6 Ways To Save The Most Money From Grocery Shopping
Every able adult should have made a trip to the supermarket to buy groceries. That is discounting areas that actually have no supermarkets around.
You need to top up expendables like toilet paper, eggs, milk, frozen food, condiments, and the overly sinful tub of chocolate ice-cream. But do you know that percentage-wise, the supermarket is the place where we overspend the most?
A dollar here and a few cents there can seem like loose change. But when something that usually cost $1 increases to $1.10, that is a whopping 10% extra you are paying.
How would you feel if a bank charges you just 5% extra on the amount you owe?
I’m sure you will make a nasty call to customer service straight away. So why let supermarkets get away with it?
Here are the best ways to stop paying those extra dollars towards grocery shopping.
Know your prices
When you routinely make trips to the grocery store, it is to top up items that have been used up at home.
More or less, these routine trips require you to purchase the same expendable items each time. So there is absolutely no excuse if you have no idea what is the price of the tissue paper you buy. And if you find yourself shocked at the price of eggs these days, you must be day-dreaming you way through each time you go grocery shopping.
Start keeping a record of the prices you pay for each item on your grocery list.
Very often, we get distracted by fanciful marketing gimmicks that we lose the awareness of how much we are actually buying an item for. But because the discrepancies are often small amounts, we tend to ignore them. This puts us into a category of consumers where we were ripped off and walked away happily.
By keeping a price list of consumables, you will know when a promotional sale is a real sale instead of just another gimmick to get you to buy.
The biggest example I can think off immediately concerns the price of batteries.
Often times, I see batteries being sold at maybe 6 pieces with 2 pieces free. But if you look at the price, it is already marked up for 8 battery cells. A simple check with the store next door can verify this.
Which leads us to the next method.
Don’t forget to shop around
The groceries you buy somewhere is the same as what you buy somewhere else. Especially when you are a loyal consumer to branded products. So why make yourself pay a premium for it?
If you have never been a practitioner of comparison shopping, it might surprise you that a bottle of your regular shampoo can cost 40% less from a lesser known store.
I honestly don’t know how these prices work. Maybe from parallel imports? But it is a fact.
If you know that by walking an extra block that you will be able to purchase a bottle of your favorite beer at 50 cents less, would you do it?
Sure 50 cents is negligible. But when you add that up over the course of a year, the accumulated amount could buy you something to pamper yourself with. It might even be enough to pay for a month worth of mortgage with more to spare. That’s like a discount on a loan.
The great thing is that more and more consumers are becoming aware of the great bargains that value shops offer. If you have never visited one of these budget shops, it’s time to make a trip. It can be a real eye-opener.
Avoid convenient stores
I remember the time when I cheered when a convenient store started to be built a across the street from my apartment. I thought that I don’t have to drive down to the supermarket again as the groceries I buy are pretty basic.
With amenities across the street, I cut down my visits to the supermarket from once a week, to once a month.
But when I entered the convenience store and opened the fridge, my legs felt like jelly as the prices for a bottle of my favorite drink costs more than twice it cost in the supermarket.
But instead of cursing at the skies for the irresistible force that is inflation, I see the sense in it.
The convenience store is charging extra for the convenience. That is what they are selling and what justifies their premium prices.
You really cannot fault the store owners for that. If I make a trip to the supermarket just to buy that drink, it will cost more than just buying from the convenient store. And all the time saved is worth more than that.
If you are one of those people who is regularly getting your basic groceries from convenient stores, it’s time to shake up your routine. You will be a shrewder consumer by making a purposeful trip to a supermarket each month and really stock up on what you need. Your credit card might even have a big rebate for big transactions.
Only go for convenience when you really need to.
Browse the shelves
You will know how scientific retailers operate if you had attended some courses on merchandising. One of the biggest rules of merchandising is that products on the eye level will sell better as they get more eyeballs on them. So you can often find product items that yield the biggest margin for the store to be placed there.
Remember to check the top and bottom of the shelves for better valued items.
If you are seeking something that has been advertised on the newspapers, retailers anticipate that you will be on the look out for them anyway. So these promotional items are often placed in places hardest to reach.
It is like making you walk deep into a store to reach the best valued items just so you will have a chance to browse through the rest of the merchandise.
Avoid shopping when you are hungry
Hunger is one of the primal instincts that can compel you to act irrationally. Remember the urge to cook up a storm in the middle of the night because your stomach was making noises like a crying baby?
When you are starving, you could make a quick trip to the store to grab a couple of quick eats. But since you are in the store, why not grab a pack of chips, a couple of beers, and the intriguing magazine at the cashier counter.
Everything looks delicious when you are hungry. And more often than not, you think you will be able to eat more than you actually could.
The point is to avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry. If you must, then have an energy bar or a couple of bananas before making that trip.
Buy only what you can carry
If you are making a quick trip to the supermarket to grab a couple of items, don’t pick up a basket at the entrance.
It will just be an invitation for you to fill up that empty basket. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve bought additional stuff when all I wanted was a single item initially. If you don’t have a basket or trolley to enable you to carry more, you are less likely to buy more.