Truly save while shopping at the supermarket
You may think that the supermarket is cheaper than your local grocer, but with so much variety you could spend more than you need to. Here's how to keep supermarket spending in check.
From a constant barrage of promotional emails to attractive store displays and exciting deals, there are a variety of factors that can lead you to spend more than you intend to at the supermarket. So, we’re bringing you some great tips to ensure that you save money and stick to your budget.
Cash over cards
Banks have started charging for the number of visits you make to the ATM, so you may have less cash in hand. But if you use your debit or credit card to pay for everything, you’ll be spending a lot of money, without realising it. What you can do to avoid the ATM charges and stick to your shopping budget, is withdraw cash at the beginning of the month and set it aside as your shopping budget. Now, for the rest of the month, use only this literal pile of cash for your shopping expenses. It also has a visual effect – with your cash reducing, it will be easy to realise that you need to cut down on your shopping.
Instead of wheeling around a large shopping trolley, pick a smaller basket. You are much more likely to overspend if your basket or trolley feels empty. Of course, this will only be practical when you need to shop for a few items and not for an entire month’s supply.
Stick to a list
You can use a shopping list to make sure that you don’t forget an item you need, as well as to avoid surpassing your budget. Simply stick to the items on your list. Ignore the attractive sale sign near the perishables. And the buy-one-get-one free on your favourite brand of biscuits? Well, there’s a reason you didn’t put them on your shopping list. So just walk past the row. We’re not saying that all such deals and offers are suspect, but they’re not going to help you stick to your budget.
When it comes to shopping for groceries, there are several options, ranging from mammoth retail chains to your neighbourhood grocery store. When you’re comparing them with one another, it’s important to include more than just staples such as milk, flour and eggs. If you compare the prices of these items at the various stores around your neighbourhood, you’ll find that the prices are more or less similar. So, instead, compare prices for items that can be marked up or down, such as ready-to-eat meals, meats and gourmet cheese. Use this list to compare prices and find out which store offers the best prices for the items you need.
Listen to music
When you listen to music, your body often tries to match the pace of the song you’re listening to, which is why it’s such a great idea to listen to more upbeat songs when you’re working out. You can use this principle while shopping as well. Listening to fast, upbeat songs will make you walk faster and help you avoid buying items you don’t need.
Buy in bulk
With items such as flour, rice, wheat and dal, you can end up saving quite a lot of money if you buy in bulk packets of 5 or 10 kg. At supermarkets, such amounts are usually available at great discounts. But, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough space at home to store these items for long periods of time. You’ll also have to ensure that the space is free from insects to prevent these ingredients from getting spoiled, or you will have wasted money instead of saving it.
Read labels properly
Look closely at the deal or offer labels stuck onto the metal frame of shelves at supermarkets. These labels usually mention discounts and deals on the items in that particular aisle. But make sure that you read the labels properly to avoid picking up the wrong item. For example, a discount on a certain soft drink might only be applicable on a 1-litre bottle and not on the 2-litre pack.
Check out store brands
When it comes to flour and spices, several supermarkets have their own ranges, which are priced much lower than popular brands. However, different supermarkets also have different quality. So saving this way could be a slow process based on trial and error. However, the next time you go to your local supermarket, check for items offered under their own brand and try a few items every week to judge them on quality. It can turn out to be a great way to save money.