Saving on Groceries

Grocery shopping can be a big hit to your budget if you’re not careful.  Grocery stores are like any other business.  They are in existence to make as much of a profit as possible off every customer that walks into their stores.  With so much marketing directed at each of us as we walk into the store, it’s hard to do our grocery shopping on a tight budget.  But by following a few tips, anybody can save money and stick to a budget while shopping for groceries.

UNDERSTAND THE STATISTICS – The Denver Post reports that for every 10 unplanned minutes you spend in a grocery store you’ll end up spending an extra $20.  That’s $2 per minute!  Grocery stores make a lot of extra money with in-store marketing designed to get you to throw a few extra items in your cart.  It’s why staple items like milk and eggs are always in the back of the store, forcing you to walk through the whole store for a simple gallon of milk.  The quicker you can do your grocery shopping, the less money you’ll spend.

SHOP WITH A LIST – By creating a list, you’ll have a step-by-step shopping plan.  With such a detailed plan, you’ll have no problem being organized and shopping quickly.  Without a list you’ll end up wandering around the store trying to remember what you need.  The longer you wander, the more those wandering eyes will find unnecessary items to buy.

SHOP ALONE – The more people you bring to the store, the longer it will take to shop.  And there will be more wandering eyes to find even more unnecessary items.  If you shop by yourself, you can control every item that you purchase.

IGNORE PRICE TAGS – At least the bold print on the price tags.  Forget about the total cost.  You’ll want to look below that at the price-per-unit.  For example, price per ounce, price per pound, or price per sheet.  If you’re looking at a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter for $3.99 ($0.33 per ounce) or an 18-ounce jar for $4.99 ($0.27 per ounce), the much better deal is to spend the extra dollar and buy more peanut butter.  You might spend more money on this trip, but you’ll go 50% longer without having to buy peanut butter.

PRETEND LIKE YOU’RE IN COLLEGE – Every once in a while, plan a cheap meal.  Make some ramen or macaroni and cheese.  You don’t want to do this for every meal because it isn’t healthy.  But you can have a meal for $.50 instead of $3.00 and save $2.50 per meal.  If you do that twice a week, you’ll save $20 in a month!

BUY STUFF FOR LUNCHES – If you’re like me, you’d rather eat out on your lunch breaks at work.  It’s much easier than having to plan out your meals, make them, bring them to work and stick them in a dirty community refrigerator, and reheat it when lunch comes.  But you’ll save a lot more money.  Instead of going out for a $5 meal, you can make yourself lunch for $1 and save $20 per week.

Just remember that it takes discipline to stick to a tight budget at the grocery store.  You must commit to spending less money.  But when you commit, you’ll end up saving a lot of money!