Grocery shopping represents one of the biggest components in almost every family budget. Month after month, year after year, prices seem to rise at a rate not in keeping with inflation, yet still many people fail to realize or take advantage of the many savings opportunities available. Saving money at the grocery store is not a science, it is not particularly difficult; it requires merely a little forethought and prudent action.
Make a list
One of the biggest factors which drives up grocery bills is being tempted by special offers or tempting looking treats while actually making your way around the store. The best way to avoid this is to have a definitive list prepared in advance of the grocery store visit and the will power to stick to it, irrespective of the temptations that may be put in your way. Seeing something which you know should have been on your list but isn’t and adding it to your cart is one thing; adding something which you don’t need is quite another. A grocery list should be something which is prepared over time, in the lead up to a supermarket or store visit, with items added as and when they are deemed to be required. A last minute brainstorming session is usually a recipe for all sorts of disasters.
Coupons for savings on groceries can be found in newspapers, magazines and even online. A few cents saved here and there will mount up to a tidy sum over a period of time and opportunities should not be missed. Simply be sure to read any terms and conditions on the coupons before handing them over at the store to avoid potential disappointment or even embarrassment.
Leave the family at home
Taking kids to the grocery store, unless it can’t be avoided, is rarely a good idea. Prying young eyes spotting appealing treats and making demand after demand can be frustrating and very possibly lead to unnecessary purchases in exchange for a quieter time. If one parent can remain at home with the kids – or a convenient sitter can easily be arranged – the savings in money and in time can be considerable.
Grocery store short term promotions
Very often, when a grocery store offers two for one, or two for the price of three promotions, the benefits of making the additional purchase are negligible and likely to represent false economy. This is simply because you may be spending more than you can afford to buy more than you need. Where a product on special offer is not a perishable, however, or is a foodstuff which can be frozen, the short term pain may genuinely represent longer term gain. These promotions are always worth a bit of time for careful thought and consideration.
Grocery store rewards
There are some stores that reward customers with loyalty cards, coupons or some other form of potential saving in exchange for spending a minimum amount on any one visit. Be aware of any such promotions and always be in the best position to take advantage of them, if at all possible. It may be an option to save them up for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other time of year which proves expensive and stretches family budget resources.
Explore store options
In some situations, there will only be one grocery store at which it is possible to shop. This is likely to be the case, however, only in rural communities and town or city dwellers will usually have at least one alternative store or supermarket available. Where this is the case, it is well worth taking the time to do a price comparison on the more expensive, regularly purchased groceries. A few dollars saved a week, every week, may soon more than repay any slight inconvenience in walking or driving just that little bit further.
Saving money on grocery shopping is something which requires constant review. Family circumstances change, stores change and the time at which it is possible to visit the store each week is liable to change. By taking a few minutes every couple of months or so to review the points listed above and actively consider your personal shopping habits, further savings can forever be obtained by tweaking habits and practices to suit changing lifestyles, prices and situations.