Are You Self-Sabotaging Your Grocery Budget?

Buying groceries each month can be costly, especially if you are having a hard time sticking to your budget. There are certain mistakes that you may be doing that could be sabotaging your budget. Making you spend more than you had planned on spending on groceries each month. 

Here are some mistakes that you may be making that are self-sabotaging your grocery budget. Go through the list and see which ones you are are doing. Challenge yourself to change one. Your wallet will thank you. 

4 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Own Grocery Budget

1. You Don’t Shop with a List

I have talked before about having a written list with you at the grocery store, whether that be on your phone or with paper and a pen. Having a mental checklist makes it too easy to justify buying other things you weren’t planning on because you can say it was “on the list.” And yes, I have totally done this. More than once. I’m a work in progress.

2. You Don’t Check Your Pantry Beforehand

Not knowing what you have in your pantry before you go shopping is a mistake. Say you see a sale on crushed tomatoes, so you decide to get several cans. Now buying items on sale is a great strategy. So is creating a stockpile of food.

But if you get back home and realize that you already have several cans of crushed tomatoes that have been there for a while, then buying more wasn’t a great idea. Because it is not an item you were using enough in order to need to buy more. 

3. You Don’t Meal Plan

Next to the word budget, the phrase meal plan can illicit a feeling of intense fear. A budget doesn’t have to be scary, and neither does meal planning.

There seems to be a belief that meal planning needs to involve complicated meals and several courses. It can be really simple. Such as chicken, rice, and a vegetable. Or tacos. Or nachos. Think about the meals that your family loves. Have those meals be what you make on a daily basis.   

There is another way you can meal plan. But I think it is a little bit more advanced. You can get the weekly store ad to your favorite grocery store(s) to shop at and use what you see on sale as a base for the meals you will make that week. See a great deal on say potatoes? Then plan meals all around potatoes.

You can find your store ads in a variety of ways. Sometimes they are mailed out to you. There is an app that I like called Flipp, that has a bunch of stores on it and shows the current store ads. You can set your favorite stores and be alerted when a new ad drops.

Once you peruse the ad, you can click on an item and it automatically saves it to a list in the app. Making it easier to remember and find what sale items you were interested in. You can also get the store ad from the store itself.

4. You Buy Impulsively

Buying impulsively is a hard habit to break. And once broken, it still might be something you do here and there. Buying things you weren’t planning on means you are spending money you weren’t planning on. Money that might have needed to be used for something else.  

Which mistake are you going to try to change to stop self-sabotaging your grocery budget?

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