Whether you’re alone or you have a family, you most likely shop for groceries at least once a week or maybe every two weeks. After a while, this regular occurring event can become almost ritualistic to some and that can be considered a good thing in some ways as in the long run, it could save you some money. As a family grows and kids get older, it can get increasingly difficult to make your dollars stretch further.
Making good choices while shopping can not only save you money, but give you the opportunity to eat healthier and feel great. This can be accomplished easily by avoiding many common shopping mistakes made by any shoppers in the grocery store.
We all have our favourite grocery store we like to shop in. One where we feel comfortable going into and feel confident we can find what we’re looking for and make minimal shopping mistakes. The store may be in a convenient spot on the way home from work, located in our favourite mall, or within walking distance of home. It’s our ‘go to’ place. We know the prices and all the cashiers by name. By having a routine, we can get in and out with a weeks’ worth of groceries, get home and have burgers on the BBQ before the kids get home from school.
But… are you missing out on some other really great deals at other stores? Or have you been stuck in the same routine for so long, you aren’t taking the time to look at other specials being offered in your regular store? This time efficiency strategy could be costing you money. You no doubt receive flyers from specialty stores or other grocery stores in your area. Maybe you could take the time to browse through these before going shopping. As long as you aren’t going to drive to far for any deals, you may be able to find some great savings on foods you may not have thought about purchasing in the past. By checking some of the specials happening at other nearby stores before shopping day, you could be throwing some variety into your family’s diet as well as saving money.
Making a List
By writing out a shopping list before you head to the grocery store, you could avoid huge shopping mistakes. It can be very frustrating getting home and realizing you’ve forgotten one of the usual items on your list like bread or milk. If you are one for planning the meals for your family, writing a list is a good way to ensure you will get everything needed for specific recipes. If your children are old enough, try leaving your list in a noticeable spot in the house so when an item comes to anyone’s mind, they can write it down right away so it isn’t forgotten come shopping day.
Try not to become too dependent on the list though as this could also cause some shopping mistakes. Even if you checked any specials that maybe occurring, following your list too rigidly could cause you to overlook any in-store specials that weren’t advertised. Saving money is the plan. Use the list as a guide only. A different brand of a specific product on your list may save some money. Don’t worry too much about giving something up on your list and changing a recipe if a better sale price is available on another product.
Keeping It Fresh
One of the most common shopping mistakes made is that of buying fruits and vegetables on your weekly trip to the grocery store, putting them in the fridge crisper or fruit basket and forgetting about them or not being in a position to use them before they go bad. Having to dispose of or throw out groceries before you have a chance to eat them can be a huge expense. If you have experienced this in recent past, it may be a good idea to consider purchasing these types of groceries as you need them.
If you’re unable or not prepared to make multiple trips to the grocery store, you may find that most of your fresh fruit and some vegetables can be frozen. If not eaten within a couple of days, you should be able to pack them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer before they go bad. Just remember these frozen items will have a shelf life as well. This is only a stalling tactic.
The Use of Technology
The majority of mobile phones have calculators. Don’t hesitate to calculate any savings there may be when buying some of your weekly purchases in bulk. If you possess a smart phone, you can avoid many shopping mistakes from your home by accessing any number of apps developed to compare prices in all your local grocery stores.