Buying Groceries on a Budget: 8 Additional Tips When Shopping at the Grocery Store

Here are 8 additional tips when shopping at the grocery store:

1)   Never shop hungry
You have probably heard this many times, but it’s true. If you shop hungry, you’ll end up with extra items in your cart because it looks good. This will definitely use up your grocery budget more quickly.

2)   Bring a calculator to the store
Use a calculator to keep a running tab of all the items in your cart so you don’t overspend on your budget. Also, use the calculator to compare unit costs to see which items are cheaper. You’ll often find that it is cheaper to buy two smaller packages with coupons than one slightly larger one.

3)   Look high and low for deals
Look at the highest and lowest shelves in the grocery store to find the best deals. The worst deals are located at eye level.

4)   Search for deals at the end of aisles
Grocery stores place the best deals at the end of aisles to draw shoppers’ attention up the aisle. This will save you time if you don’t have to walk the length of an aisle. And it will save you money because you are less likely to place an extra item in your shopping cart.

5)   Don’t be brand loyal
To save money on groceries, you need to be willing to try new items. Use coupons to buy a different brand for half price. Also, check the store brands because sometimes they are less expensive if you don’t have a coupon.

6)   Buy products in season
Buy the items that are on sale for that season. For instance, snack items go on sale around the time of the Super Bowl in January and February.  Household cleaners go on sale in the spring. Baking products go on sale around the holidays in November and December. And make sure to buy produce as it’s in season. After a holiday, such as Valentine’s, Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, this is the best time to pick up items for the next year for more than 50% off the retail price.

7)   Don’t Overbuy because of Advertising
Many people buy more than they really need to buy because of the way the store advertises its sales. For instance, if the store states a “2 for $4” sale you can either buy one for $2, or two for $4. You don’t need to buy two items. Make sure to read the fine print since some specials do require a certain quantity. If it’s a really good deal, then stock up, but don’t do it because the signage persuades you.

8)   Watch the scanner
Keep an eye on the scanner at checkout to make sure the items you are buying and the coupons you use are ringing up correctly. There have been many instances where I’ve saved money because I caught when an item was rung up wrong or a coupon wasn’t applied to my purchases.

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