Depending on your living arrangements, you might find yourself needing to buy food, cleaning supplies or other items on a regular basis. For most of us, that means taking a regular trip to our favourite grocery store, where we often spend large amounts of cash!
The good news is that there are many ways to save money when doing grocery shopping – and in this article, we’ll round up some top tips to help you spend less cash each time you need to visit the checkout aisle.
Shop on a full stomach
While this might sound like strange advice, have you ever considered that you’re more likely to buy food – especially on cheap snacks in the grocery aisle – when you’re hungry?
A great way to avoid temptation and to ensure that you’re only paying for what you really need is to make sure that you shop on a full stomach, and never head to your local grocery store when hungry. By doing so, you can avoid buying fast food or snacks, and save yourself extra cash which you can add to your monthly budget!
Shop only once a week
Most of us will decide where we’ll shop for our groceries regularly – but many of us might take extra trips to our favourite stores, especially if they’re close by. What that often means, however, is that we’ll end up buying extra items, things marked down on sale, or perhaps even food that we might not really need at the time.
A good plan to practice is to only shop once a week, and to follow a shopping plan to make sure that you only buy what you really need, and not what you want. If you’re able to do so, you might fund yourself saving more cash each month by passing ‘impulse purchases’ that might look appealing once you’re in a grocery store.
Plan meals in advance
Another great way to plan ahead and to have a detailed list of items you need to buy is to use a meal plan, where you can list what drinks, ingredients, or pre-packaged meals you might want to have in advance.
If you’re able to do this, you’ll have a handy list of everything you need to buy when you head to a supermarket, and can avoid purchasing anything that might be more of a ‘want’ than a need.
By listing ingredients or supplies that you’ll need for the week ahead, you can also carefully purchase the more affordable option on sale – meaning that you’ll end up spending less each week.
Shop with a calculator or app
If you often find yourself surprised at the cost of your groceries or shopping basket by the time you reach the checkout aisle, a great way to curb your spending is to shop with either a calculator or an app.
If you’re able to add up the price of each item as you place it in your shopping trolley or basket, you’ll have knowledge of how much you’ll need to pay when checking out – as well as whether you’re meeting your budgeting goal or not.
If you don’t feel like carrying a calculator around, you can always use your cell phone – and, if you shop at a major retailer, you might even be able to use a store app to tally up your purchases.
Pick ‘n Pay’s Android and iOS app, for example, not only lets you scan and add up barcodes on your favourite products and add them to an in-app shopping list, but also lets you calculate your Smart Shopper points which you can use to buy your favourite items on.
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