Grocery shopping is a key part of all our daily lives, especially if you have responsibility for selecting, purchasing and bringing home the provisions for your family. The main stress factors arising from shopping for groceries are related to: the budget you have available; from overcrowding; ensuring that what you buy meets your family’s requirements.
Here are 10 top tips to make your Grocery shopping a lot less stressful and help save you money.
Tip 1: How Often Will You Shop?
Decide on what frequency you will buy your groceries. If you shop every day or every other day, you may be spending more than you need in terms of cash and your time. Travelling to the store will cost you time and if you have some distance to travel also cost you money for fuel and running your car.
By shopping too often, you may be spending more money than you should, because retailers are experts at encouraging the ‘impulse’ buy, which we are all guilty of falling for when we spot those ‘special offers’.
If you shop for groceries more than weekly, you may find that much of what you buy ends up in the bin as it has spoiled.
Tip 2: Set Your Budget
For many people on limited income the weekly grocery bill is likely to be in the ‘top four’ in terms their monthly outgoings, so budget is an extremely important factor to consider when shopping for groceries.
Set your budget for the frequency you decide on for buying your groceries and try to stick to it. If you manage to buy what you need under budget, either put the saving aside, maybe toward holiday, or treat yourself to a ‘reward’!
Tip 3: Categorize Your Shopping List
Set up a ‘List Template’ on your PC for your shopping list. Once you have finished your template, you can quickly print a copy each time you need it to save you re-writing it each week.
The list should be set out in categories to enable you to check to see if you have overlooked any specific items.
For example your categories may be:
Personal hygiene products
Tip 4 Make Your Shopping List
Make your list fit the frequency you have decided to shop. If you are planning to shop for groceries for one-week, work out what foodstuffs you need based upon what you are planning to prepare and serve to your family, on each day for the shopping period.
If you are shopping for a family or perhaps responsible for buying the groceries for a group of people such as your housemates, you will need to ensure that you take into consideration the needs of everyone for whom you are buying. Once you have prepared the list you can ask your family if they need to add anything else you may have missed off.
Tip 5 : Stock Take
Before you shop for the items on your list, you can check to see if you already have anything listed at home in your cupboards, fridge or freezer. This will allow you to avoid spending money on items you already have in stock.
Tip 6: Buy On-line
Look into buying ‘on-line’. There may be some regular items you need to buy that you are able to order in bulk for home delivery, e.g. pet food and household cleaning materials.
You may have access to retailer that provides on-line grocery shopping. Buying on-line will allow you to select what you have on your list and help you avoid falling into the ‘impulse buying’ trap. It will also save you time and money by avoiding the need to travel so often to the shops.
Tip 7: Discount Stores
Don’t ignore the discount supermarkets. Shopping for all your groceries from the discount supermarkets can be a disappointment if you are after specific products that you regularly buy. It may be that the discount boys don’t stock what you want, or the quality may not be as good as you require.
For many of the more common items, the quality is very good and for many everyday items they are a lot cheaper than many of the big branded retailers.
When you prepare your list, you can easily identify what items you will buy from the discount supermarkets and those you will buy from your regular retail outlet.
Tip 8: Change Your Shopping Habits
Getting stressed out at the supermarket because the store is over-crowded can be avoided by planning your shopping trip outside of the ‘peak periods.
If you can go during the week, perhaps in the evening then the whole experience will be different and more relaxed.
Try and fit your shopping trip into another activity. For example, go to the cinema first and then call in to do the shopping on the way home.
Tip 9: Bargain Buys
Make sure that the bargain buy advertised is a bargain that you actually need! Don’t just buy it because it’s on offer. Many people take up the popular BOGOF offers (buy one get one free) and end up throwing the product away, especially if it has a short shelf life, as it has not be used.
Tip 10: Shop to a System
Make sure you shop in a systematic way rather than browsing around the supermarket. This will assist you to get the shopping completed as soon as possible and held you avoid impulse buying. As you go through the store and find what you have listed, tick it off of the list. Make sure you stick to your list and don’t deviate. When you have ticked off all the items on your list, go to the checkout and don’t look back!
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