Grocery shopping is a weekly or monthly spend that every household has to do and they can often be where the bulk of your money goes each month. There are ways to go about doing your shopping that can help save you money though. There are also various ways that grocery stores manage to get you to spend more and buy things you don’t need or didn’t intend to buy.
Various companies encourage shoppers to think for themselves in order to save money. Companies like Wonga.co.za, a cash loans provider, recommend that you create a budget and try to stick to it. Allocating a certain amount to groceries can help prevent unnecessary purchases. It is also wise to avoid “On Special” and “End of Range” sales as although those items might be cheaper than usual, if you don’t need it, it can waste money. Here are a few tips to help save money while grocery shopping.
- TAKE NOTE OF YOUR SHOPPING CART
Shopping carts have doubled in size over the past 25 years and a link between the size of your shopping cart and the amount you spend has been proven. If you know that you’re only buying a few items, pick a basket or smaller shopping cart rather than a big one which will subconsciously encourage you to buy more than you need.
- BE AWARE OF WONDERFUL WORDS
Shops can often advertise specials in a wonderfully worded way, but consumers might not notice what they’re actually saying. Advertising a special of 10 apples for $10 may sound like a good deal, but consumers will forget that it would be the same as the store’s usual price of $1 for one apple. Be aware of the wording stores use and think carefully about whether or not you actually need the item, or if you’re being wooed by the wording.
- KEEP YOUR EYES AWAY FROM THE IMPULSE BUYS
There is a nifty reason why so many sweets, chocolates and magazines are kept right by the checkout counters and this is to encourage impulse buys. Once you’ve done your shopping and are now waiting in the queue to pay, the sweets and chocolates right by the till are there to appeal to your sweet tooth and to your impulse to snack while you wait. Chocolates and sweets are also high up on any child’s list thus encouraging you to buy a chocolate you weren’t originally going to buy. Magazines that can be found right the checkout counter is merely there to keep you occupied while you stand in the queue, but when you get absorbed in the latest gossip, you’ll be more hesitant to put it down when it’s your turn to pay, thus encouraging you to buy it on impulse. Keep your eyes away from the items right by checkout counters to avoid impulse buys. More often than not, they’re unnecessary and will waste your money.
- CREATE A GROCERY LIST AND STICK TO IT
Going through your kitchen cupboards and writing down exactly what you need before you go to the store creates a solid outline for what you need and allows you to avoid buying things you don’t actually need. It also streamlines your shop meaning you spend less time wandering around, unsure of what to buy. Create a grocery list and stick to it. You’ll save money by not buying things you didn’t need as well as time as you won’t be wandering around without a goal.
- NEVER GO TO THE STORE HUNGRY
Eating before you go to the store is a great way to save money as you won’t be tempted to buy something to just curb your hunger pangs. If you do your grocery shopping in a large mall, eating beforehand can also prevent you from stopping at a breakfast shop for a whole breakfast meal. Grocery shopping hungry means you’ll be more open to buying snack items just because your stomach is telling you that something looks delicious. Make sure you have a good meal before you go shopping to prevent impulse, hunger buys that you didn’t actually need.
- BE AWARE OF THE SIZE OF CHECKOUT LANES
It may seem trivial, but grocery stores have begun to make checkout lanes narrower in an attempt to discourage consumers putting things back. Don’t let this deter you – if you’ve realised you don’t need something, rather put it aside than purchase something you don’t need. Don’t let this tactic pressure you into buying unnecessary items.
There are various ways to save money while grocery shopping, but the main idea is to be aware that grocery stores are trying to get you to spend money. Be aware and keep your eyes open for various tactics stores use to encourage spending.