Grocery stores are both extremely magical and evil. Magical because they are filled with so many things that we want, but evil because they tempt us to buy everything and blow all our money.
It takes a lot of self-control to not grab every product that we want from the shelves and add it to our shopping cart, and even then, lots of us tend to overspend on groceries.
If your budget is a little tight, here are some way that might help you save when you go grocery shopping!
1. Eat before you go
Surprisingly, this actually makes a lot of sense. When we go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, we start to get random cravings and thus tend to buy more things since in that moment we might really want to eat them.
However, once we go home, we’re most likely not going to touch it for a long time and not only does this make you spend more, sometimes it makes you waste your money too.
Next time, eat before you go and you might be less tempted to buy all the chocolates or snacks that you see!
2. Plan your meals
This might be really tedious to some but it actually has a lot of benefits! It’s always good to have a rough guide as to what you will be having for a certain meal rather than having absolutely no idea.
If you don’t know what you’re having, you might be super indecisive in the supermarket and thus buy more food than you actually need.
Just take about ten to twenty minutes to draw up an idea of what your meals will be like so you know the main ingredients that you need to buy!
3. Use a shopping list
Many might find a shopping list really old-fashioned, or something that you’ll only find on TV shows, but I really don’t understand why they’ve become less common!
No only do you not have to worry about missing out an item, you also have a strict list to follow, which helps you save money.
By already planning out what you need to buy, you can just head straight to that isle and get it rather than wander around trying to remember what is it that you need and possibly buying unnecessary stuff in the process!
4. Look at the top and bottom of the shelves
Not sure if this is true or actually a myth, but apparently the pricer products are stocked at eye-level so that lazy people will just grab and buy them out of convenience. However, it’s true that some supermarkets would place their house brand products at eye-level so they’ll earn more since there’s no middleman.
This is actually a pretty good sales strategy, so as consumers, don’t fall for it!
Make sure you look at the whole shelf in case you missed out on a good deal. It’s alright to tiptoe or bend down a little bit if it helps you save some money, right?
5. Buy in bulk
By this, I don’t mean buy the huge value pack of chips or chocolates but buy in bulk the main ingredients and other important products on your list.
Buying in bulk almost always offers savings and they can add value to your meals more than snacks can. For example, you can choose to buy the bigger pack of pasta that you were planning to use for just one meal and use the remaining portions to cook up a different dish that settles another meal!
Not only does this save you money, it saves you the hassle of planning another totally different dish since you have the base leftover anyway.
6. Weigh all your choices
There are so many different brands to choose from and of course, many different prices. Quality might certainly differ but you have to take into the consideration what you’re going to use the item for and weigh which brand is most valuable for the situation.
For example, if you’re baking a chocolate cake for a family member’s birthday, you might want to go for the expensive cocoa powder from a popular brand, but if you’re just baking casual stuff for your family and friends, you could choose the cocoa powder that’s half the price from a less popular brand.
It’s all about knowing which is more appropriate!
7. Find coupons in newspapers
You know how newspapers have the large spread of supermarket products? Sometimes they have coupons for $2-$3 that you can cut out and present upon checkout.
You might think that these few dollars are not a lot but if you save around $5 a week, that’s $260 a whole year! That can cover another few grocery trips.
Never underestimate the power of coupons even if you’re not on a super low budget because who wants to say no to savings?
8. Skip the sales deals sometimes
I know every Singaporean loves a good sale, but sometimes they just make you spend more than you really need to. You know all those ‘Buy 5 Get 1 Free’ or ‘3 For $10’ deals?
They always sound really attractive but come to think of it, how often do we need them? Do we really need 5 tubs of yoghurt or 3 bags of chips?
Chances are, we don’t, but since we perceive the deal to be really good and thus think it’s a waste if we don’t take advantage of it, we end up spending on something that we shouldn’t have in the first place!
Next time, exercise some self-control and tell yourself that you don’t need those items (unless you’re making a giant yoghurt milkshake or hosting a chips party) and this would save you some money!