The simplest way to save money when grocery shopping is to stick to your list. Most of the time, grocery stores intentionally place more expensive items in the most convenient locations, usually within arm’s reach near check-out stations or randomly throughout the store. This clever trick works every time since people love the convenience, and a lot of people end up getting something they did not plan on buying before.
Make a Good List
I must admit that sticking to “buying only what you need” is not as easy as it seems. Before heading to a grocery store, we often tell ourselves that it will be just a quick trip, and we will only get what we need, nothing more. However, as we are in the store, thanks to the clever distribution of products in the store, we end up buying almost everything we see. To combat this, I always make a very thorough list before I go shop for my groceries. The reason is very simple. As long as you have a list full of items you need, chances are, you will not lay eyes on things you do not need.
To make a good shopping list, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you live alone, try to think about how much meat and vegetables you will need by visualizing your next meals. Once you have a good idea of what you want to eat, write them down. If you live with other people and share food with them, ask them what they want to eat and write it down. The point of this practice is to make sure you do not have to make multiple runs to the grocery store which may result in you or your friends falling for the store’s trick. Nowadays, you can find apps that can help you with this task by suggesting meals and the needed ingredients.
Stick to Your List
When you are in the store, do not look to the right, do not look to the left, look into your list. If you find this practice is too extreme or strange, at least try your best to finish your shopping list first before window shopping. As you make yourself stick to the list, you are busy with finding the ingredients listed. The more ingredients you add to your shopping cart, the easier it will be to realize how much money you have spent already. You can do a quick calculation by adding up the estimated price of each item to see how much you will have to pay when you check out. I am currently living with someone, and our shopping cart often costs around $50 each time. Before, when I used to live by myself, my shopping cart often cost me a lot more because I never had a list of what I wanted to buy. Last but not least, by sticking to your shopping list, you can ignore other products that are placed conveniently in your way.
Did you make a grocery list for your next grocery shopping trip? If not, go ahead and do it.