MOMI TIPS/ 8 ways to trim grocery bill

Apr 27, 2016 | Only Berlin

Grocery shopping for a big family like ours takes up a large cut from our budget.  Monthly, this mother would allocate 40% of the family’s budget to grocery and market.   Thus, to save both time and money, we visit a warehouse or supermarket only once a month.  We would only spend a Saturday each month to wait to that long line at the cashier.  It also means having the remaining three Saturdays to 1) clean the house, 2) do school assignments and projects, and 3) go to the nearest park for some rest and recreation.  Of course, Sundays are always for worship, play time for the boys, husband’s moonlighting for added income and this mother’s meal preparation for the coming week.

It comes not a surprise then that though doing the grocery may be very tiring, the family seems to enjoy when the mother hen announces,   “Its grocery time!”  For one, it is also the day when they could buy some knick knacks for the boys or any important household items.  The kids get to visit the bookstore which they so love very much.  Also, they may either try new restaurants or stick to their favorite diner, and sometimes, do some food trip.  An hour or two at the Timezone or movie date is most likely to happen, too.

Allow this mother to share with you some of her favorite shopping tips to trim the grocery bill without sacrificing the health and satisfaction of her family.   A number of these tips I got from magazines over the years or some I have figured out on my own:

  1. Have a budget

Every 15th of the month, I keep our grocery and market budget in a separate envelope and make sure to do our purchase the coming weekend.  Having a budget helps me decide what to buy and know exactly how much we can spend.  Sticking to that budget is another story, but we tend to manage and stick within that limit.

  1. Plan the menu

This mother got some cookbooks.  She makes sure to use them, thus, plan her family’s weekly menu.   Knowing what to cook for the family helps her decide what meal and how many kilos she needs to buy along with the ingredients that come with each menu.

  1. Make a list

It has always been this mother’s practice to write down immediately items that are running low.  She can’t trust her memory that much thus, when there’s a little amount of oyster sauce in the container, for instance, she would jot it down.

Also, hours before heading to the supermarket, the second son would make a list of “things to buy.”  One by one, he would take a look at our grooming cabinet and pantry and list down missing items.  We always have five sponges (for dish washing), for example, and when he sees only one, that means we need to buy four more.

Second son’s grocery list is by aisle.  As much as possible, we try to organize our list to save time, too.  We always shop from right to left, so as not to run back and forth, and not miss items on our list.

The list, though, would be useless if this family does not stick to that.  We try to avoid impulse buys and stick to the list as much as possible.

  1. Keep receipts

Before, I used to keep the receipts.  It has been a good way to compare shops that offer the best value for money.   But once we’ve identified the best warehouse or supermarket to go to, I stopped collecting receipts.  I just make sure to stick to my tips 1 and 3 in order not to overspend.

And one warehouse this mother highly recommends for that monthly trip for any grocery needs is the S&R Membership Shopping.  For only P700.00 annual membership fee, a great choice of both imported and local goods are readily available in front of you.  Many of the items, too, are cheaper than that of the usual supermarkets.  Promo items indeed offer huge discounts as well.

  1. Buy in bulk

We always buy in bulk.  Instead of buying a jar of mayonnaise, we buy in a gallon.  We do not buy a kilo of spaghetti noodles, we prefer those in larger packages instead.  But because it’s not cheaper to buy in bulk, we make sure that we are to use and consume all before they all get bad.

Good thing also that S&R Membership Shopping carries a lot of items in bulk and in wholesale prize — such great opportunity for a big family like ours to save big time.

  1. Do not disregard sale items

Sale items can be a great deal especially when we normally use them. Sometimes, panty liners go on sale when you buy two instead of one.  I would buy them since I could always stock up.

Also, most items become expensive because of too much marketing or because of the brand name. Give store brands a try.  At S&R, it has its S&R branded food which is both delicious and budget friendly.

  1. Prefer warehouse than supermarket

Warehouses like S&R Membership Shopping offer an expansive selection of top quality local and imported name-brand merchandise as compared to supermarkets that have a limited inventory of items.  This would definitely save you the taxi fare or car gas if you limit buying grocery items in one place only.

Also, have I mentioned that the produce section at S&R , for instance,  has a great variety of fresh berries one does not usually see in grocery stores?  You may want to check that out.

Aside from grocery items, the store has an inventory of consumer goods from electronics to appliances, a good selection of housewares, even toys and apparel, and garden equipment.

S&RImus

 

  1. Go for membership shopping

Membership shopping just like in S&R can really add up big savings over the long run.  Aside from the feeling of exclusivity, there will always be a neighborly feeling towards other shoppers, too.   Renewable annual membership at S&R is only P700.00 for individual and P900.00 for business members.  It already has nine warehouses nationwide, the latest of which is in Imus, Cavite, capitalizing on the fast growing residential communities in the area.

I could very well recall what Mr. Anthony Sy, President of S&R Membership Shopping, said on the opening day of the Cavite warehouse:  “The Cavite branch is part of the company’s ongoing expansion to bring S&R’s unique world-class warehouse club shopping experience to many.  The opening of the establishment in the city signifies S&R’s belief in the metropolis’ vision of progress.”

