Food on a budget tip 8: Make a grocery listFinancial Literacy

Hands down making a grocery list is one of easiest tools I have used to stick to my food budget. Not too long ago, I went to the grocery store without my grocery list. I erroneously thought I could  walk in, buy one thing, and walk out. I went into the store thinking I was going to spend five dollars, I ended up spending thirty! Maybe I need better control, but I think it was because I didn’t have my list to reel me back in from all the great deals.

Once a week, I sit down and I think of what I want to eat for that week. I plan down to every spice, meal, snack, and drink what I am going to eat and how much I will need. From there, I make my grocery list. Depending on what the occasion, I make different lists. For holidays or hosting events, I break my list down into dishes and then, I list the ingredients under each dish column. From there I check off what I already have and what I need.

My most common method is making columns based on categories: vegetables, fruits, protein, beauty, spices, beverages, and miscellaneous. From there, I list what I need. When I use this method it is easier for me to navigate the aisles and just grab what I need. If I do not stick to my list, I tend to go over budget and because I can only spend about 27 dollars a week on groceries, I have to be very strict with my spending.

Following a grocery list is one of the best ways I save my money. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get purchased.

Do you make a grocery list? Do you find it helpful? Share your tips in the comment section.

If you are just joining in, click here to read all the previous Food on a Budget Tips


An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre


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