Pinching pennies is a daily part of the struggle for many today. And one of the biggest areas we spend on nowadays is food. Grocery expenses are part of everyday life and there is no way around it. While we may find it easier when it comes to cutting corners for unnecessary expenses like clothing, gadgets and the like as well as luxury goods, essentials like food are hard to cut back on.
If you are one of the many that come back reeling in shock from your regular grocery shopping jaunts and the bills seem sky high, it is time to rethink how you go about your regular trips and how you can cut back. Firstly, start by fixing a realistic budget and try a certain cut in say the first month and see how it goes. Once you know how much you can spend you can better plan and having it in writing will help you steer that shopping cart away from the extras.
Here are some tips from smart shoppers who have managed to cut down their grocery costs with some careful planning –
Know your grocery store – We all have that one regular store we end up at for our food shopping needs. A proper check of the store can go a long way in finding where the best deals are. Most grocery stores are planned such that essentials and cheaper goods lie in the center aisles and everything that is seemingly more ‘tempting’ or at a more premium price is front and center and around the peripheries where you stroll by with your carts. Regularly and commonly bought items are usually either in more spread out sections or out of your main line of vision. Some stores also stock higher priced goods and non essential treats right at an adult eye level or a child’s eye level (for products aimed at kids), making you automatically grab for them. Search the shelves up and down for better priced merchandise. Gauge your store well and study where the cheaper goods are and don’t fall prey to the marketing and sales tactics.
Start couponing – Coupons have once again become of the most popular ways to cut back on grocery bills and people become almost fanatical about them! While you may not want to devote a lot of time to collecting, cutting and storing coupons, it can’t be denied that they can sometimes lead to big time savings at the cash register. Grocery stores chains often send the latest deals and coupons by regular mail. You can even sign up for emails and newsletters that send you the latest discounts.
Change the way you shop – Now when it comes to clothes and accessories you often look for the best diamond jewellery online or that website for the favourite store you love and look for deals. How about moving some if not all your food shopping online as well? You will find many online retailers that offer everyday items at cut back prices, especially when it comes to bulk quantities, making it an ideal option to check out for non perishable items that you use on a regular basis or a lot of.
Be good at the cash register – How often have you stuck to the list and then added a few last minute stuff just before you pay? Probably pretty often! Most stores place the goodies like chocolate bars, small soda bottles and magazines right by the till and in easy reach for that last minute impulse buy. Watch out for that hidden pit fall.
Bio –Judy Lagos is a freelance writer and extreme couponer. She often writes about money saving tactics for women and believes that whether you are looking for the best diamond jewellery online or for a cheaper brand of detergent, a detailed plan of attack is a must when shopping. She is currently working on her own home and money advice blog.