And so on your next grocery visit, try S&R Membership Shopping.  You would surely save on gas for that monthly visit, but only if you 1) stick to that budget and list, and follow one or two of my shopping tips.  Also, have I mentioned to you that our monthly grocery is also the time that we eat out and try something new?  S&R Membership Shopping has a food court inside and without a doubt, it has the best pizza in town.  A real authentic New York style pizza to share with my boys truly makes our grocery experience the best!  S&R also has baked and roast chicken, churros, beef rolls, hamburgers, and hotdogs — too many to try in a day.

 

IMG_7463

A membership at S&R entails shoppers to buy and enjoy its hugely popular New York Style Pizza.

 

28 Comments

  1. Nicole Paler

    Hi! Just want to ask if S&R will let people buy their pizza even without a membership? Thankies! 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Unfortunately no. You have to present your membership card upon purchase.

      Reply
  2. Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy

    I love their huge pizzas! Haha! We seldom go to S&R na. My membership expired na kasi and haven’t been able to renew it.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Love their pizza, too. The boys would always ask for pizza after our grocery and they are just so happy with the soft drinks refill idea.

      Reply
  3. ROBERT LEE

    I agree with membership shopping at S&R only if a person has the discipline to keep within the budget. Otherwise, like any commercial stores, there are traps… where customers are enticed to buy more and when you look at the amazing discounted prices, the question is, are they true?

    Discipline is also needed in making a plan, such as menu and that is no easy task.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      I agree with discipline. But if one is living alone, buying jn bulk isnt a nice decision. We only buy in bulk because we got huge family.

      Reply
  4. Alison

    I prefer shopping at warehouses over grocery stores also! You are so organized. I go to the store a couple times a week and even then I forget things. My life is so much better when I am prepared though and ready with meal plans. It does help you stick to a budget, too!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Thank you. It helps that we have kids to lend a hand on making our grocery list and make some reminders too on things we’ve missed.

      Reply
  5. R U S S

    Stepping into a grocery store or supermarket or especially a shopping warehouse is like getting yourself into a danger zone ( lol ). That’s why I couldn’t agree more that a shopping list is a must-have. It helps you not to over-purchase. It saves time as well.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      I agree specially if you are going inside with kids who would pick anything they fancy.

      Reply
  6. Darlene

    Good tips! Among the house chores,grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do. I definitely agree on the buy in bulk. You really can save more if you buy in bigger containers rather than in smaller packs. And having a set budget and a list really helps a lot in trimming down the expenses. 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yup. Buying in bulks is our thing. Our family is real big.

      Reply
  7. Joanna

    I like to go food hopping in the evenings, after 6:30 PM. That is when my local supermarkets get out their clearance stocks, where you can buy really nice products, like tuna steaks, salmon, salads, for as little as 10p. I didn’t hear about membership shopping before.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      I love clearance sale! Haha. You are lucky you are near your local supermarket for quick buys.

      Reply
  8. Nina Sogue

    I love S&R and their pizza! My mom is a member so I got to try there before. The thing is, more choices means more temptation. Our household and our place is not that big so buying in bulk is not yet advisable. Maybe in the future though 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yup, in the future when you have four boys plus a big daddy like mine. 🙂

      Reply
      • Nina Sogue

        I can’t imagine taking care of that huge family. Maybe sa future na nga. Haha!

        Reply
  9. Marge Gavan

    I’m not a nanay yet but I can sure use these tips. I live alone and I am really bad at buying things for myself. I don’t shop long term, I just buy things whenever I run out of stuff, if you know what I mean.

    But I do make a list once in a while, especially when I’m on a budget. It keeps me from buying unnecessary things.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Haha. I got you. I was like that before until I got problems with budgeting. Ihihi.

      Reply
  10. Klaudia

    Great post , takes me right back to grandma’s and my mother’s days when it was a common thing to have a budget schedule for the month . What kills my good intentions of not spending too much on shopping : never go shopping when you’re hungry ! I buy so much stuff , that nobody ever eats . My “trick” , I grab a cheap portion of fast food before entering the supermarkets , a handful of chips will do the trick already . Makes me spend maybe half as much on shopping ! 🙂 I am not of fan of membership shopping , I have found out , that most of these client cards are just created to get your details , to after spam your email account . If it always works out cheaper ? I’m no0t sure about .

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Nice tricks you have there.

      Reply
  11. Arrianne Guzman

    I think planning is very important in terms of budgeting for the grocery bill. This is where you can consider which things are “necessity” and which are just mere “wants”. I appreciate this post so much because it reminds me to be responsible even in the small stuff like taking a grocery 🙂

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Thank you. Indeed identifying the needs from the wants is important and very crucial on how much the grocery bill would end up.

      Reply
  12. ASKSonnie

    Ohh, you finally have your own domain, and successfully redirected old posts 🙂

    Good shopping tips, how do we apply for membership, S&R is far from us, but perhaps it’s worth a try.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      S&R has a customer counter solely for new membership application. You could get your card on the same day. Processing is about 10minutes only. And yes, finally have my own “home.”

      Reply
  13. Dominic Barrios

    Very helpful tips indeed. In our case, it is convenient that SM Hypermarket is just right outside our village. So every time we need to buy milk, diapers or whatever, it’s just right there. I’m just curious how big your family is and how much you guys spend on your groceries.

    I loved that your kids are involved in planning on what to buy for grocery.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      That is real convenience having SM Hypermart just nearby. Real big with four boys plus the husband. 🙂

      Reply

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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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