How to Grocery Shop Like a 1950's Housewife

The 1950’s American housewife was the quintessential multi-tasker. She was highly-efficient, creative, solution-focused, smart, sharp, and savvy.  She was a wife, a mother, a counselor, a purchasing agent, an interior decorator, a chef, a budgeter, a party planner, a maid, and a laundress – all under one residential roof.  The kitchen was the gathering area in her home. It’s where cakes were baked, dinners were prepared, school lunches were packed, and a hot breakfast was served. Although she excelled at all her roles and wore each hat confidently, it was her skills in grocery shopping that brought all those other responsibilities together.  After all, those family dinners around the dining table every night didn’t just happen by chance. They were well-planned and lovingly-prepared after an agenda-based venture to the grocery shop. Want to grocery shop like a 1950’s housewife? Here’s how:

Use a Grocery List
Before you venture out to the grocery store, decide what you are going to prepare and then go through your refrigerator and cupboards and see precisely what you need to make the meal. Jot down the items you’ll need to pick up. A list will not only help you to remember to purchase the ingredients you’ll need, but also stop you from impulse buying.
Use Coupons
Coupons are a fantastic way to save money – but only if you are using them toward purchases you would have made anyway. If you're buying items just because you have a coupon, you’ll end up wasting your money (and cupboard space).  There’s no reason to purchase ten jars of mayo if no one in your family likes mayo and with a little DIY you can keep your coupons organized!
Buy Only What You Need
Just like when you shop at a retail store – if you plan to buy a pair of sneakers because your old ones are worn out, don’t buy the boots that you happen to notice! The same holds for grocery shopping. If you plan to make a pasta dinner tonight, then don’t pick up the chicken wings or the tray of cookies that you happened to notice!
Compare Unit Pricing
Got strawberries on your list? If it’s more cost effective to buy two packages of them instead of just one, then purchase the two. However, be sure to strategically place them upfront in your refrigerator so that you don’t forget you bought them and you don't let them grow mold on them and then have to discard them!
Purchase Produce in Season
Yes, it’s great to have fresh fruit all year long – but the most cost-effective way to purchase fruit (and to have the best-tasting fruit) is to buy it in season! Otherwise, you’re paying higher prices to have it shipped from wherever your local grocer gets it!
Buy in Bulk
If long-lasting or non-perishable items are available in bulk – like granola bars, chili, peas, corn, or soup – buy them in bulk. As long as the food is something you and your family already enjoys, it won’t go to waste, and you’ll save a great deal of money in the long-run vs. having to go to the grocery store every time you need another bottle of salad dressing.
Don’t Buy Foods Your Family Doesn’t Like
If no one is crazy about shrimp, sausage, or bologna – don’t buy them! Even if they’re on sale! Thinking that you will get them to try it and like it is not worth the risk if they don’t!
Know What’s In Your Food
Read the labels. If you’re looking to make healthy choices for your family, you can do that by reading the fine print on the labels. Don’t be distracted by the flowery language on the front of the packaging – read what’s in the product and decide if that is something you want your family to eat.
Frozen Foods Are Good
If you love smoothies or baking desserts that include fruit, buying frozen fruit is a great decision! While it may seem like you are paying more upfront, in the long run, you are saving money – especially if your family tends to let fresh fruit in the refrigerator spoil!  Also purchasing frozen corn, broccoli, and other items that are easy to prepare are wise shopping strategies.

For many folks today, it’s hard to imagine sitting around a dining room table for dinner every night with the entire family like the housewives of the 1950s did – but it could happen – and it starts with a successful trip to your local grocery store!

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