Let’s face it, the grocery store can be an overwhelming place. The parking lot is crowded, store is packed, and people are leaving their shopping cart in the middle of the aisle. You don’t see too many people that are excited to do the grocery shopping, unless I guess if this is your only avenue to get out of the house for the day. If you don’t have a plan of attack when you get there, you can end up spending way more than you had budgeted for.
Eat Before You Shop
The first advice to give is to never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. You will buy anything that sounds good, so buying too much will end up going to waste, and probably not be a healthy option anyways. Get a meal in at home before you go to the store and you could end up saving huge at the checkout.
Make a List
You always hear people say that they went in for milk, bread, and eggs, and came out with bags of groceries, spending a hundred dollars easy. It is definitely not hard to do. Make a list of all items that you need before you leave the house and you will avoid walking down every single aisle, asking yourself if you need that (or want it), and stick to only your list.
Use Store Rewards Card
While you never want to pay full price for anything, that is also true at the grocery store. You can get discounts across the store just by signing up and using your store rewards card, which typically entails just putting in your phone number at the register, and you will see the savings start to add up at the end. You can also load digital coupons to your card that will automatically come up at the register when the item is scanned (you will just have to print out the list of coupons so you remember).
Shop During the Week
Going shopping on the weekend can be a nightmare, it is always crowded unless you go Sunday night before they close, so why would a grocery store put much on sale on the weekend when they know people will be in there anyways. During the week, not only will you see less crowds, which reduce your stress level, but you may also find more “10 for $10” or “Buy 5 Items and Save” type sales that could add up to huge savings.
Avoid Impulse Purchases
Whether it is items at the register, or just anything that looks good when you pass in the store, avoiding impulse purchases are the key to saving at the register. If you are looking for fruits and veggies, avoid the pre-cut, as although it is a time saver, it is at a premium price. I’ve often heard people say to stick to the perimeter of the store, as you will not only find the healthier fresh items, but you will avoid stocking up on unnecessary items when walking around the store.