Shopping Sense Makes Cents

“Shopping Sense Makes Cents,” Ensign, Feb. 1978, 64

Shopping Sense Makes Cents

Most of us are convinced that saving energy saves money; but few realize that this applies to personal energy, too. If we are more efficient in carrying out our household duties, it can save money and also leave us more time to spend with our families.

I save energy in meal planning and shopping—and also pay attention to proper nutrition—by following three steps:

First, I make a list of the main dishes, salads, vegetables, and desserts that I serve. I was surprised at how many I rarely used. Most women have between thirty and sixty main dishes to choose from, so meals need not be repeated for a month or two. I keep this list handy and add to it as I acquire new recipes.

Second, from this list I plan a menu for two weeks and balance it with the four basic food groups included among the main dishes, vegetables, salads, and desserts. In order to save money, I try to use items on sale, or produce that is in season.

Third, I make a shopping list from my menu plan. Before I start, I make a mental picture of the way the grocery store is arranged and make my list accordingly. For example, if the first aisle in the market has lunchmeats, bread, and dairy products, these would be first on my list. This way I eliminate time spent looking over my list for different items and running back a few aisles for something I may have forgotten.

By following these three steps, I cut my shopping time in half, and our grocery bills are at least 10 percent less because of the elimination of impulse buying and the two-week meal planning. If you know what you will be using for each meal, foods don’t spoil and you won’t waste time on short trips to the market to pick up extras. Judie Pope, Salt Lake City, Utah