a peek inside the fishbowl

23 Jul, 2012

It’s guest post week! The Rules of Grocery Shopping

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Guest postings

Hello Fishies! It’s guest post week here at the Fishbowl, and that means I have five posts from five different bloggers ready for you. I hope you’ll say hello and make them feel welcome! This one is from Hollie Pollard. Hollie hails from Toronto and is a Common Cents mom who tells me she reads my blog on a religious basis. You can often find her trying to help others find ways to save, play, and give. When she isn’t busy helping others save some cash you can find her (like me!) acting as an Advisor for the ShesConnected Conference. When she isn’t doing THAT she is busy on Pinterest. (Have you seen her boards?) You will also find her on Twitter as Common Cents Mom. Thank you Hollie!


Ever wonder why you end up spending a small fortune in the grocery store, it might be because you are not following the rules of a great grocery shop. For me years I never shopped with a list, went hungry and took kids, but then I learned some very basic rules that have helped me save time and money week in and week out.

What are these rules that I learned?

First and foremost have a list, no brainer right, but every time I am in the grocery store I see many wandering up and down the aisles buying things simply because it is there, and I think do they realize how much they could be saving if they had a list and stuck to it. I take a list but it is a flexi list as just sometimes there is a great unadvertised special that I will pick up, but it better be a great buy.

I prepare my list by checking what is on sale and planning a menu for a week. Do you plan your meals and grocery shops? Trust me, try it and you will be thankful you did.

Second rule, never go shopping hungry. You are more likely to give in to those urges to spend if you break this one. I have learned to have a good breakfast before I go.

Shop the outside of the store, everyone knows the most processed junk in in the aisles, stay away, far away as much as you can. Shop the produce, breads, dairy and meat and seafood. Think back to the days when we ate real food and again you will end up saving.

One of my biggest lessons learned was to shop solo whenever I can, more then once a shopping trip was cut short do to a whiny child wanting the latest thing on the shelf. Whenever you can leave them at home. If you have to take them give them a task, and get them helping all along the way, have them help make the list, the menu and have them help you find the sales.

Finally still find yourself spending too much, leave the debit and credit cards at home. Pay in cash. When you are out of cash you are out of way you can put in your cart. That one definitely helps keep me on budget.

What are any other rules that you simply must live by when you grocery shop?

3 Responses to "It’s guest post week! The Rules of Grocery Shopping"

1 | Stefania

July 23rd, 2012 at 8:00 pm


By only shopping outside the store and avoiding the aisles you miss out on legumes, grains, organic frozen food and many organic products, nut butters, etc. Having a list and knowing what you’ll be preparing for the week is the best idea for shopping. There are many temptations in the aisles but they shouldn’t be avoided or else you’re missing out on some good food.

2 | Car camping at Lake St. Peter, a great campground near Bancroft. >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 30th, 2012 at 8:44 am


[…] of all I wanted to send out a big thank you to my three guest bloggers this week: Hollie, Giulia, and Alan for holding down the fort while we were away. I hope you took the time to read […]

3 | BD Williams

September 9th, 2012 at 5:33 pm


Great tips! I have bookmarked it for my wife to read. lol.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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