Grocery shopping is a reality of life and cannot be avoided. You work hard for your money and you want to get the best items for a reasonable price. There are people that are not concerned about the cost of their groceries, but they are the exception. Most Americans live on a budget, and every dollar is important to them. A good amount of their pay check is spent shopping, and they are careful in budgeting their finances. These 7 tips can help you keep more money in your pocket:
Check Your Kitchen Before Leaving Home
Before going grocery shopping, you should take a food inventory of your kitchen. You should check for items that you have and those that you do not. For example, if you have two jars of spaghetti sauce, you obviously do not need to buy more. However, you may not have any spaghetti's, so you need to purchase some. You should also search your refrigerator and freezer. You may have plenty of cereal, but not have any milk for them. One of the worst feelings is to come back home and discover that you purchased items that you did not need. You know that you wasted money, and that you could have spent it on something else. In order to reduce the chances of this happening, ask your spouse or your children about what your household needs. This process takes extra time, but it will save you money.
Create A Shopping List
After you determine what you need, write out a list and take it to the grocery store. This will save you time and make your shopping experience more pleasurable. Check off the items as you stroll down the aisles. The great thing about a list is that you know that you are getting what you need. This will reduce your risk of over-spending. You also do not have to worry about forgetting something. Shopping experts have estimated that the average shopper can save over 40% on their grocery bill just by using a list. Take your time in creating a grocery list.
You can save an enormous amount of money by using coupons. Many people hate the process of cutting out coupons, but the money you can save makes the time worth it. Depending on what you need, you can clip some coupons for them. For example, if you want to make some meatloaf for your family, you should use some for ground beef. Or, if your planning a chicken dinner, then you should look for a discount for chicken. You should clip some before you leave home. Keep them organized. You do not want to be at the grocery store scrambling around trying to find them. Most newspapers in America put supermarket coupons in their Wednesday and Sunday editions. Sunday is the best day because practically all of them have sales. These are usually for the following week and you can plan accordingly. Collecting coupons does not have to be a dreadful activity. You can challenge family and friends in a game, to see who can save the most money using them. Making a friendly bet is also a fun way to make things interesting.
Eat Before Shopping
If you eat before going grocery shopping, then your concentration will be better. If you plan on shopping at more than one grocery store, it might be a good idea to dine at an inexpensive restaurant. You will be shopping with a full stomach and be less irritable and crabby. If you are shopping with your children, treat them to an ice cream cone or some treat. This is a winning situation for everyone.
Avoid The Front Of The Store
Many grocery stores and supermarkets cleverly place the most expensive items in the front. When you walk in, you should briskly walk past these aisles. Do not bother to look because you have your shopping list with you. Browsing these products is a waste of your time. You also may be tempted to purchase something that you do not need. Expensive items are also found in the middle of the shelves and you should try to avoid these too. Concentrate on the top and bottom shelves. Grocery stores know that it is natural for people to focus in on what they see first. This is why many items are placed in the middle.
Grocery stores know that people need toiletries, so they can often charge higher prices than they do for other products. It is recommended that you use coupons for tissue paper, paper towels, and napkins. Instead of spending unnecesary money for these items, you would probably be better off purchasing them at a gas station, or pharmacy. The tissue at these outlets are usually just as good and are cheaper. The other advantage is that most of the time, you do not have to wait in a long line. You can buy them in less than 5 minutes.
Do Not Overlook Generic Foods
Many shoppers make the mistake of believing that "brand name" foods are better than "generic brands." This is often not the case and if you have some extra money to spend, it might be a good idea to try some generic products. You may be surprised to discover how good it is. If you are bold, you can shop exclusively for generic foods and save money. You also would not have to worry about using coupons.
If you prepare yourself before shopping, your experience at the grocery store will go much smoother. Take inventory of your kitchen and put together a grocery list. Use coupons and eat before you go shopping. Avoid the front of the store and purchasing toiletries. Do not overlook generic foods and take your time shopping. If you follow these 7 tips, they will help you have a good shopping experience.
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