blog, blogpost, grocery, kroger, shopping

Grocery Shopping Tips

Living on my own, I’ve gotten to experience the ups and downs of grocery shopping. My apartment is two minutes away from a Kroger so I’m never far away from the magical grocery shopping experience.

Here are some really useful and practical tips to save you money and time on your next grocery store trip.

  • Keep a list: Maintain a running list in the Notes section of your phone of all the things you’ve run out of in the pantry and fridge as well as the things you’ve decided that life so far has been incomplete without (like chocoalte chip Eggo waffles). That little shopping list keeps me focused when I’m in the store and helps me get everything all in one trip. 
  • Gas discounts: Some grocery stores offer discounts on gas, and you should take advantage of that. Kroger offers 3 cents off gas and then 10 cents off if you spend $100 on gas and groceries combined. 
  • One trip to rule them all: It was a Saturday morning and I was making crepes. I reach into my fridge to grab the milk and to my horror, discover I was out of milk. So, I drove to Kroger (looking gross, having not showered yet) and bought the milk, along with other impulse buys (candy). So now I try really hard to avoid going to the grocery just for one thing because I know I’ll end up buying things I don’t need. 
  • Cut out coupons: I’m a big fan of cutting out coupons from the Sunday paper. Make sure to only cut out coupons you think you’ll actually use. Heck, you can even invest in a coupon organizer. I’ve got one. Try to use coupons to help you buy the things you already buy. Don’t buy something just because you have a coupon. I learned this the hard way. 
  • Digital coupons: Grocery stores have entered the twenty first century. Kroger, my grocery store of choice (similar to drug of choice), offers digital coupons. This is da bomb because you simply buy the product for the coupon, scan your Kroger card (beeeeeep) and the coupon is magically applied. You don’t have to tell the cashier you’re using the coupon or hand him anything. It’s a win-win for you and the teenage cashier with long dark brown hair and bright green eyes. 
  • Free items: Kroger offers a free item every Friday. It’s e-mailed out to Kroger members and all you do is load the digital coupon onto your card.  Last week, I got a free pack of Belvita breakfast biscuits (which I never would’ve bought otherwise, but now I know how yummy they are), a two liter of Sprite (which tastes delicious with peppermint schnapps), a big bag of cereal (that I gave to my mom), and other great stuff. 
    Some grocery stores offer free items
  • Never go grocery shopping hungry: Eat at least a granola bar before. When you go in on an empty stomach, you will emerge with a full cart of food that you impulsively bought. 
  • Plan out your list according to the store layout: Depending on how your drug of choice, ahem, I mean grocery store of choice, is laid out, sort your list accordingly. So at my Kroger, I put the produce first then my canned goods, cereals, alcohol, etc. 
  • Choose the smallest cart: Heck, choose a basket if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. The basket keeps you from loading up with stuff you don’t need. In Kroger, you’ll find me bee-boppin around with one of those lil baby carts. I love those carts like they were my own child. I could name it Carter… 
  • Buy generic: Consider the generic alternatives to save money. You won’t notice a difference and the price difference can be considerate. Often, the generic is cheaper than the brand name item bought with a coupon. 
  • Be polite: Move out of the way if you’re blocking something in an aisle, get off your cell phone, be courteous to the cashier and bag boy, and just be a nice human being to others in the grocery. 
  • Shop at odd times: If you want to shop in peace and quiet, avoid afternoons and evenings. Many people go shopping after work and I’ve noticed that’s when it can be very busy. Shopping late at night is a sure way to beat the crowds. You also get to meet other neat night shoppers, like yourself. 
I think this blog post confirms my intense love of Kroger. 
2014, blog, how-to, ikea, pinterest, shopping

How I Used Pinterest for My New Apartment

A month ago, I signed a lease on a new apartment. I knew that I needed new furniture and was excited at the thought of shopping for all of it. But how could I stay organized while shopping? How could I remember what all I’d seen? Pinterest.

I made a board and appropriately called it Apartment.

I’m on Pinterest all day as part of my job so I know how to use it really well but you don’t need to be a professional Pinterester for it to help you.

The board started out being a place where I’d pin neat ideas that I hoped of someday accomplishing.

Will I actually use any of these? Probably not. 

Who knows, maybe someday I will be bored enough to buy plastic animals, cut them in half, paint them and glue them onto a piece of wood to make a necklace holder. Looks nice, but I probably won’t make it.

As I started to look for furniture and bedding, I needed a method to keep track of the products I liked. Luckily, almost every retail website now days has a PinIt! button so I would just pin the product I liked to my Apartment board. Then I could add my own notes in the pin description and the pin linked back to where I found it.

Pins of the bed sheets I liked. I ended up buying the one in the box. 

This transformed my Pinterest board from dream-apartment-ideas into actual-apartment-ideas.

Previously, when I’ve searched for items to buy (like a graduation dress) I made a Word document or Google Doc. But a Pinterest board is a much neater and cleaner way to keep track of potential items to buy.

Pinterest can be a clean and simple way to remember what you looked at when online shopping

When I went to IKEA with my mom and my best friend, we ended up buying some furniture there. So, I searched on Pinterest and IKEA for images of what I bought and pinned those to my Apartment board. That way, I could remember what I had bought already. When I searched for the IKEA furniture on Pinterest, I could see creative new ways about how to use that piece. Bonus!

I pinned the IKEA furniture I bought to remember what I had

I’m sure those who follow me on Pinterest may have been annoyed or confused as to why I was suddenly pinning all these shower curtains and sofas. If I was more concerned about not bombarding my followers or more shy about what I was pinning, I could have made it a secret board.

My parents and I looked at local furniture stores and when I saw a couch or dining room table I liked, I took a picture on my phone and made it into a pin for my Apartment board. This helped me put all my options in one place and remember what tables I’d already seen.

I took pictures of furniture I saw and pinned them on my board to remember. 

I hope this showed you how you too can use Pinterest.

My only complaint about Pinterest is that I wish there was a way you could move pins that you’ve already pinned around. I like that you can move your boards around but as of now, you can’t move your pins. Sad face.