How many times did you walk into a store having planned your shopping trip?
Shopping for groceries as well as for anything else takes some level of consideration, will power, and a system to save you money.
What usually happens when you shop randomly
Most of the times when we shop without a plan we end up buying items that we don’t necessarily need, and we’re more tempted to purchase stuff that we had not intended. Especially when we find promotions or see good advertising, we are subconsciously tricked into buying things. Advertising, whether we want to admit it or not, shapes our shopping behavior in ways we may not even be aware.
But if you develop the skills to shop, you’ll find you can build an entire wardrobe or stock a trolley full of groceries and still put something aside or use the savings for something else.
Where to start
First things first, you have to give yourself the time, and develop the patience because shopping like a pro is very much about planning and setting some rules and trying to stick to them. That’s not always easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
You can start with building a shopping list. Put everything you’d like to buy on that list, and at the end scroll through every single item maybe even twice to see whether you actually need all that stuff. For example, you may want new shoes, but you might not really need them. Try to eliminate whatever it is that you don’t actually need right away.
It doesn’t mean that you have to get so severe with yourself that you should stop buying certain items entirely, but aim towards what’s strictly necessary at first. At the end of the month, see how much money you saved, add that up to how much you’ll save by year’s end, and guaranteed this is going to make you want to stick to a list on and on.
Where to go from there
- Take note on latest deals: whether it’s for fashion or for groceries, you can simplify your shopping if you look into what’s available in terms of deals and special bargains. Many outlets stores and grocery shops send out promotional emails, coupons and special alerts to members, so you may consider signing up with them to make sure you always receive the latest news.
- Brush up on seasonal sales: So many big stores and outlets lower prices considerably for off-season items that I’d be a shame if you missed out on that. Boxing Day Sales for example are a perfect opportunity to get some of the lowest prices for toys, electronics, and even clothes. In terms of groceries, you’ll find great bargains for in-season fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t let it go to waste: One of the ways many people lose money with groceries and other shopping is that they don’t use what they bought because they let it go bad or they don’t like the items afterwards. Make sure you’re always buying stuff that you like and that you’re freezing or repurposing your food.