much I’m going to spend

  2. Examine my fridge to see what I have on hand to work with, and scan the pantry for bulk goods that need restocking

  3. Check out recipes opens in a new tab built around coupons and in-season produce

  4. Sketch out a meal plan opens in a new tab for the week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for myself and my loved ones

  5. Visit the Whole Foods Market website for printable coupons opens in a new tab

  6. Make a solid list — on paper, using an app opens in a new tab, or yes, pen on the palm

If you don’t have time to do this level of thinking before you get to the store, try grabbing a beverage in the café for ten minutes to plan. Peruse your store’s sales flyer and the coupons in The Whole Deal value guide. Envision your menus for the week or use the daily meal planner opens in a new tab in The Whole Deal. Make your list and group items geographically according to department. Then hit the aisles keeping your eyes peeled for Sale signs.

Your fridge will be happy, your wallet will thank you, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to eat healthily all week long!

How do you plan your shop? Share your tips in the comments below.

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