Top 10 Ways to Save Money While Grocery Shopping
It is said- making money is a skill and saving money is an art. This statement becomes highly relevant when you are planning to shop for your groceries. A smart idea can have a great impact on your grocery spending. There are certainly numerous ways to save money on groceries but, I will focus here on the top 10 methods that would cut down your grocery bill significantly. Before you learn the concrete methods to make savings during your grocery shopping, it is essential to understand the significance of “prior planning”. Prior planning before stepping into the store can really pay off immensely! As part of planning, the following should be done:
- Create a shopping list
- Match your grocery needs with your monthly budget so that you don’t face any problem after the completion of your shopping.
- Keeping A Close Watch On The Stores “Sales”: It is necessary that you take note of the time when the stores are putting up their products on sales. Keep a close eye on the sales ads. They are available both online and offline. This way, you can visit the store at a right time to avail the benefit of sales or special offers accordingly. Browsing through the grocery store circulars should be made a habit before making your shopping list. This will help make a mental note of what is on sale. For instance, if the chicken is on sale, you can structure your plan around chicken recipes. If nothing good is on sale, you can focus around a meal that is an affordable alternative to meat. Generally, it has been observed that items go on sale in almost 6-8 weeks cycles. So, if there is an item on sale this week, it is not going to be on sale again for a period of another two months in all likelihood. So, do your shopping accordingly.
- Purchasing Seasonal Produce: In order to cut down the cost-price of produce purchases like fruits or vegetables, it is always recommended that you buy seasonal produces. The produces are easily available in the local market during particular seasons and therefore, their price is not that high during the period.
- Utilizing Coupons: Coupons can be of great value for any grocery shopper. This is so because for a large number of grocery products, stores or online coupon websites offer attractive discounts in the form of coupons on a variety of grocery products quite frequently. Though using coupons help you save considerable amount of money, one caution you must exercise- don’t get carried away by the offers which may lead to buying more than what you need which may end up costing you much more than what you save.
- Choosing A Shop Or Store That Is Budget-Friendly: If you don’t have time to search and clip suitable coupon matching sales, shopping at stores that provide various products at reduced cost-price as compared to competitors, can go a long way in saving your valuable money. For instance, Walmart offers prices that are usually down by almost 20% as compared to its competitors. You can avoid costly stores like the fresh market and the whole foods etc. You can even try ethnic markets, local farmer markets, local orchards or dollar stores to get grocery products at cheaper prices. Comparing the prices of different stores in your locality can also help you cut down unnecessary shopping expenses.
- Sticking To Your Shopping List: A research by the University of Pennsylvania states that people can save up to 23% on their grocery shopping if they can control their impulses while purchasing different products. Adding anything extra can up your expenses by about 30% or more. One of the biggest advantages of sticking to the shopping list is to save money along with the valuable time during the course of your shopping. Sticking to the shopping list eliminates impulse buying, thereby, contributing significantly to your savings during the grocery shopping.
- Try Making The Payment As Much As possible In Cash: Why payment in cash? Because you can carry limited cash with you to the shopping complex conveniently. So, just keep required cash with you for making payment at the store instead of using credit card etc where you have the provision of making payment through credit. There is nothing wrong with the mode of making payments. But, if you have the ability to control your tendencies for shopping unnecessary, you can make payment through other modes of payment as well.
- Start Your Shopping From The Middle Of the Store: You must realize one point that the produce section of the store is always in the front of the store. This is the place where grocery products are available in bright colors. These bright colors activate your mental temptation to shop more. So, it is suggested that you stay more in the center of the store unless it is very much required to be in the front area. The middle portion of the store is less vibrant and you are more likely to stick to your budget.
- Don't Hesitate Putting Back The Grocery Items At The Last Minute Of Your Shopping, If Not Required: You must know your real and exact needs for the next 15 or 30 days. If you find any product that is not necessary at the moment or if you find them in excess, instead of buying them now, you can try buying them next time. This will surely narrow down your expenses.
- Wearing Headphones and Listening To Upbeat Music during the Shopping: You must have observed slower beat music being played at the stores. This is intentionally done to encourage shoppers to make slow movements through the store aisles. It has been found that this slow beat music can contribute to about 29% extra shopping. So, if you don’t want to get carried away into this sweet trap of music, you can try using your own headphones for listening to upbeat music during the whole course of shopping. This will automatically make your movement brisker and you would shop what is just needed.
- Using A Grocery App: Today, all sorts of digital apps are available. Installing a grocery app (Android) (iOS) will help you know all the sale items from various stores. It will also make you aware of the availability of coupons on a range of grocery products. No doubt, today, it becomes easier to incorporate grocery apps in our routine because of the common usage of the smartphone in recent time.