Robbi writes: I have fibromyalgia and a host of other ailments, most of them chronic. There are days when I just want to grab the first things I see and get out of the store and back home to rest. How do you get your shopping done for the week without killing yourself and destroying your budget in the process?
Jill: I know it can be very hard to go to the grocery store when you are sick. My daughter Tawra and I both have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and once went, parked in the store parking lot and had to turn around and drive right back home because we were too exhausted after just making the short drive to get there. Boy, did we feel dumb. Here are a couple of ideas that may help a little.
First, always keep a list. That may be hard because for me, by the time I find a pencil, I usually forget what I was going to write down. HA!HA! The list helps you not only to remember things, but also helps you decide what to buy. I am usually so sick at the store that nothing sounds good, so making myself buy just what is on my list helps.
I also go to the smallest grocery store in my area. Walking up and down long isles just kills me. I like Aldi’s because it not only helps me save money but is smaller.
You may find it easier to buy a month’s worth of staples all at once. Then, just go once a week to buy the fresh items. The fresh items are on the outside wall of most grocery stores so I can sometimes walk that distance if I don’t have to go up and down each isle where the staples are.
Make a floor plan of your store. When you buy items that always seem hard to find (for me it is syrup), make a note of the location on your floor plan. Then you don’t have to wear yourself out wandering the isles aimlessly.
Price Match. Some superstores will match the prices of their competitors ads. I take my ads in and purchase all my loss leader sale items at one store. Then I don’t have to go from store to store purchasing the exceptional deals. I can get the sale price all at one store. Ask if your store will do this and it can save time and money.
To help save money, ask your butcher when he marks down the meat. The same goes for produce and bakery items. That way you can plan to do your shopping when the bargains are right there. You don’t have to go hunting for them.
Keep you meals simple. Don’t feel guilty if you get to the grocery store and only have the energy to buy milk and cereal. Guilt drains you. Once I stopped fighting and feeling guilty about what I couldn’t do and what other people would think about what I wasn’t doing, I actually started having some good days.
Jill Cooper raised two teenagers alone on $500 a month income after becoming disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She is the co-author of Dinging On A Dime Cookbook. To read more of Jill’s articles and for free tips and recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com/ .
Jill is the author of several frugal living ebooks,including Dining On A Dime, Groceries On A Dime, and Penny Pinching Mama.