Beware of Where You Shop

On my money-saving journey, it took me quite a while to realize that where I shop matters. Normally, when I go shopping, especially for groceries, I always look for the closest stores to shop for instead of stores that are too far from where I live. The problem is that I gradually build up a bad habit of choosing convenience over low price. If you live in remote areas where you may not have different choices of where to shop, then it is another story. However, if you live in larger towns or in cities where there are a lot of different places to shop, keep in mind that not every shop price their items right. As long as you want to save money, you must make sure to note down stores that sell the same products at a lower price.

If you look closely, convenience store milk will be much more expensive than milk bought from Walmart or Trader Joe’s. This is because smaller businesses often price their products a little higher to make a profit. This is not a bad thing but it is not helping if you are trying to save money. I remember when I first started living by myself, I often worked too much that when I got home, I was dog-tired and went straight to bed. When I woke up, I often went to the nearest store, which was a Walgreens pharmacy, to buy all of the necessities such as eggs, milk, soap, snacks, and drinks. Little did I know that my laziness has cost me a lot of money. Aside from being lazy, I also developed a bad habit of not having a shopping list. By that time, I did not realize how important a shopping list was. Without a shopping list, I often bought what I thought was needed, and more than once, I ended up buying an extra of everything that I have already had at home.

Photo by Rebecca Jennings on Vox

To fix this, the first thing I learned to do was create a shopping list. When you have a list of what you want, you can just stick to that list and buy only what you really need. It is okay to buy a few miscellaneous items, but the main point of a good shopping list is to give yourself a guideline on what to buy while you wander around a store. The next thing I did was to note down stores that offer the same product at a lower price. In general, Walmart is the number one choice to shop when you want to save money. Products at Walmart are often offered the lowest price. My next favorite store to visit is Trader Joe’s. They carry both organic and regular products at a very reasonable price. I do like shopping at Target, but in terms of grocery shopping, places like Walmart and Trader Joe’s carry a lot more choices of fresh produce.

The next time you head out to shop, pay attention to the prices to see which store offers the lowest price to avoid spending extra money on the same item.

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