Lately, it seems that everyone is trying to save money, by cutting corners wherever they can and getting rid of unnecessary expenses. No matter how much you can cut out of your life, though, everyone still needs to eat. That doesn’t mean that grocery shopping has to be a pain in your wallet! If you shop smart, you can end up saving a lot more money than you’d think. I’m not saying become one of those extreme couponers, but with just a little bit of preparation, you can turn your shopping trips into money saving experiences.
The most important thing to do is plan out your trips beforehand. Plan out your meals for the week, then make a list of everything that you’ll need to buy to make those meals. While you probably don’t have time to make couponing a full time job, picking up a Sunday paper and clipping a few coupons for items you need never hurt anyone! Check out several local grocery stores’ advertisements to see what’s on sale at each store, and compare them to your shopping list. Since different stores have different items on sale, plan to shop at several stores, picking up sale items from each one. A store that is normally more expensive may ocassionally have some “buy one get one free” deals which cut the prices of those items in half. Also, keep in mind that most stores don’t require you to actually purchase two of an item to get the buy-one-get-one-free price, the register will ring each one up for half the normal price. If you need one, just get one!
That brings up another point- just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you’re saving money if you buy it. When you walk into a store with a list, try to resist impulse purchases. If something isn’t on your list, it’s because you don’t need it, and buying something you don’t need is never saving money, no matter how deeply it is discounted.
The most important thing to remember, though, is to eat before you go grocery shopping. This helps you to stick with your list, and resist those impulse purchases. The bottom line is, as long as you prepare adequately, and stick with your plan, grocery shopping can be just one more way to save money in an economy that doesn’t leave a lot of room for budget errors!