10 Tips for Grocery Shopping

Tomorrow starts a new week.  A week of working, cooking, running around, and grocery shopping.  If it’s one thing that is hard to stay motivated doing, week after week, it is grocery shopping.  Some weeks it feels like the only reason we work is to eat.  Maybe that’s true?  Who knows.

Next time you head to the store to get groceries here are some helpful tips:

1. Go with a list.  Plan your meals out for the week, and write down what ingredients you need to make those meals.  While you are at it write down what extra’s you need.  Making the list at home, where you can see what you need, will help cut down on extra trips to the store and purchasing items you don’t need.

2. Stick to the list.  Do the best you can to follow the list.  Of course we forget to put things on the list that we need, but avoid filling the cart with items that aren’t on the list.  If you planned your meals ahead of time, and made the list at home with your budget and needs in mind, then follow it.  It will help you to stay on budget and get what you really need.

3. Add it up.  If you are on a tight budget, like most people are, then you need to stay within budget.  The best way to do that is to write down the prices of what goes in the cart.  Before you get to the check out line, add it up.  Don’t be embarrassed.  Everyone else is on a budget too, and probably afraid to add things up.  If you are really opposed to adding up your prices, then ask the check out person to subtotal your groceries in the middle of check out.  This will give you an idea of how much the total bill will be.  You can adjust accordingly.

4. Kids or No Kids?  Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep the kids at home.  I am a fan of taking children with me so that they can learn how to behave, but sometimes it’s just better to keep them home.  That way you can concentrate and enjoy your shopping experience.  It’s often the only time we get to shop when funds are low and budgets tight.  So go, enjoy yourself.

5. Dress nice.  What?  At the grocery store?  Yes, absolutely!  Is there ever a reason not to look nice.  Brush your hair, put on some make up, some nice comfortable clothes and go shopping.  You will feel better about yourself, and will demonstrate to others that you are proud to shop for yourself or your family.  I just make better purchases when I feel better about myself.

6. No sale?  Stores know how to market.  They know where to place certain groceries and what price point to put them at so that they will make a sale.  Just because it says sale doesn’t mean it’s really been reduced.  Sometimes it just means we sell this item at a low price on a regular basis.  Read carefully, and don’t grab an item just because of the pretty marketing display.

7. Good Sale.  There are times when you just can’t pass up a good sale.  Even when the item isn’t on your list.  It could be a buy one get one free, or item that is more than $1.00 off.  My local grocery store has clearance items.  I will add these items to the cart, and even change my menu to make a good sale item work.

8. Spice things up.  Getting groceries can become such a tiresome job.  To keep it a lively activity consider ways you can spice things up.  Try a new grocery store, go with a friend, or take your spouse.  My daughter and I went to a grocery store about 30 minutes from my house once for the grand opening.  We enjoyed touring the store and enjoying free snacks.  It was a blast!

9. Read the Ads.  It is a good idea to read the store ad’s before you go shopping.  This will give you an idea of what is on sale before you get there.  Some stores will price match so it pays to read the ads.

10. Admit, it’s part of your life.  If you are a mother or father with children, grocery shopping is a part of your life.  Admit it and move on.  Make it a great experience.  You are working hard for your money, so find ways to make this activity a fun one.

Have a great week and a great shopping experience.

Marcy

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