7 Expert Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

We all have a love-hate relationship with grocery shopping. Some of us enjoy spending hours in the supermarket and some of us are just too lazy. What remains the same is our expenditure. 

Because of the fully stocked shelves, variety of foodstuffs, offers and discounts, grocery shopping can unintentionally make us spend beyond what we actually require. Supermarkets and grocery stores use various tactics to instigate spending in their customers.

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Has it ever happened to you that you prepare a list and take it to the grocery but end up buying ten other things which you may or may not regret later? Well, not to worry! We have just the 7 expert tips for a budget-friendly grocery shopping experience!

1. Buy in bulk:

 A great way to start your cabinets for a long period of time to buy in bulk. Foods like cookies, crackers, cereals, coffee, milk powder, pulses, flour and, even fish and meat can be bought in bulk which will eventually reduce your frequent trips to the grocery store and hence, you save a lot of money spent on fuel as well as an individual purchase. 

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2. Plan meals in advance:

Plan your meals for the next following days in advance and check if you have all the ingredients you need. Prepare a list of what you do not have and dedicatedly stick to it when you go grocery shopping. In this way, you are organised and prepared to only pick out the items you’ve put on your list. This will eliminate impulsive buying and will save your time as well. 

3. Do not shop with an empty stomach:

This is a super-effective trick to avoid impulsive buying. Go for grocery shopping after lunch or dinner so your stomach is not growling and craving the snacks on the shelves. This will provoke you on buying the things that are not on your list. Also, drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated and full!

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4. Purchase seasonal fruits and vegetable:

An effective and a healthy way to save money on grocery shopping as well as supporting your local farmers is to purchase fruits and vegetables when they are seasonally available. You do not have to spend money buying imported vegetables when it is offseason. Another benefit of buying seasonal produce is that it is fresh out of the farms, extremely delicious and contains fewer preservatives. A super healthy way that keeps your pocket healthy as well! 

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5. Do not get excited by special offers:

One of the greatest tactics that supermarkets tend to use is to get excited by bringing out special offers, buy one get one offers, discounts to entice and accelerate customer spending. However, we end up purchasing beyond our requirements. Supermarkets use a distinctive pricing strategy where they would increase the prices of products and highlight their original price making it seem like a discount. Be aware of the items you’re buying on sale and again, stick to the list!

6. Love your leftovers:

Use your creativity in re-using leftover food items. You can create salads, curries, soups or a sandwich using leftovers. This will help you avoid taking a trip to the grocery and decrease the amount of food you might waste. You can search up delicious recipes or even create your own. Time to bring out your inner Masterchef! 

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7. Choose your market wisely:

This is the time you can be an informed customer. Go through 2-3 weekly grocery magazines that put out offers and discounts in your area. Compare their prices and analyse which store is cheaper. Most of the time, the exact same product is sold at different rates. By comparing prices and choosing your grocery store wisely., you can prepare your budget plan and by the end of the month, observe your spending. Remember to not cross your monthly budget. 

Some of the tactics that supermarkets use for promotion are:

  1. The offers and discounts are situated near the entrance. This entices the customer right from the start and they tend to spend all along their way.
  2. The supermarket layout is designed in such a way that the customer has to walk all the way till the end to collect a necessary product. Along the way, the customer tends to stop by shelves impulsing its buying. 
  3. Expensive items are placed in the middle of the shelf. The most profitable and branded products are kept in the eye-level. Other inexpensive products are either on the top or the bottom which most of the time, get ignored.
  4. Special offer items are placed near cash counters. While waiting for their turn in the queue of the cash counter, a customer tends to look around and picks out some stuff and adds it to the trolly, impulsive buying at its foot! 

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The Takeaway:

Supermarkets use numerous tactics to entice customers on buying more. As a planned and informed customer, you must be aware of your purchases and requirements. We hope these tips have informed you and helped you experiencing a pocket-friendly grocery shopping experience. 

Author bio:

Anushka is a passionate writer and a poet pursuing a degree in media and communications. She regularly contributes a Food Guest Post on F and B Recipes.