Howdy Folks,



The first 4 months of this year my Grocery bill started getting HUGE

every month... I guess it was because food started getting more

expensive due to the raised gas prices. We were generally buying the

same amount of stuff every month, and I couldn't figure out what was

causing it, etc. So I "attacked the inflated expense" by structuring

the heck out of my whole grocery-buying process. The following

describes how I managed to lower my bill.



In this group I'd hear from time to time people refer to "setting up

a pantry" as a way to save money on groceries. I wasn't exactly sure

what that meant, so I looked it up in the dictionary and asked around

to get kind of a better idea. My interpretation or version

of "setting up a pantry" as a result turned out to be helpful, and

lowered my grocery bill in the month of May by over $150.00 from the

monthly average so far for this year.



What I did was to develop a checklist which contains information on

all the grocery & home supply items we use and buy. We eliminated

expenses for just about everything which couldn't be worked in to

this list/ things on the list are just things that get used regularly

and need to be stocked up on, etc for day to day life. No extra's or

non-necessary luxury items, etc.



So this checklist has a column for what category the supply is, brand

name to get that's usually cheapest, a low-price comparison reference

and store which usually has the lowest price for that type of item.

We keep the list in a drawer in the kitchen, and throughout the week

each week when we notice we're low on a certain supply we just check

the box next to that particular product/staple where it is on the

list. Basically the list is what we use for buying groceries &

supplies now, etc (in a nutshell).



The list is also on an excel sheet, so once a week (no more) we'll

transfer over all the check marks made on the paper copy/ put it into

the excel sheet, then sort the sheet by category & the store to buy

it from/ and that's our shopping list.



As far as shopping tips to use along with this list, I decided to

stick to only certain stores for certain types of supplies... and not

to deviate from the store I go to for the supply I go there to get.

No more going to a bunch of different stores to get just a few things

from each just because they have some of the things you need on sale.



I think doing this kind of doesn't work- partly because of the fact

of advertising and how they get the consumer to buy things they

weren't expecting to buy, etc. So in other words you might go to some

other store that you don't usually go to just because of some

advertised sale, but you'll be more likely to get hit by the

advertising (or product placement) in the place and end up buying

others things too which you may not have planned on (sore advertising

is my enemy, as far as it relates to trying to save money).



Ultimately what I've found is sticking to the same place (every time)

for the same supplies (every time) saves the most money (for me) in

the long run. So I only go to certain stores for certain things, and

stick to buying only what I decide to "put on the list" as a

permanent pantry/staple/supply item. That was what I came up with, as

I mentioned above, to lower my monthly grocery expenses. Hope it

helps...



Regards, CW