Every centavo counts, and it becomes your everyday reality when you become a parent. At some point (like when you start computing for pregnancy expenses), you LEARN to cut costs and save wherever you can. Take grocery shopping as an example.
That advice of not grocery shopping on an empty stomach — you know now that's a fact. Sticking to your grocery list? Sage advice. Live with your parents? Well, we can't deny the, er, practicality.
These, however, are grocery shopping wisdom we've heard before. What we want to know is other grocery shopping tricks moms employ these days, and we knew who to tap for answers: our moms at our Facebook group Smart Parenting Village.
Here are their money-saving grocery shopping hacks:
1. Buy baby essentials in bulk.
You'll always need wipes, tissues, diapers, and milk. SP Village mom Rina Sajise offers, "When buying diapers, I buy the 32- pack than the 64-packs because when you do the computation the former is cheaper than the larger pack. I also buy milk in cartons rather than in cans."
Commenting on this tip by Rina, Ranz Adam Mendola adds, "I buy diapers in Lazada by the 100. It's much cheaper especially when it's on sale."
Rina pipes in, "Huggies pants are the most expensive in groceries! But it has smaller sizes. And when you join Huggies Mom Club, you will get 40% discount that can be claimed in Mercury Drug stores. The code is sent thru SMS, but it's only applicable on the first purchase. I switched to EQ, and now we're using Happy Pants."
2. Compare prices of supermarkets in your neighborhood.
The legwork is worth it, says Mhy Senedrin-Singh who discovered that Sta. Lucia Supermarket offered the best prices, so she always shops there.
Rela Santos Fercol says she found prices at Landmark in Trinoma lower than those at SM. "The 50-a-pack green tea was Php321 while SM was priced at Php369.75. Huggies diaper was also almost Php40 cheaper."
And it always doesn't follow that supermarkets under one company have the same prices. Otanie Binuya, "You'll be surprised that SM Hypermarket, SM Supermarket, and SaveMore have price differences for some items."
And you may also want to check out non-supermarket option. Michelle Fortea shares, "Giggles wet wipes are cheaper in SM department store than in supermarkets."
KC Lia adds that when it comes to toiletries milk and snacks, she goes to Mercury Drug "for faster cashier lanes."
3. Go for discounted items and supermarket brands.
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Anna Kathrina Lorenzo Go and Michelle Fortea say they go for items on sale. But Otanie cautions fellow moms to double check promo packs. "For diapers, check which pack has cheaper per piece price because sometimes bigger packs don't mean it comes cheaper."
Rina says she buys SM supermarket brand Bonus for wipes "because it's so mabango."
Michelle Novilla shares she always buys S&R chicken nuggets by the kilo because it's cheaper compared to other grocery stores. In fact, "whether Purefoods or Bounty Fresh [chicken nuggets], it's cheaper in S&R," Michelle adds in her experience.
4. Go eco-friendly and don't opt for pre-made meals.
Anna says she tries to avoid using disposable diapers at home, while Mhy took the next step and uses cloth diapers. "The savings [from using cloth diapers] went to wooden toys. I also use the Sinaya Cup for my monthly cycle, and it saves me while I am on breastfeeding mode."
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Mhy, who charges most of her bills to her cashback credit card, says she doesn't buy pre-packed baby food because "my child is a trained baby-led weaning baby."
Lyka Enriquez says, "Making meals and snacks from scratch is a healthier and economical option. Plus, it's fun discovering and developing new recipes, like we now make our own fishcakes, chicken nuggets, gyoza, and different varieties of spring rolls and dumplings."
You can end up wasting a lot of food and grocery, and that adds up in pesos. Rasta Hara has learned it the hard way. "I buy items that we still have in the pantry unopened from last month's trip to the grocery. I had this mindset of buying things that are fixed on the monthly list even if there was still more at home. I changed my ways already."
(By the way, Rasta says it's sometimes good to buy items that come with a raffle — her dad won a refrigerator because of his "sachet collections.")
6. Don't bring the family.
We know that's tough, but the hubby and the kids always see something that isn't on your list. If your hubby is coming with you, Angelyn Madayag Bantucan advises, "I tell him if he wants to add something in the grocery list, dapat may pandagdag siya 'pag sumobra sa bill."
Here's another perk of not having your family with you, according to Janice Diane Sugar Luna. "Ako grocery shopping is my 'ME' time!"