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Lesson 22 - Sober Spending - Grocery Edition

Mar 13, 2024

Phew! Grocery shopping is hard lately. You can’t walk out of a grocery store these days without feeling the pinch in your bank account. 


The cost of living is at an all time high. 


Now more than ever it is important to plan our spending. Be aware. Be present with our spending. Practice sober spending. 


If you haven’t read the lesson about sober spending find it here:


How do you plan what you are going to buy at the grocery store? 


Do you walk in and just hope you get everything you need and probably end up getting a lot more than you had hoped for? You’re not alone. 


Planning our grocery shopping is one of those things that can feel overwhelming at first but it is one of the biggest tools I use in my own financial sobriety. 


I am really big on meal planning. Not in the diet culture way of planning my “diet”. I think of it as planning my menu for the week. Doing this also helps me when the week feels busy and I know exactly what I am doing in the kitchen so everyday I don’t stand in front of the fridge with no idea what to make, IYKYK! 


My process is first having a look at my calendar to see what is happening that week. Are there any meals I won’t be home for? Are there meals that I plan to eat out for? Or order in? 


Sometimes we can have the idea of making meals at home and then realize we aren’t even going to be home for some meals and the stuff we bought is sitting rotting in the fridge. In the busy world we live in you often might be ordering out or eating out, planning this is CRUCIAL. Planning to eat out is not shameful. It’s just part of planning! 


Once I know what is happening in my week I start writing out my weekly menu on a piece of paper. , I even made you a meal planner you can fill in right here


I will have a look in the cupboards and fridge/freezer before I build out my menu. Whenever we can use what we already have is saving you money! 


Once I have my menu I see what I need to buy and start making my list ✅


Where do you usually do your grocery shopping? Have you thought about if this is the best place to actually shop? What are their prices like in comparison to others? This can be a hard question to answer. Since we are talking about how to plan our spending and stretching our dollars as far as we can, sometimes shopping at bigger box places can be a great place to go for the staples. We do vote with our dollars and sometimes it doesn’t feel good for you to do this, and I totally get that! This is where what works best for you comes into play 😎 You get to decide where you are spending your money. Planning your meals overall is going to save you so much money! 


Another option to think about when thinking of where you are shopping is if they have a loyalty program? In some grocery stores they have a few that give you points towards groceries in the future. For example, spend $60.00 and get 10,000 points ($10 value) for your next shopping trip. One of my fave grocery stores has this and when they ask me if I want to save money the next time I go through the till I do a little money coach dance.


Avoiding hangry shopping is really important. Make sure you leave the house when your not starving. This will avoid any impulse shopping of things that “look good” because you need to eat. It’s another IYKYK ;) 


Once you are in your grocery store of choice sometimes throwing on some headphones with your fave music or podcast playing helps you focus. I think of grocery stores as a huge advertisement you are walking through, BUY ME, BUY ME! Allllll the things screaming at you to purchase. Keep your head down and focus, only buy what is on your list. 


Another thing that can really help you with your spending can actually not even going to the grocery store at all. Order it online and get them to deliver! There can be a fee associated with this, but sometimes it pays to pay this to avoid buying things you don’t need. 


You can also order online and pick up your order and this is usually free! This saves you time and money. WIN WIN! 


Here is a website that I have used in the past to help me with meal planning when it comes to picking out specific recipes (heads up there are some ads within this site that do talk specifically about diets so if disordered eating is part of your recovery please enter with care…or not at all):


I also love this website that can build recipes from ingredients you already have so you don’t even have to go grocery shopping:


This is website breaks down how much each recipe costs to make, it’s got some great recipes at low prices:


There you have it—simple, down-to-earth tips to save you some serious dough on your grocery hauls. Happy shopping, savvy sober spenders! 💰🛒✨


All the money love sent your way, 


Linda Parmar
Financial Sobriety Expert