I’ve been posting lately about the cost of groceries rising, and let me tell you, I’m completely familiar with how easy it is to bloat your budget with “extras”.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for goodies, both needed and wanted. But when your bottom line stays the same and needs to accommodate bigger pricing, that’s when bloat needs to shrink. There are many ways to help accomplish this goal, from shopping the flyers and price matching to couponing and paying attention to what you are paying at stores that honour the “Scanners Code of Practice”, among other strategies.
A simple change that became fundamentally essential to me in the first years of the pandemic was online ordering. This forced me to be extremely organized because I didn’t want to run into the store if I forgot something I needed. It created the environment to talk to my kids about what we needed from the store. And it kept us from walking past all those other items we didn’t need but would toss in the cart anyway, from potato chips to ice cream to chocolate to…everything else you’d find at Walmart.
(I don’t know about you, but over the pandemic we ate a lot of comfort food)
Shopping online became my preferred way to manage my grocery budget. It gave me the chance to get creative with what I had if I did forget something, and it kept me aware of exactly what I had in the fridge, freezer, and pantry.
The best tip I can share about online ordering? If you’re feeling adventurous, keep the “accept substitutions” button selected. If you really don’t want to accept what the grocery packer chooses instead for you, deselect it and know that you may live without a few items.
For example, if you’re vegetarian and order veggie ground round, you probably don’t want to risk them substituting lean ground beef, or if you have celiac disease, you don’t want them picking up regular crackers instead of rice crackers. Sometimes the substitutions don’t make a lot of sense, but I found it a fun way to get creative with what I had the few times it happened to me.
Let me know if you try ordering groceries online, and what you thought of it!