Groceries typically comprise a large part of any household budget considering that everyone in the house needs them. Why not? Food, toiletries, cleaning and laundry supplies, among other products, are necessary to keep things running smoothly inside the house.
Some people struggle to make ends meet in between their paydays, and thus, they need to take out salary loan to buy the much-needed grocery items. In the worst case scenario, they use their credit cards and risk incurring high interest charges later on. In the long run, they drown in the vicious cycle of debt.
But despite the groceries being an important part of the financial plan, there are still many ways to reduce your expenses on them. While some are as obvious as not buying things you don’t need, others can make you feel ridiculous when doing them the first time. But it doesn’t mean they’re not effective.
Here are some ridiculous (but still effective) ways to save on your grocery shopping:
Do your grocery shopping on a full stomach?
The concept is simple: when you’re full, you won’t be tempted to shop for food products that you don’t actually need especially snacks and junk foods. It’s also easy to load your cart with these items when you’re hungry because your cravings are intense.
Popping a mint or two into your mouth can also do the trick. The cool sensation that the mint can provide will help mask the smell of whatever fragrant foods you will encounter when you enter the grocery. In short, you can resist the temptation to buy foods that are not within the budget.
Only come to the grocery armed with a shopping list.
Having a list will help you focus on buying only what matters most for the household. It also helps if you know your way around the aisles so that you can go directly to the sections you need to be and head to the cashier the soonest possible.
Consider doing your grocery at most once a week, but before you go, make sure to carefully create a comprehensive shopping list by keeping inventory of what you need for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, among others. It may feel like you’ll be spending a huge amount at one time, but at least you can be sure that you’ll only be buying the important things.
Don’t be ashamed to ask about sales discounts and promotions first.
Savvy shoppers keep an eye on what’s available for sale. Some groceries have dedicated shelves wherein promotional products are displayed. You can head over these areas first and see if there are items in your shopping list that you can grab lower prices. You also need to keep an eye on newsletters, posters and labels for great cost-saving deals that you can take advantage of.
But caution must be practiced when dealing with bulk items with a single price. In this case, you need to check each product in the package to see if you’re really getting a great deal.
Make your own products as often as possible.
If you’re creative enough, you will actually realize that there are many products you can stop buying because you can make your own alternatives. For example, you can make your own all-around cleaning solution with water and vinegar. You can also mix in a drop or two of essential oil if you desire good fragrance.
Fond of buying ready-to-cook French fries? You can simply buy potatoes and create tasty, healthy snacks on your own!
Follow your favorite brands and shops on social media like a stalker.
Businesses have their own social media profile these days. Follow them online and you could just be on top of the latest available discount deals and great saving opportunities on products you usually buy.
Plan your meals based on what’s on sale and what’s on your pantry.
Most people plan their meals for a week and go out to shop for their much needed ingredients. If you want to save on groceries, however, it’s best to first check out what’s available for sale and plan your meals based on that. Of course, you also have to check what you currently have in your pantry and make sure you use your stock to avoid wastage.
Opt for the cheaper alternatives if possible.
In these days where marketers are becoming more creative, you need to stick to the basics. Do you really need laundry soap with a perfume scent or will a cheaper one that still cleans well suffice? Do you really need to buy turkey every week or will other meat products give equal satisfaction?
Don’t be ashamed doing silly things that can actually help you save on your groceries. See your savings grow in time and you’ll be glad that you made these steps in the first place.
Mari writes for Loansolutions to help educate people in making informed-decisions on taking out loans and becoming responsible borrowers. Being the COO, she feels it is her social responsibility to do so. Learn more from her as she shares tips, advises and stories on finance. Also, she’s fond of 9GAG, so you might read some random stuff over here.