You’ve scouted the store flyers, made your weekly menu, planned your list of items to purchase and clipped or printed every coupon you can find.If one of your budget goals is to decrease your grocery spending, it can be a matter of making small changes in your shopping habits to save more on groceries. Try these easy strategies to leave money in your bank account and not at the supermarket.
Being Prepared Will Save More on Groceries
-Get There Early
Serious shoppers shop early. Ever planned on taking advantage of a big sale, only to find the shelves depleted of the desired item when you got there? Avoid that stress by getting to the store ahead of everyone else. Your trip will be easier and less frustrating when you avoid the more congested times of day. Doing this also gets you on your way quicker and saves you time. To save more on groceries, get there early.
-Know Where You’re Going
A really great and easy method to save more on groceries is to prepare your list by aisles and sections in the grocery store-produce, dairy, meats, frozen, etc. Then, stick to the aisles that contain the items that are on your list. Avoid the aisles and areas that do not. Marketers make a living figuring out how to influence us to pick up additional items on impulse, and all that time we spent budgeting and planning goes out the window. The perimeter of the store usually contains most of what we need and the fresher, non-processed foods that are better for us.
-Carry a Calculator
Carrying a calculator with you will help you save more on groceries. Trying to juggle a list, coupons and figure out the best deals while keeping a mental tally of the cost of what’s in your shopping cart is not the smartest way to shop. It’s much better to have real numbers in black and white right in front of you. Keep a running tally of your purchases as you shop.
Paying Attention Will Save More on Groceries
Unless absolutely necessary, put your phone away or leave it in the car. It’s easy to become distracted while having a conversation that has nothing to do with your shopping trip. Other people can also provide a distraction. Arrange to have sitters for your children, if possible. Go alone to save more on groceries.
-Watch the Scans
One of the most expensive mistakes we can make is not focusing when at the register. You may not catch that item that scans incorrectly. Before the cashier begins ringing up your order, try to unload your cart onto the belt. This allows you to pay attention to the price you are being charged as each item goes through the scanner. Mistakes happen and systems fail occasionally and you may catch an error that would have cost you more if you were not paying attention. This can keep you on budget.
Analyzing Bargains Will Save More on Groceries
-Calculate Per Unit Price
We all love bulk sales, right? But they may not be as great a deal as they seem. Seeing “Four for $5” or “Ten for $10” may look like you’re saving money until you really break it down into units. This is another situation when having a calculator will help you save more on groceries. Take the time to figure price per unit. Then comparison shop the similar brands. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you have to purchase the entire quantity to receive the promoted price. We may think we’re getting a better deal if we make a purchase in bulk quantities, but that may not be the case. At the end of the day, if you buy one of an item and spend $1 or you buy ten of an item and spend $10, you’ve spent the same amount for each unit. Buy only the amount you need.
An Absolute Budget Will Save More on Groceries
-Have a limit
Know before you go what your limit is for the trip. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a little bit of wiggle room just in case you see something you really need, but may have forgotten to add to your list, or if you happen to stumble onto a great bargain. Stay within your budget limits, even if you have to pass up a really great deal to do it.
We all pick up additional items that may not be absolutely necessary for the shopping trip. Sometimes this is enough to really get the budget off. To save more on groceries, use this easy trick: hold all the additional items back from the essential items, wait for the sub-total and then decide if you have the room in your budget to purchase them.