Budgeting Basics when Shopping at the Supermarket

In this day where jobs are scarce, home prices have fallen and the cost of fuel and food have gone up, many families are looking at ways to save on the food budget. Surprisingly, there are a number of ways anyone can save big, though it means taking a warrior’s approach every time you visit the supermarket.

Shopping List

No longer a luxury, putting down your needs come well before those items such as ice cream and chocolate. If you don’t have a list, you’re burning what money should go to nutritious food.

Shop Online

Many stores now offer specials online. It’s easy and quick. In many cases you can print out a coupon to take to the store. Unless you’re a shut-in, you should avoid having items delivered as the cost can cut into your budget.

Buy What You Need

Everything looks delicious on the store shelves. The best solution is to ignore the fancy packaging and buy only those necessities on your shopping list.

Leave the Kids at Home

Children can be a distraction. Their incessant pleas will have you blowing your budget on cake and unwholesome foods.

Buy in the Mornings

Buying in the morning avoid crowds and long lineups. You can quickly pass through the checkout quickly before you have a chance to reconsider buying those cookies. The more time you spend in the grocery store, the more you are tempted to buy what you don’t need.

Shop on Tuesday

Tuesday is the best time to shop as produce is fresher and items have just arrived the previous day. The shelves are newly replenished and many items are available for a discount.

Shop with a Friend

This works best if both of you have some common health issues, such as weight loss and diabetes. You support one another and the conversation helps to make the trip more pleasant.

Shop at the Edges

The most tempting items are found in the central aisles of the store. Fruits and vegetables are found at the outer edges. Similarly, the most tempting items are found on the shelves at eye level. Scan high and low to find better bargains.

Buy in Bulk

Buying non-perishable items such as rice, pasta, dry beans or milk powder at Costco and other bulk discount stores can save considerably over the small packages that supermarkets sell.

Damaged Packaging

Dented cans and damaged packages do not mean the contents are no good. Often, you can buy fruits at a great discount, assuming you can consume them before they rot.

Buy Close to Expiry Date

Expiry dates are estimations and often the products stay fresh beyond their expiry. You’ll find them in bins or shopping carts along with those damaged packages.

Buy in Season

In season produce get on the shelves fresher than if they have to be shipped long distances. If you prefer organic, the fall is a good time to visit farmer’s markets.

Avoid Prepackaged Goods

That roast chicken at the deli counter costs more than buying a fresh chicken and roasting it at home. Frozen pizzas are convenient, but buying the ingredients to make your own pizza costs less and are healthier as you know what you put into them.

Non-food Items

Shampoos, toothpaste, shaving creams, air fresheners and other items carry a larger price tag at the supermarket. Dollar and thrift stores sell spices and condiments that are cheaper than at the supermarket. Their ingredients are the same as those name brand items.

Keeping these points in mind will help you save as much as 30 perent or more off your food budget. In today’s economy, everyone needs to save more on what they buy. No one can afford to spend frivolously if they want to survive today’s economic hardship.