Grocery Store Psychology

After housing, food is the next largest spending item in many people’s budget. Here’s how to cut costs at the grocery store, and how to get more satisfaction from what you do spend. russian store

1) Figure out where your grocery dollars have been going. To start saving money, it is frequently easiest to find out where the biggest leaks are. You many not have been noticing it, but what if you found out you’ve been spending $45 a month on jam? Or $80 on coffee? Most shoppers will have a few areas of weakness in what they get, and those are the best opportunities for savings. You will never know where your best opportunities for savings are until you have broken out your grocery spending into about a dozen different categories to see the money trail.

2) Use a list. This will give you a plan, and after writing it out you will be more likely to stick to it. It will also force you to figure out what you really need (and thus leave behind what you don’t). Creating the list will require checking your kitchen, and it will help you buy food that complements what you already have. You can frequently save $20 a week just by making strategic decisions about what is going to be for dinner over the next few days based on what is already in the refrigerator.

3) Pick up your grocery store’s weekly flyer. Try to incorporate those specials into what you’ve planned for the weekly menu. Grocery stores do offer great deals.

4) Use coupons. Keep them in your purse or the glove compartment of your car. You don’t need to spend Sunday afternoon clipping coupons, but flipping through them and tearing out a few you know you’ll use won’t hurt.

5) Simplify how you eat. There may be some pushback from family members, but try to nudge everyone towards eating less expensive food. Take breakfast — oatmeal is cheap, highly nutritious, filling, and delicious when properly prepared. It is less than a third of the cost of some boxed cereals. This does not mean you can’t ever have the boxed cereals — just save them for weekends.

6) Compare prices. You probably have access to two or three or even six different grocery stores. Now that you know what you buy and how often (from suggestion #1), compare prices for your primary foods at the different grocery stores. Sometimes you can save more than a dollar an item doing this. If you have enough cash on hand to buy several items at a time, it makes the extra errand running manageable.

7) Buy in bulk. Cases are good. Just don’t buy in so much bulk that you end up not using or wasting what you have bought. Waste is not thrifty.

8) Use store savings cards. It is a hassle to keep track of them, and you will have to take the time to fill out the form when you first get them, but think of these cards as master coupons that you’ll never have to clip.

 

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