Using this approach to goal setting, Step 1 begins with setting a "good" goal. This goal will leave you happy at the end of the day, but allows additional room for improvement. My "good" goal for saving money on groceries was to purchase healthier foods for my family. This was a great goal to start out with for the health and betterment of my family. However, our budget took a huge hit initially and I knew I could, and needed to, improve on how I could save money on groceries!!
This leads into the the second goal, your "better" goal. Your "good" goal should act as a stepping stone, using your areas that need improvement as motivation to keep moving forward. Your "better" goal will leave you more satisfied as you make intentional choices, but often may require a couple additional tweaks. For our family, this "better" goal was to bring our grocery bills back under our food budget while getting more food and better quality foods at the same time!
It has taken me 4 months of trying various tips and different grocery stores to achieve this "better" goal. But I stuck with it and finally found a method that works for our family. Patience and determination are key!
Once your "better" goal becomes part of the routine, your attention can begin to shift towards an "excellent" goal! This is like crossing the finish line and setting a new personal record that months before you would have thought completely impossible, and that's part of the point behind using goals as stepping stones. If you were to start out with this goal right away, fatigue and frustration will often take over and prevent any real habits from forming. But by taking it one step at a time, you can make what seems impossible, possible. In the grocery store, our "excellent goal" is to not just buy healthy food on our current budget, but it is to actually lower our grocery budget $100. Even this goal won't materialize on it's own, I want to focus on saving $50 in the first month before taking things up a notch. Thankfully, the lessons and habits I've built over the past several months help make this goal seem attainable, when only 5 months ago I would have laughed off the thought of something like this ever happening!!
Now that I have shared with you the 3 goal approach, you may be asking, "but HOW do I actually save the money? What are good tips, tweaks, and methods to saving money on groceries?!" Don't worry, I will share my tips with you, but before I do I want you to pull out a pen and paper and write down some GOOD, BETTER, & EXCELLENT GOALS as it pertains to your grocery list! This may involve focusing on the results that come from eating certain foods (like making more meals at home, instead of eating out regularly) or trying to cut down on the overall cost of a trip to your local grocer.
Got them written out?! Good! Now lets go over simple changes to make to accomplish your goals!
In order for us to do from our "good" goal to our "better" goal, I had to make 2 changes:
CHANGE #1: I went from buying all my food at 1 grocery store, to buying from multiple places. (I promise it is not as overwhelming a it sounds and I will explain below!)
CHANGE #2: Buying in bulk as much as I can, and ONLY where it is appropriate!
Bear with me here, as it takes me about the same time it does to explain these changes as it does to actually go to the grocery store!! (but I promise, it will be worth it!)
I start online (yep, from my home!) by purchasing high quality meat in bulk from an online market called Zaycon Fresh. They have the BEST chicken at the best price!! They also sell beef, turkey, pork, and fish at wholesale prices!! We have only tried the chicken and I will not buy chicken any where else now. It has almost no fat, stays juicy when we grill or bake it, and it is a great price! You have to buy in bulk with minimum order of 40lbs. But when its $1.89/lb thats only $75.60!! This much chicken will last our family about 6 months!!! If you do not have a deep freezer it might be worth purchasing and splitting with a friend or family member! Click HERE to check it out!