Some time ago, a friend came to me and wanted help with her grocery spending. I came up with a few questions for her to answer that would help me understand where she was in her desire to spend less. I thought I would share them with you here so that you, too, can take inventory of your own situation if you are interested in making changes of your own.
For the record, I find it beneficial to ask these questions periodically on my own Eat Cheap! journey.
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how crucial is it that you cut grocery costs? (Not interested=1, Emergency!!!=10)
2. Which grocery department requires the bulk of your money? (dairy, meet, deli, canned goods, snack foods, produce, frozen foods, etc.)
3. Are eating out/drive-thru/carry-out expenses included in your grocery spending total? (If not, they should be.)
4. Are you cooking from scratch or are you relying on prepared (or semi-prepared) food items for your meals? (deli items, boxed/frozen foods, canned sauces, pre-cut produce, etc.)
5. In which section of the grocery store do you consistently spend the most unplanned money?
6. In which grocery-type store do you consistently over-spend?
7. How many times each week do you walk into a grocery store?
8. Where could you cut back just a little bit more to save money? (sugary drinks, snack foods, paper products, deli foods, frozen entrees, etc.)
If you fail to see the relevance of any of these questions, I would be happy to share my thoughts.