You’ve arrived at your local grocery store, and in your head you are already compiling a list of food items you need. You start off by entering the store, walking a few feet towards the grocery baskets that your grocery store has nicely stacked in a corner. Thirty minutes pass, and you find yourself at the checkout stand with a cart full of groceries rather than the grocery basket that you started with. You ask yourself, “How did I end up with so many items in my cart?” Does this situation sound familiar?
There are a lot of reasons why you end up spending more at your local grocery store. For example, the carefully crafted market displays around the store are there to encourage sales. In order to not be lured into grabbing the displayed food, Cooking Matters at the Store (CMATS) workshops teach and empower families to stretch their food budgets. Below are three of the many tips that CMATS teaches participants that you can follow. These tips can either be practiced before or during your next grocery visit.
1) Eat Before You Shop
While eating a full-course meal isn’t advised, nibbling on a small snack before your trip will help you shop smarter. Eating a small snack will help avoid temptations such as visiting the snack aisles full of chips. A few recommended snack ideas are bananas, cheese sticks, or a couple of almonds.
2) Make a Grocery List
If you don’t already practice making a grocery list, you should start! When you make a well-planned grocery list, you stay focused on what you need to buy. You can begin to create a grocery list by organizing what you need to buy by aisles. This will help you get in and out of the store quickly. Check out this grocery list by ChooseMyPlate.
3) Buy Bulk
There is a misconception that buying bulk means you have to buy more. Maybe it’s the magnitude of the definition of the word “bulk.” However, if you purchase from bulk bins, it is a great way to purchase as much or as little as you’d like. Buying bulk has the additional benefit of being environmentally-friendly, since buying food in bulk cuts out packaging waste.
Food is what helps our bodies to function, but planning ahead is what helps us stay out of debt! Hopefully with these tips, you’ll be able to consider yourself a smart shopper.
What other tips do you practice to save money at the grocery store? Tell us in the comments section!