Do you ever wonder how it is possible when you go to the grocery store for two or three items you end up coming home with a full cart? Well, I’ll tell you how. Grocery stores market to us hard and they know what they are doing! They spend countless dollars trying to reel us in on spur of the moment purchases and they aren’t half bad at it. A great way to test our self-control and discipline is to walk into the grocery store and walk out with only the items we have on our list. Ha! Unlikely, right?
Well, it may not be as unlikely as you thought! All you need is a well thought out plan of attack and a way to prevent you from sporadically purchasing unnecessary items. Follow these 6 steps and maybe you will be able to thwart those marketers.
- Make a list and check it twice! Before I enter a grocery store I always make a list. Now, I cannot say that I don’t deviate sometimes and acquire random items in my cart that shouldn’t be there. BUT, for the most part, the list keeps me on track. When you make your list be sure to check your fridge and pantry so as not to double up on items you may not have known you had. Trust me, I’ve done this plenty of times.
- Listen to your Mother and DON’T shop when you’re hungry! You’ve heard this probably since you were a kid. Make sure your belly is full before attempting to grocery shop. The wise old adage is true. If you are the type to get hungry come prepared. Bring a bottle of water with you and a protein bar! It fends the hunger off and it also saves you from spending extra cash on unneeded and unhealthy treats.
- Keep clear of the end caps! Those items are often displayed prettily, but their price is far from pretty. They lure you in and want to take you and your cash with them! Pretend you have blinders on and keep to your list. You WILL thwart those supermarket ploys!
- Live life on the edge. By the edge I mean the edge of the supermarket. All the junk is typically within the aisles and deeper in the store. All the stuff you and I shouldn’t be eating anyway. You know the stuff I’m referring to, the processed, no good for you, sugar, wheat and high fructose corn syrup items that your grandma would roll over in her grave if she knew existed. Stick with the fresh produce and meats. You can’t go wrong and you will most certainly save money!
- Don’t grab the first item you see if you do venture into the forbidden aisles. Companies pay big bucks to place their products at eye level. Go for the cheaper brands that are toward the bottom of the shelves. They will save you money and I guarantee their taste won’t differ too much. Note: some of the inexpensive brands DO taste differently than the name brand, so this can take some trial and error. Sometimes buying cheaper can really sacrifice the flavor and quality. But that is rare.
- Shop your own pantry and fridge! I have done this many times before a big trip because we didn’t want to come back to spoiled food. It is amazing how much money you save and how much you don’t waste when you do this. Did you know that, according to Businessweek, Americans waste 40% of the food we buy? Often we think we need groceries, but in fact, we just haven’t been creative with the ones we already have on hand! If you’re like me and want to avoid the grocery store like the plague (and save money), then try this method! Get your kids and family involved and come up with something creative for dinner.
I hope these tips help you to avoid the pitfalls of grocery shopping. Perhaps if we employ these tips more frequently we can dumbfound those marketers! Happy shopping!