Getting Real With Veronica Ibarra

For the past couple of years my husband has been doing all the grocery shopping. Now I would still make the list, and he’d call from the store at least five times to check everything from size to brand, but shopping was his responsibility. The only time I’d go to the grocery store was when I needed ten items or less for some specific reason.

I loathe shopping. That whole hunting and gathering thing that is instinctive in all living creatures to some degree is very small in me, miniscule even.  I can get excited about shopping for books, but beyond that I only go into a store if I know what I want. I’m not that woman who wanders up and down every aisle just to see if there’s a good deal on something I didn’t even know I wanted. I have a list, I stick to the list. I will not stay inside for more than one hour, and that is still a very long time.

Well, with the changing of the economy and our working situations, I now find myself in the role of the grocery shopper. I have to make the list, and go shopping with my 3 year old in tow all before picking up my 7 year old from school. This is new for me, and feels much like running a gauntlet.

In an effort to be smart about it I’ve been doing some research on the whole “extreme couponing” thing I’ve noticed many of my friends talking about (The Krazy Coupon Lady was very insightful). Now I don’t think I’ll really be crazy about it, but in an effort to be more pennywise and to spend the least time possible grocery shopping I did find many tips and tricks.

Here are my modified pennywise shopping strategies as adapted from The Krazy Coupon Lady.

  • Register for online special updates with your grocery store.  I am a fan of Harris Teeter and have had a VIC card since they started the program. Registering your card online with a specific store location also garners e-VIC specials which are based on what you buy frequently.
  • Make your grocery list/menu plan for the week based on what items are on special and add on non-special items only as needed to complete recipes.
  • Stockpile, but within reason. For my family that means if there is a buy one, get one special on a food item that can be stored for later use make sure it is something the family will eat, and stocking a one month supply is more than enough.

I’m still adjusting, but my first grocery trip using just these strategies yielded me an out of pocket expense of $67.74 and saved me $26.79.  Since I budgeted a hundred dollars for grocery shopping for the week (please note we are a family of four in NC), I actually saved $32.26.  Hello, unexpected bonus!  That money is now being added to the Family Fun Fund that I just made up.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up.