It’s no secret that grocery store prices have risen drastically over the years. Many shoppers find themselves spending more than they can afford to feed themselves and their families. Here are some must-read tips for avoiding overspending and getting more bang for your buck.
American consumers just aren’t able to fill up their carts the way they used to. At least not without a ghastly grocery bill. Many lament rising grocery store prices and the toll it is taking on their ability to feed themselves and their families. But before you buy into this belief system, consider the fact that it could be less expensive than you think to go grocery shopping. Often there are certain tools available that the average shopper does not fully take advantage of. Here are some steps that can help you save a great deal of money whenever you have to go grocery shopping.
Step 1: Know what you need to buy before you actually go shopping.
Believe it or not, a good shopping list can not only save time when navigating a store’s aisles, it can also save money. If you shop based on what you’ve written down rather “a mental checklist”, it helps keeps you focused. Shopping lists also keep you from spending money on items that you don’t need. How many people have bought something that they were certain they were out of only to find a duplicate at the back of the pantry? Making a note of what you plan to buy can help you when it comes to the next step.
Step 2: Have a budget…and stick to it!
Setting a good budget and not overspending is not always as easy as it sounds. Especially when confronted with something you really want, but it didn’t make it onto your shopping list for whatever reason. You may start to think of the budget as flexible, justifying picking up various unnecessary items, etc. And before you know it, you leave the store with $50 extra in groceries, unsure exactly what happened. Avoid this by setting a non-flexible maximum regarding how much you are willing to spend on groceries. And do not buy anything that is not accounted for on your shopping list and therefore not in the budget. If you can’t buy an item at the time, make a mental note to get it during your next shopping trip. Setting spending limits will see savings add up fairly quickly over time.
Step 3: Learn to love coupons.
Coupons exist to save you money. If for no other reason, that makes them worth holding onto. You should always be on the lookout for offers that arrive by mail. If you don’t feel like waiting, there are a number of websites that allow you to print coupons from the comfort of your own home. Some may think of “couponing” as tedious or even desperate. But such people are wrong. A smart shopper is always looking to spend less than they have to at the grocery store. And there’s nothing smarter than using coupons to get more for less.
Step 4: On sale? Grab it!
Unlike coupons, this can be a matter of luck and timing. But there are often stores that mark down prices on goods or make offers such as two or more for the price of one. And this is a grand opportunity to stock up on those items, especially if they’re purchases you make all the time. Frequently buying items on sale rather than always planning to pay the full price is another way of shopping intelligently.
Step 5: Be a card-carrying shopper.
Another way to save money in a store is to sign up for their savings card. Some items are on sale only for those persons who signed up for a store’s specific savings card, and everyone else pays full price. Getting your hand on a store’s savings card is usually free, and only requires you take a couple of minutes to fill out a form.
Some of these steps probably you may have been already taking. Others you may not have seriously considered until now. But it’s very likely that if you apply all the tips listed, you may see a drastic reduction in the amount of money spent on each grocery shopping trip.