Grocery moneyball

Answering your questions about budgeting, groceries, and running an efficient household

Happy Friday! I appreciate the lovely welcome to the FamilyMade fam this week. It’s given me all the warm fuzzies. 😊 I’m so grateful to be part of this supportive community, and when I say supportive I mean supportive—the quantity and quality of ideas, comments, and suggestions you’ve shared in our inbox is amazing. Hit reply and keep ‘em coming! 

Today: your questions about balancing life, house, and budget. Spoiler alert: Shawn and Andrew know a thing or two about household harmony. Read on!


Ah, groceries. There’s nothing like filling that basket with fresh produce and organic goodies and thinking of all the healthy meals you’ll make…then getting the grand total at checkout and subsequently picking your jaw up off the floor.

We love any ideas that streamline the process while saving you money. Here are a few:

The tried-and-true grocery list

Can you hear your parents and grandparents chuckling? As simple as it sounds, a well-planned list in hand will save time and money.

Shawn and Andrew swear by going to the grocery store with meals set. “Meal planning helps save a lot of money,” Shawn said. “You aren’t aimlessly looking for things and filling in blanks.”

The tech-forward approach

There are tons of great apps to keep buying priorities straight, including AnyList, where you can share lists with family members, plan meals, and add items via Siri. has been in the game for years for a reason. With their app, you can download digital coupons to your phone, print old school coupons from your computer, and explore cash back offers.

And don’t forget store rewards apps like those from Target and Walmart.

The alternative shopping plan 

There’s more to life than the supermarket—try farmers markets (and enjoy the morale boost of supporting local producers and buying in-season) or discount/bulk retailers like Misfits Market and Sam’s Club. “There’s also a lot of good options like Thrive Market that have discounted items for whatever lifestyle you’re trying to choose,” said Andrew.

The creative route 

You could also think outside the grocery bag and declare a “pantry week,” or as Shawn and Andrew have started doing, “leftover nights.” Take stock of what’s already in your pantry or freezer and get creative. You may be surprised by how many delicious, simple recipes you can create with items you already have.

“For us, the weekends have become our leftover nights,” Shawn shared. “What can we create with all the leftovers and little bits of food we have left in our refrigerator?”

I’d bet the options are endless. Happy cooking (and shopping and snacking and prepping and…)

A disclaimer to start—this is a personal partnership choice, and there is no wrong answer. It never hurts to ask a financial expert if you’re unsure about combining finances vs. keeping them separate. But whatever you decide, make it as easy as possible. Some ways to do that?

Find common ground

Household budgeting is something Shawn and Andrew refer to as “continually evolving.” Both agree that focusing on the data—what money is coming in, what money is going out—is a great way to take emotion out of the equation. 

“First, get on the same page,” said Andrew. “We’re doing this together.” 

“Write out what your plans and goals are,” Shawn added. “If you’re both working towards the same goal, it makes it easier.”

Remember timing is everything

Talking budget can be less than appealing, but putting it off won’t do you any favors. Instead of having “the talk” after months of frivolous spending or miscommunication, commit to a weekly or monthly budget date. 

Approaching household budgeting from a place of positivity, openness, and even fun can be a game changer. Turn on some sexy music, grab a cocktail or herbal tea, and make a promise to keep it strategic. I highly recommend concluding your budget date with a board game, a living room dance, or ahem…whatever floats your boat.

Simplicity is the goal, but not always the reality! “We don’t really balance it all,” said Shawn. “It’s constant trial and error.”

“It’s a lot of forgiveness. And it’s practice to hopefully do it better next time than we did this time. A general sense of optimism goes a long way,” Andrew added.

In addition to prioritizing improvement and grace, you could also implement a schedule or routine—like knowing Saturday is the night for picking up groceries so they’re ready for weekly meal prep on Sunday morning.

Or you could focus on the small tweaks that make a big difference. I have a friend who shops at three grocery stores per week to get everything her family needs…certainly not simple. Eliminating anything that knocks your overall peace and productivity at home can go a long way.

And always ask for help. Ask your partner, ask your parents, ask your friends. Support makes simplicity a lot more accessible.

Submit a question to be featured in a future Q&A here.

Once again, your tips & tricks have filled our inbox, and these eat-your-veggies insights are too good not to share! (P.S. more on this coming your way Monday!)

  • “Turn purple cauliflower pink by putting lemon juice on it. My 3-year-old loves to put the lemon on herself and watch it turn pink. She likes to find the pinkest ones!”

  • “I sneak in veggies in this awesome meatball recipe (more veggies for mom and dad too)!”

  • “Frozen broccoli cheese tater tots or frozen zucchini fries, throw those in the air fryer so easily. Recently did broccoli in quesadilla!”

  • “Spinach powder in the kids morning muffins, waffles, and scrambled eggs! My kids LOVE breakfast but hate veggies. I hide them in breakfast rather than forcing them to eat at dinner :) I'm taking it as a win!”  

If you have a small (or large) victory, tip, or trick, hit reply and share! Your feedback is what makes this thing work.

That’s all for today! See you back here on Monday for everything you’ve always wanted to know about picky eaters. Have a great weekend!