How many of you enjoy grocery shopping? How many of you are like me and do it because you want to eat? Well, whichever end of the spectrum you fall on, most of us have to perform this task on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedule. And sometimes it’s a chore! So let me give you a few tips and tricks on how you can make your grocery trips a little easier.

Download An App

Using an app is one of the most helpful things you can do. I used to juggle a pen, a piece of paper, and my phone/calculator. Add in a few coupons and I was just about to drop everything. So once I finally got smart about my shopping conundrum, I downloaded SoftList. I am not specifically promoting this one app, however, because there are a lot of other great shopping list apps out there. Just find the one that works best for you.

I will say that I like this particular app because it offers both a list function and a calculator! Add items to your list, add their prices, and check them off as you go. You can even add the quantities and weights of items, giving you an accurate total.

It will even place items into certain categories, making your shopping experience a little quicker. Having everything in order really helped me to know what I needed to get in each section of the store. If you haven’t downloaded a grocery app, you need to.

Prepare In Advance

Another way to organize yourself is to download (or clip) coupons before going to the store. If there is a particular store that you shop at, be sure to look over the coupons you plan to use for that store. Oh, and by the way, you may even want to base your meal planning on current coupons if there is a good deal. For instance, I had a good coupon for ground beef so I decided to make a ground beef-based dinner instead of the recipe calling for steak.

Analyze Before You Drive

Analyze the stores in your area! Due to intentional marketing, a store’s prices can vary from week to week. While one location may have the better price on milk one week, the next week a different store may be selling milk for a much cheaper price. However, you’ll also want to take into account what coupons you have. While a sale price may get you a decent price, your coupons may get you a better deal elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to check around! A good way to do this without driving all over town is to download the store’s app on your phone. This will allow you to see all those great deals without burning up the gas. Other options are to sign up for store emails and look at the sales papers.

Keep It Simple!

One of the most efficient ways to make grocery shopping easier is to keep it simple. Some people will drive from store to store to get the best deal on an item. This can and does save people money; however, be careful not to burn up a lot of gas doing this. That will negate the amount you saved on an item. You may want to consistently shop at one store that regularly has good prices and a good selection. For instance, I used to shop at Aldi and Walmart on occasion, but I realized that their quality was not always the best. Yes, Aldi does have amazing prices, and yes, sometimes Walmart’s prices are okay; but you do get what you pay for.

Nowadays, I rarely shop anywhere besides Kroger. If you stick with their store brand items, you’ll pay less money and get a good quality product. What’s even better is that they consistently offer coupons on their own store brand items, making Kroger my one-stop-shop.

Stick To That Budget

Setting a budget (before you set foot in the store) is the best thing you can do for your wallet. Analyze your finances and base your budget off of what you can honestly afford. Now, create a meal plan that will be budget-friendly. You may end up making more veggie and noodle based meals, instead of cooking with meats. Or maybe using more chicken in place of beef. Do what you must, but stick to that budget! Knowing your budget and sticking to it not only saves you money, but also makes your grocery trips easier. Not to mention, sticking to a budget will give you fewer surprises at the checkout line!

I hope these few simple tips will be helpful to you for your future grocery shopping adventures. With a little planning and a little budgeting, you can make your life so much easier. When there are so many other things going on in your busy life, why add one more hassle to the list? Download an app, prepare your coupons, and keep it simple. Do this, and you can make your grocery shopping easier.