Smart Shopping 1: What is 'Smart Shopping'?

Every week, I dreaded the same thing: grocery shopping. After beating my head against the wall every Sunday morning as I wrote out the weekly meal plan, I decided to just breathe. At a certain point, you learn that everything you've read, from budgeting tips to cooking advice, has stayed with you in some way or another, and you just have to trust yourself. That's what Smart Shopping really is: the confidence to instinctively make financial decisions.

Budgeting, for most of us, isn't an innate skill. Instead, it's a learned practice, and often a hard one at that. The art of budgeting is now more important than ever, especially when you factor food waste and sustainability into the home equation. When you plan to budget in the kitchen and the home, you're committing yourself to saving money. Money that can be used for things like the new KitchenAid mixer you want, or that vacation to Greece you've secretly been dreaming about.

Welcome to the first installment in our new series, Smart Shopping. Every Friday, our writers, real home cooks themselves, will talk about their struggles in the kitchen when it comes to budgeting. They'll offer up tips, tricks, hacks, and problems that they haven't yet solved to start a larger conversation on

how to save money in the home.

While one week we might discuss the foundations of meal planning, over the next, we might talk about money-saving tactics for packing school lunches. This is a place for everyone, from novices who are reading this from their first real apartment to seasoned kitchen veterans who already boast a well-organized pantry.

We won't offer any suggestions that we haven't tried ourselves, and we'll never offer a product that we don't fully believe in. All of our advice comes from one simple place: experience.

Join us as we navigate the often unnecessarily-complicated world of budgeting for the home. We want to hear about what you want to learn, too. Reach out in the comments to let us know what we should cover. It takes a community. Let's save some pennies together. How about it?